Peshawar, June 16 : Around 74 Buddha stories carved in stone are presently on display in Peshawar Museum describing all happenings in his life.
Giving a brief about history of the museum and Gandhara region, former director of the Museum and ex-chairman of the Archaeology and Fine Arts Department at Peshawar University, Prof Fidaullah Sehri said that the life stories of Buddha were written in Gandhara and in their light the sculptors carved them in stones in this region.
Emperor Kanishka, who ruled the vast Kushan Empire from his capital Peshawar in 78 AD, patronised the Buddhist art, he said.
Buddhism took a new form in Gandhara known as Mahayana Buddhism during Kanishka rule, he said and added that said majority of the Buddhists of the world belonged to Mahayana Buddhism.
Sehri said historians called Gandhara art Graeco Buddhist and Romano Buddhist art, but its theme was Buddhism and Bodhisattvas like Amitab, Maitreya, Aralkiteshavara and other deities were carved in schist stone in this region for worship.
He gave reasons for the development of the art i.e. prosperity in Gandhara due to trade and commerce with Central Asia and the west on the Silk Route. The prosperity declined when the Silk Route were closed. Thus Gandhara art came to an end slowly after some centuries, he added.