There are some beautiful museums in the world which attract millions of visitors. The region of Mardan is rich in culture and especially Gandhara remains are matchless. The people of Mardan had the idea of a museum for a long time and they were keen to preserve the heritage. For this reason they formed National Heritage Preservation Societies in the past. Ultimately with the interest of the local Government Officials and the then commissioner of Mardan, Mr R N Sahibzada, the proposal of building a museum in Mardan was made in 1990. The museum was opened in April1991.
The original name is Takht-i-Bahi. This town is situated 15 km from Mardan on Swat Malakand road. In 1908/9 the ancient Buddhist history was discovered in the mountains. Large numbers of buildings look beautiful on top of the mountains.
Unfortunately the possessions of the houses and buildings have been taken away illegally and maybe decorating some famous buildings in the rest of the world. The population is expanding and new houses are approaching the site. If ignored for a few more years, the tourist and historic attractions will disappear.
Cultural heritage has a great historical significance. It represents the taste and theme of the time. The Guides Memorial Mardan also has a very relevant historical importance. It was built by the British in 1892 in memory of their soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defence of Queen’s Residency in Kabul on September 23rd 1879.This historical memorial was built in the centre of Mardan city.
M.Usman Mardanvi, Archaeologist, Mardan Foundation
S A Ali,Mardan Foundation
Cultural heritage has a great historical significance. It represents the taste and theme of the time. The Guides Memorial Mardan also has a very relevant historical importance. It was built by the British in 1892 in memory of their soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defence of Queen’s Residency in Kabul on September 23rd 1879.
This historical memorial was built in the centre of Mardan city. It has three storey building. There is an opening arch in the centre of this memorial while on both sides are the stair cases.
There is an influence of Hindu temple on the ground structures, level with suspended leaves in well carved stone works, with marble stones, mouldings which not only support the building but secure it from earthquake shockwaves.The Gothic arches are the British Architect like seen in Churches. On the second floor there are open arches from where a major part of the surroundings is visible.On the third stage there are cupolas on each corner of this memorial. This is an Islamic architect.
On both sides of the building are stone carved lotus flowers for decoration which is of Buddhist idea. On both sides of building there are marble inscriptions in Pushto, Persian and English languages. The names of those soldiers' cavalry and infantry are mentioned. It looks like the Irish Infantry and Battalions.
Some of the history is already is already vanishing. Once there was the door of the gate of Jandul Fort (Dir) but it is not clear whether it has been stolen or has been taken to some other part of the country. There are historical cannons which were used against Umara Khan Jandul. He was the brave Afghan/Pushtun who resisted the invasion of British Army. According to some he is the Napoleon of the East.
There is even more history about this historical monument. But what is the point of discussing it as sadly due to the negligence of the government some parts of this memorial are damaged and broken. There are garbage bags, rubbish wastes and the place looks miserable.
On behalf of Mardan Foundation, we request the government to take a notice of the problem. The right move will be to hand over the management of Guides Memorial to the appropriate authorities. Alternatively an official involvement of local communities and organizations will be useful in the preservation of such historical buildings.