butkara stupa in mingora swat

1 of the Oldest Buddhist Sites – Butkara Stupa in Mingora Swat

Butkara Stupa in Mingora Swat is an important Buddhist site, in the KP region of Pakistan. It may have been built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, but it is generally composed a little later in the 2nd century BCE.

Butkara stupa in Mingora Swat was extended five times over the next centuries, often by building on, and consolidating, the original building. 

Excavation of Butkara Stupa in Mingora Swat

The stupa was excavated by Italian machinery (IsIOAO: Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente), led by archaeologist Domenico Faccenna since 1956, to specify various stages of construction and expansion. 

The machines found that the stupa was a “monument” with the addition of ornaments to Greek architecture during the 2nd century BCE, suggesting the direct involvement of the Indo-Greek, rulers of northwestern India at the time, in the development of Greco-Buddhist architecture.

Butkara Stupa Location

Butkara stupa is located at around 2 kms Saidu Sharif in Mingora City Swat.

Butkara Stupa History

An Indo-Corinthian capital has been found representing a Buddhist worshiper among the leaves that contained the Azes II coin buried on its base, which safely covers a carved statue before 20 BCE.

The nearby Greek fortress of Barikot is also considered modern.

Coins and Data at Butkara Stupa

An old core strata (Gst 1) uncovered the Chandragupta Maurya coin and was therefore written in the Ashokan period. The Menander I coin was found in the second oldest place (Gst 2). The Azes II coin was found below the third stratum (Gst 3), so it is dated to the late first century BCE or early 1st century CE [3] The 4th stratum (Gst 4) contains the latest Azes II coins and the Kushan Deep Kadphises coins. butkara stupa in mingora swat

Statue of Budha Sitting at Butkara Stupa in Mingora Swat

The statue of the Buddha (or Bodhisattva) sitting in Butkara is considered one of the earliest, if not the oldest, known images of Buddha in northwestern India. Van Lohuizen-de Leeuw traces the effigy from the late first century BCE to the early first century, as found on the GSt 3 stratum containing the coins of the Azes II. butkara stupa in mingora swat

Further adherence to the rules dates back to the second millennium CE, about the same time that the earliest known Buddha statues were made by the Matra artist. Perhaps the earliest known Buddha statue in the vernacular is “Isapur Buddha”, dated about 15 CE. This will make the creation of the Buddha image almost identical between two parts of the world.

Butkara Buddhist shrine No. 2 (identified as the Ta-Lo coin, cited by Sung Yun (520 AD) visited and described by the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims of the 5th, 6th and 7th century AC is at the eastern end of the ancient capital Udyana Meng-Chich The main Stingas, Viharas and columns, on the north side stands the main building and further north and west built. Great. 3rd century B.C to 10th century A.D. Butkara is now known as Gulkada.It is one kilometer from the Swat museum.

A group of Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks visited the Butkara Stupa in mingora swat in the KP region of Pakistan.

Butkara stupa was expanded five times during the following centuries, often by building on and consolidating the former structure.

Shingardar is a village between Galgay and Barikot in the southern part of Swat province in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Shingardar is the site of the Shingardar Stupa, the largest Buddhist stupa of the Indian subcontinent.

Butkara stupa may have been built by Mauryan ruler Ashoka.

Speaking to the media at the Saidu Sharif Stupa today, the monk Dr Walpole Piyananda Thero expressed his deepest gratitude for visiting Buddhist shrines in Pakistan.

He said Pakistan and Sri Lanka are not strangers as the both the countries have lot of similarities. He said both the countries enjoy greatest friendship relations.

He also appreciated the steps taken for the preservation and protection of the Buddhist sites in Pakistan.

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