Visitors look at a statue during a nocturnal trip to Peshawar Museum organised by the provincial directorate of archaeology and museums in collaboration with Pakistan Army and Tour Da Peshawar. — White Star
Visitors look at a statue during a nocturnal trip to Peshawar Museum organised by the provincial directorate of archaeology and museums in collaboration with Pakistan Army and Tour Da Peshawar. — White Star

PESHAWAR: The provincial directorate of archaeology and museums in collaboration with army and Tour Da Pekhawar launched a night trip to promote soft image of Peshawar through heritage, art, culture and history.

The organisers say that main objective of the initiative is to explore sights and sounds of the walled-city to unlock the potential of tourism both for domestic and foreign tourists through a fascinating nocturnal trip.

Most visitors said that the heritage night trip was a wonderful experience as it showcased a trail of local heritage sites, cuisines, art, culture, history and a view into the city glorious past. It was like a travel back into the past glory when the city was hub of storytellers, traders, musicians and artists, a visitor commented.

Local visitors, civil society members and families were given a night trip to enjoy traditional cuisines, beverages and hustle and bustle through different heritage sites. The visitors enjoyed the ride on a traditional ‘Bara Bus’ decorated with colourful lights and mosaics of truck art that reminiscent of old times when the city dwellers lived in perfect peace and serenity.

Started off with Peshawar museum, the visitors culminated its nocturnal trip at the same destination as they enjoyed the sights of Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Sethi museum, Gor Khatri and a complete visit of Peshawar museum, its various galleries and sections.

The heritage sites were decorated with colourful lights and buntings, giving out a charming sight.

Abdul Samad, the director of archaeology and museums, while briefing the participants said that Peshawar had the privilege of being the oldest city of South Asia and enjoyed the status of capital of the ancient Gandhara civilisation.

The walled city of Peshawar carried great significance and value when it came to heritage both tangible and intangible for visitors as sights and sounds served as a treasure trove, he added.

He said that upgradation, beatification and renovation work on the heritage sites would be further speeded up to promote tourism in the region. He said that KP had great potential for local and foreign tourism.

Mr Samad said that the initiative would be extended to other parts of the province where most tourist spots and heritage sites would be renovated and opened for domestic and foreign tourists. The city experienced a novel event spearheaded by the collaborative efforts of the stakeholders that marked a significant step towards reviving national identity of peace, social cohesion and hospitality, he added.

Shahid Ali Khan, Shahabudin Khan and Abur Rahman Afridi, the trio of civil society, told this scribe that such initiatives would help them to explore and exploit the untapped potential of tourism and city’s rich cultural heritage. They said that despite militancy, Peshawarites exhibited resilience and courage.

It is pertinent to mention here that despite bad weather, several families from Mardan, Nowshera, Kohat and Charasadda also visited the city to participate in the night trip.

Raheela Khan Begum, a resident of Khyber tribal district, told this scribe that she along with her family members enjoyed the special event. She added that such events would attract foreign visitors and should be made a regular feature.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2024

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