Takht-i-Bahi
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The most complete Buddhist monastery in Pakistan founded in the 1st century.
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flyfisher66
Islamabad, Pakistan2,977 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
Takht-i-Bahi (The Throne of Bahi) is one of the most well preserved Budhist monasteries in Pakistan. Located 17 km from Mardan on hill, this monastery was founded in 1st century and remained an important Budhist educational and cultural center for many centuries.
Many of the rooms and buildings inside the monastery are still quite well preserved though mosto f the relics and statues have been taken away over a period of time. It's a full day visit if you are going from Islamabad but monastery itself is a couple of hours event.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jupiter81
Rome, Italy492 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
An Unesco site and the best well-kept example of Gandharan Architecture in Pakistan.
The Monastery is unique in its extension and detailed different areas (monk cells, halls, rooms, meeting areas, diverse stupas etc.) I visited it with the guide of a young archeologist from the University of Peshawar; he was extremely kind and explained everything related to the plase. The Monastery is located in a small elevation, sorrounded by hills and even the landscape view is extraordinary. The main sculptures have been removed and places at diverse Museums but you can still image the beauty of the site in the original times. Amazin
Written December 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Al M
Chicago, il241 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Family
In my recent travels, I have visited many ancient sites but none can compare with the one I’m going to tell you about today. The site called “Takht-i-Bahi” is about 165km Northwest of Pakistan’s Capital city of Islamabad, in Mardan District. The 2 hour drive is mostly on three to four lane highways and is comparatively comfortable. The reason I liked this site so much is because of the accessibility to it as well as how amazingly it has been preserved.
Takht-i-Bahi (The Sping Throne) was discovered in 1836 & listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. The locals believe that it was named after a spring which was located nearby the site. Due to its elevation atop the hill, it is believed that this throne has played great significance throughout the centuries.
This ancient monastery is believed to be one of the most well-structured and well preserved ancient Buddhist monasteries in the Gandhara district. The ruins are located more than five hundred feet up on top of a hill, and due to this elevation, these remnants have remained virtually untouched for many hundreds of years.
First Construction Period
It is believed the original monastery was built during the first century BC, as the design, build and materials of the monastery are authentic and in line with other buildings which are known of at the time. This fact is also proven by inscriptions which were found in the temple as these inscriptions included the name of Gondophares the first, who is recorded as living during that time. Gondophares I also known as Vindafarna, Gastaphar, Gundaparnah (from which the Pashtun surname of Gandapur originates from) and Gaspar[d], King of Persia (who’s history is recorded in Christian traditions as one of the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings who witnessed the birth of Christ). This era seemed to have retained Persian Zoroastrian religious beliefs as no evidence was found of any Greek or Buddhist symbols or writings on coins or otherwise.
Second & Third Construction Periods
The Third thru the Fifth centuries AD brought on the second & third construction periods of the monastery. This era saw the rise of the Kushan Empire. Kujula Kadphises was the first official ruler & uniter of the empire of Nomads originating from the Western provinces of modern China called Yuezhi. Buddhism flourished during their reign and the Takht-i-Bahi site expanded. In this time period the Great “Stupa Court” & the “Assembly Hall” were erected.
Final Construction Period
In this final construction period, between the 6th & the 7th Century AD, the “Tantric Complex” was constructed. This period was reportedly ruled by the Huns.
The Complex
Composing of a series of stone buildings in the Gandhara style, Takht-i-Bahi was constructed with local stone blocks which were set in a mortar made from lime and mud.
The grandiose group of structures can be divided into Four primary areas:
• The Stupa Court: Located in the Central courtyard, is spread with many Stupas mostly of the same sizes.
• The Monastery: This sanctuary has assembly halls, dining areas, a courtyard & amazing living quarters which were believed to have been two-floored (two storied).
• The Temple Complex: This area was built at a later period of time and on a hill higher than the original Stupa Court. The Temple Complex has Stupas similar to the Stupa Court as well as a Courtyard and living cells.
• The Tantric Complex: Build on the opposite hill to The Stupa court, The Tantric Complex features many meditation cells. The meditation cells have very low openings and are very dark from the inside.
Once atop the main Stupa Court, one feels the breeze of mysticism & self-awareness. These thoughts arise when you glance upon the entire valley from the throne & one disconnects from the world.
There are historical records proving that the monastery was in constant use until around the 7th century, after that the records become quite unclear. This is where the archaeologists become significant, as they can uncover what become of the site between its time of closing, and present day.
Takht-i-Bahi is constantly being worked on and studied by archaeology students who travel from around the globe to try and learn more about the monastery’s history. The architecture of the monastery has also been well studied and documented, and it is understood that the people who did the initial building were quite advanced in their engineering and civil works, as the structure far surpasses other recorded sites built at this particular time.
Located approximately two kilometers from the Takht-i-Bahi Bazaar, the ruins attract many tourists and historians as well as Buddhist travelers from around the world. The site is also popular with archaeologists, and due to its age and the level of preservation, it has become an established and important archaeological as well as historical site in the Mardan district.
The busiest time of year to visit the monastery is between September and April when the weather is not too harsh. The summer months are too much to bear for an extensive trip and excavation of the site, as there is very little shade in the area, and the infrastructure on the site is not suited to tourists visiting during the peak of summer, where temperatures can easily reach 100 F or more.
Takht-i-Bahi is an encounter with a very ancient time in South Asia and the ease at which you can reach the monastery makes a journey to witness these ruins entirely worthwhile.
Written May 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Posts2013
Karachi, Pakistan217 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016
Takht-i-Bhai is a archaeological site in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It was first a Zoroastrian complex which converted into Buddhist monastic complex after arrival of Buddhism. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.
Written September 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Muhammad Adeel
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018
it was wonderful experience to travel takht-i-bhai and very civilized construction a library and with Takht of king and security post of all points for protection and living compound .. clear view of city from top also made you mesmerize your mind ..
Written March 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

asad iqbal
Rawalpindi, Pakistan180 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Friends
Amazingly beautiful. Gabdhara civilization. One cant imagine whats there in a far off city of takh bhai. Its not fully explored. Enjot chapal kebabs from.takht bhai market and visit budhas palace and stopas up on the hills. I love the place. Visited many times.
Written May 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Imran S
Imran S
Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan270 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Friends
Telling the visitors about the olden days of Gandahara period, Takht Bahi remains are located some 30 minutes drive from Mardan city, on Malakand road.
A day-trip from Islamabad could be taken to Takht Bahi .
Written March 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Precious Parker
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Family
So much history behind this place really helps you understand everything if you do some reading before going. Otherwise wonderful
Written September 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mudassir Hassan khan
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Business
Takhtbhai, is one of the oldest remains of ancient time and have wonderful view on the top hills and a lot of tourist come here for seeing the archaeological site of an ancient Buddhist monastery in Mardan.
Written August 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Haseeb U
Saidu, Pakistan149 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Friends
Takht Bahi is approxumetly 15 km from Mardan.I recommed oct-nov month to visit that place.Approximetly 300 steps of stairs were present to go.up to see ancient budha remains.Place is very clean.Local transport is available to visit.I Share the picture of ticket and parking.I am really amused to see tje different points of Budha civilisation.
Written November 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Takht-i-Bahi, Mardan

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