Shah Allah Ditta
Shah Allah Ditta
شاہ اللہ دتہ
Shah Allah Ditta's Sadhu da Bagh caves are an ancient Buddhist monastic site
|Province||Islamabad Capital Territory|
|Time zone||UTC+5 (PST)|
The village is named after a Mughal period Dervi.
The village is believed to be more than seven hundred years old and was used as route from Kabul to the Gandharan city of Taxila by Alexander the Great and Sher Shah Suri while Mughal rulers and other emperors often passed through while traveling from Afghanistan to the Hindustan.
Relics of the Buddhist era dating back to the 8th century can be found here along with burnt diyas and trees with amulets tied to them.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the caves and the platform-like formations surrounding the area were first used for meditation by Buddhist monks and later by Hindu sadhus before Muslim ascetics took over during the Mughal period.
Marked on the ground close to the caves the location where Alexander arrived and was received by Raja Ambi, King of Taxila. The road next to the caves that leads to the main top of the mountain, Shah Allah Ditta road, is said to be built on the exact path followed by Pashtun emperor Sher Shah Suri during his visit.
- In October 2010, Capital Development Authority (CDA) finally approved the plan after realizing the importance to preserve this 2,400-year-old archeological site. The plan covers conservation of the Buddha caves as well as the adjacent garden known as 'Sadhu ka Bagh'. This is the second heritage site in Islamabad which has been targeted for preservation; the first was the historical Saidpur Village, also situated at the foothills of the Margallas.
- The Taxila Institute of Asian Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, the Natural History Museum and Department of Architecture, and a recent effort by the Mass Communication Department of NUST has urged the government to preserve such sites of Mughal heritage.
- Embassy of Japan in Pakistan, reportedly offered to provide funds for the preservation of Shah Allah Ditta caves.
There is approx. 23,000 kanal land located in Shah Allah Ditta village and its surroundings.
As of July 2011, approx. 17,000 kanal land is privately owned, and approx. 6,000 kanal of land has been purchased by the housing society developers of sectors D-13, E-13 and C-13.
The federal government has only 30 kanals of land in and around Shah Allah Ditta.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2011-08-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)