Pakistan's ‘city of Alexander’ expects tourism boost after new discoveries

11:51 PM | 25 Nov, 2021
Pakistan's ‘city of Alexander’ expects tourism boost after new discoveries

PESHAWAR – Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is expecting an increase in tourism as recent archaeological works have unearthed new structures in the ancient city of Bazira that centuries ago was conquered by Alexander the Great.

Located in Barikot, in the middle of the Swat valley, Bazira has been excavated by the Italian Archaeological Mission to Pakistan since the 1970s.

Archaeologists say this month’s excavations help them understand the city’s structure as they have unearthed walls, bastions and stairs of a fort on the Ghwandai hill, at the foot of which Bazira urban settlements were built.

“The most important and recent discovery on the hill concerns three points, including the existence of a seventh-11th century Shahi-era fortress that defended a water reservoir for the temple and an earlier Kushan acropolis of which important monumental traces remain,” said Dr. Luca M. Olivieri, who leads the Italian mission.

The acropolis, where the archaeologists have also found small stupas from the first century BCE — among some of the oldest evidence of Buddhist worship in an urban area — was transformed to house a Hindu temple at the time of the Ghaznavid’s conquest of the town from Hindu-Shahi rulers, while a fortress was established on the summit to keep a watch on key areas of the Swat valley.

The fort has a huge water tank where bastions were built to protect it and the Vishnu Temple, a Hindu place of worship dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is also situated there.

“Today, about a tenth of the ancient city has been explored including the Vishnuite temple on the acropolis, the Shahi fortress conquered by the Ghaznavids in the 11th century,” Olivieri said.

Niaz Ali Shah, regional director at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa archaeology and museums directorate in Swat which excavates the site with the Italian archaeologists, said that “stairs, drainage system, remains of walls and fortress and remains of a temple have been fully discovered.”

“I think the latest discovery will woo religious tourists to visit their historical places,” he added. “As we’ve exposed the ancient history of other religions through material remains, it will primarily attract Buddhist and Hindus’ tourists to visit this town to see how we preserve their history.”


Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 27 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 27 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.4 282.3
Euro EUR 303 306
UK Pound Sterling GBP 351.5 355
U.A.E Dirham AED 76 76.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.2 75
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 742.91 750.91
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.82 39.22
Danish Krone DKK 40.56 40.96
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 905.46 914.46
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.49 59.09
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.05 175.05
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.36
Omani Riyal OMR 725.54 733.54
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.74 77.44
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 27.04 27.34
Swiss Franc CHF 317 319.5
Thai Bhat THB 7.76 7.91


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