It is about 12 km from Mardan city. It has mountains, green trees, open fields and a small river in the centre of the village. Shahbaz Garhi is situated on the junction of three ancient routes;
- Kabul to Pushkalavati(modern Charsadda)
- Swat through Buner
- Taxila through Hund on the bank of Indus River.
The town was once a thriving Buddhist city surrounded by monasteries and stupas.
Situated on the modern Mardan-Swabi Road, the town was once a thriving Buddhist city surrounded by monasteries and stupas.
In old times all these facilities made it attractive for the army and travelers to dig in their tents here, stay for few days and organize their further strategy. The historic Stones of Ashoka, and other sites like Mekha Sanda are worth visiting.
Shahbazgarhi rock edicts
The Shahbazgarhi rock edicts are cut into the surface of two large boulders on the side of a small rocky outcrop in the Vale of Peshawar. The record fourteen edicts of the Mauryan emperor, Asoka (r. c. 272-235 BC) and represent the earliest irrefutable evidence of writing in South Asia. Dating to middle of the third century BC, they are written from right to left in the Kharosthi script. The presence of Kharosti suggests that the influence of Achaemenid rule in this region, the province of Gandhara, outlived the short Alexandrian interlude of the fourth century BC. The fourteen major edicts recorded at the site present aspects of Asoka’s dharma or righteous law. The edicts are located beside one of the ancient trade routes connecting the Vale of Peshawar with the valley of Swat, Dir and Chitral to the North and the great city of Taxila to the South East.
The translation of the text is written on a board nearby the rocks. The sight is a famous tourist spot for people who are interested in history.
Visit by Xuanzang in 630 AD
- Reaching Oḍḍiyāna, Xuanzang found 1,400 old monasteries, that had previously supported 18,000 monks. The remnant monks were of the Mahayana school.
- Xuanzang continued northward and into the Buner Valley, before doubling back via Shahbaz Garhi to cross the Indus river at Hund.
- Prof Ahmed Hasan Dani'Ashoka Rock Edicts at Shahbaz Garhi Mardan' in Journal of Archaeological Study, QAU, Islamabad, Pakistan, 1982
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