The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has declared the ancient Hindu religious site of Panj Tirath in Peshawar as national heritage, PTI reported on Friday. The news agency quoted a notification from the province’s directorate of archaeology and museums issued under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Act 2016.
The site’s name has its origins in the five pools of water that are part of the property, which also has a temple. Devotees believe that mythical king Pandu from the epic Mahabharata bathed in the pools during the month of Kartik and worshipped under the date palm trees in the area for two days.
The site was allegedly damaged during the Afghan Durrani dynasty era in 1747 and was restored by local Hindus during the Sikh era in 1834.
The directorate had asked the province administration to clear the site of any encroachments and build a boundary wall and to allow archaeologists to conduct preservation work. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced a fine of 2 million Pakistani rupees and five years’ imprisonment for anyone found guilty of damaging the historic site.