Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in northwest Pakistan has declared the ancient Hindu religious site of Panj Tirath in Peshawar as national heritage.
Panj Tirath, which got its name from the five pools of water present there, also contains a temple and a lawn with date palm trees. The five pools of the heritage site now come under the ambit of Chacha Yunus Park and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The KP Directorate of Arcahaeology and Museums issued a notification under the KP Antiquities Act 2016 declaring the land in the Panj Tirath park as a heritage site.
It is believed that Pandu, a king in the Mahabharata, belonged to this area and Hindus used to come to these pools for bathing during the month of Karteek and worship for two days under the trees.
The site was damaged during the reign of the Afghan Durrani dynasty in 1747, however it was restored by local Hindus during the period of Sikh rule in 1834 and worship started again.
The government also announced a fine of up to Rs 2 million and five years’ imprisonment for anyone found guilty of damaging the historic site.
The archaeology directorate asked the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to clear the site of encroachment and allow archaeologists to carry out much needed preservation work. It also asked for the construction of a boundary wall around the site.