Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
Takht-i-Bahi (Pakistan Travel Web)

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1980
Size of heritage:

Longitude: 71,946°
Latitude: 34,321°


The Buddhist monastic complex of Takht-i-Bahi (Throne of Origins) was founded in the early 1st century. Owing to its location on the crest of a high hill, it escaped successive invasions and is still exceptionally well preserved. Nearby are the ruins of Sahr-i-Bahlol, a small fortified city dating from the same period.

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The Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol, located in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that holds immense historical and cultural significance. This site showcases the remnants of an ancient Buddhist monastery complex and the remains of a nearby city, providing a glimpse into the rich Buddhist heritage of the region.


The Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi date back to the 1st century CE when Buddhism flourished in the Gandhara region. The monastery complex was built on a hilltop, strategically positioned to overlook the surrounding landscape. It served as a center for Buddhist learning and meditation, attracting scholars and monks from far and wide. The monastery complex at Takht-i-Bahi was expanded and renovated over the centuries, reaching its peak during the 2nd and 7th centuries CE. It became a thriving hub of Buddhist culture, art, and education. The nearby city of Sahr-i-Bahlol, believed to be the residential area for the monastery's inhabitants, also flourished during this period.


The architectural style of the Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi reflects a fusion of Greek, Roman, Persian, and Indian influences, known as Gandhara art. The complex consists of various structures, including prayer halls, stupas, monastic cells, courtyards, and a main stupa at the highest point. The buildings are constructed using local stone and exhibit intricate carvings and sculptures depicting Buddhist motifs and narratives. The layout of the monastery complex follows a hierarchical arrangement, with the main stupa at the center and the monastic cells surrounding it. The prayer halls, adorned with beautiful sculptures, were used for communal worship and meditation. The monastic cells provided living quarters for the monks, while the courtyards served as communal spaces for socializing and educational activities.

Current State

The Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol have faced various challenges over the centuries, including natural disasters and human activities. However, extensive conservation efforts have been undertaken to preserve and protect this invaluable heritage site. Today, visitors can explore the well-preserved ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Sahr-i-Bahlol, gaining insights into the ancient Buddhist civilization that once thrived in the region. The site offers a serene and contemplative atmosphere, allowing visitors to connect with the spiritual and cultural heritage of the past. The UNESCO World Heritage designation has played a crucial role in raising awareness about the significance of this site and attracting both local and international tourists. Efforts are ongoing to improve visitor facilities and promote sustainable tourism in the area. In conclusion, the Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province stand as a testament to the rich Buddhist heritage of the region. With its remarkable architecture and historical significance, this UNESCO World Heritage site continues to captivate visitors, offering a glimpse into the ancient Buddhist civilization that once thrived in this part of the world.