Located on the right bank of the Indus River in the ancient Hund city present in the Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, Hund Museum is a rich archaeological site of great historical importance. Various rulers of the old times destroyed and restored this site during their battles for the kingdom. One has to travel about 6 kilometers through a beautiful orchard and wheat fields to reach the museum. Because of the Indus River, Hund is an attractive summer picnic spot. Hund Museum Swabi houses ancient antiquities related to Islam, Buddhism, the Mughal empire, the late Kushan period, and the Gandhara civilization. This old site of historical significance provides its visitors a deep down memory lane into the history of various dynasties.
History of Hund Museum
The old name of Hund is Udabhandapura. Hund museum is in Hund city, a small village on the bank of the Indus River. Hund village contains up to eighty households. The history of the Hund museum goes back to a very remote time as it is where many rulers resided and experienced many eras. According to historical facts, Alexander The Great stayed in Hund city in 327 BC and crossed the mighty Indus River with a manufactured boat bridge to invade Taxila. In the remembrance of Alexander The Great, his memorial in the form of a Greek Corinthian pillar erected in the courtyard of the Hund Museum is a symbol of power and is visible from a vast distance. In 644 AD, a famous Chinese pilgrim, scholar, traveler, and Buddhist monk crossed the Hund region.
After Peshawar and Charsadda, the third last capital of the Hindu Shahi dynasty was Hund. In the 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni resided in Hund during his invasion of Gandhara. He began the Islamic era and ended the Gandhara period. Moreover, Genghis khan of the Mongol dynasty chased after Prince Khwarizm Shah to Hund, where the Khwarizm jumped into the Indus River on his way to India. The leader of the Tehrik Mujahideen, Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi, had also stayed in the Hund region during his battle against the Sikhs.
Recognizing the strategic importance of Hund, Akbar, a well-known Mughal emperor, ordered the construction of a Fort for defense. He assigned this responsibility to one of his generals, Raja Birbal. Throughout the Mughal era, Hund served as a military stronghold. The Mughal fort can be seen today in a much-dilapidated condition.
Research on the archaeology of Hund began in the 19th century. The project restoring the Hund museum Khyber Pakhtunkhwa started in 1994 to reveal the history of Hund. Approximately 14.6 Million, funded by Yunan, was spent on excavating the Hund region. While excavating this historical site, they discovered statues, old coins, ancient jewelry, and pottery articles, beautifully displayed in the Hund Museum in their original condition. Hund museum is one of the most historically rich museums in Pakistan.
Restoration and Establishment of Hund Museum
A building was required to display these relics and showcase these antique artifacts of historical significance. So the directorate of archaeology and Museums, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, decided to construct the Hund museum on 33 canals of land in 2002. Along with the museum, they created a cafeteria, bypass road, and a rest house for the convenience of the visitors. It took a total of 49.386 million for the establishment of the Hund Museum.
Attractions Offered by Hund Museum
Hund Museum SWABI has six galleries that provide an incredibly insightful look into their culture and history. Let us dive into the details of this museum’s attractions to its spectators.
Ghandhara Art Gallery
The beautiful red building of the Hund Museum Swabi features various galleries. Upon entering the museum, you will come across the Gandhara gallery first. It is a spacious gallery featuring numerous stupas, statues, and sculptures of Gandhara and Buddhist art. For worship, people carved many statues and images of Buddha. The sculptures show the gestures of meditation, preaching, reassurance, and earth-touching. All the episodes of the life of Buddha, from his birth to death, are beautifully carved and displayed. Gandhara art has deeply influenced the life, art, and architecture of the Hund region. In Gandhara art, the Buddha represents more magnitudes to his followers than the Indian art. It was the Mahayana spirit in the hearts of the sculptors of this region who produced thousands of images by working day and night with untiring zeal.
The second gallery features old coins excavated from the Hund region. The legend and inscription of the ancient coins are stunning. The coin collection includes:
- Punch Mark coins.
- The earliest coins of South Asia were in the 6th century.
- Indo-Greek coins from 255-90 B.C.
- Hindu-Shahi coins from 823 to 999 A.D.
- Kushan coins from the 1st to 4th century.
- Scythe-Parthian coins from 80 B.C to 30 A.D.
The next spacious gallery is named Hund gallery. This gallery features numerous pottery and handmade utensils excavated from the Hund region. All of these artifacts are displayed neatly on large glass shelves.
Manuscripts gallery is the most unique and prestigious gallery as it features beautifully preserved manuscripts of the old Holy Quran. It features various copies of the ancient Quran translated in different languages, including the Holy Quran with Persian translation by Shah Wali Ullah and Urdu translation by Moulana Abdul Haq Delhi, published in 1323 A.H.
Next comes the cultural gallery, which is a vast gallery comprising several traditional and cultural artifacts depicting the lifestyle and cultural values of Swabi. Major artifacts displayed in this gallery include:
The cultural gallery showcases weapons like an ancient large arrow bow, old pistols of different types, beautifully crafted swords used in battles, and three rifles.
Among the Collection of utensils are traditional cooking pots, china clay-made colorful handmade plates, wooden spatulas, silver glass, and jug sets. Also, metal trays, various Glasses, teapots, an ancient box of iron, and many bronze glasses are on display in the gallery. A wooden cupboard is also present.
This collection features an acoustic drum set, flutes, a wooden guitar, a tambourine, a lute, an ancient piano, and other types of drums. It shows that ancient civilizations were also fond of music.
Cultural Dress Statues
Different statues are displayed wearing traditional, fully embroidered clothes of old times. Traditional footwear (locally called Khussas) is also displayed beautifully, which gives you a real sense of their unique cultural heritage.
The museum is also home to an impressive collection of traditional ancient, beautiful jewelry excavated from the Hund. This excavation depicts the jewelry’s significance in every era’s formal wear.
Lush Green Lawns
A vast lush green lawn surrounds the museum’s exterior with many orange trees. You can stroll around and enjoy your leisure time in the fully carpeted vast greenery. As you walk around the Swabbi Museum, you are in awe of its beauty.
In the central region of the lush green lawn, an ancient old canon, excavated from the remains of ancient civilizations, is displayed in front of the museum. Ancient rulers used this canon in various battles.
Hund River View
The picturesque scenery of the Hund river present adjacent to the Swabi Museum is a spectacle for the eyes. The chilling water of the river is an excellent way of beating the heat of summer. The sunset at the Hund River is a scene worth watching.
Proper Seating Area
A proper Seating Area is for the visitors both in the museum’s exterior and interior. Benches are on the lawn where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful view. It’s the ideal location for unwinding while taking in the sights and sounds of a distant civilization.
A wide-mouth old well of the Hindu Shahi period is on the lawn. Included among the essential structures in the building is an ancient deep well. The well depicts exceptional stone masonry work. The well has dried up now.
Ticket price for the Hund Museum
Being one of the most affordable museums in Pakistan, the ticket price of the Hund Museum is only PKR 10. However, up to PKR 300 can be charged if you want to do photography and videography.
Swabi Museum Timings
The timings of the Swabi Museum are very friendly. It is open for local and international tourists on all days of the week except for Friday. The visiting hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Location of Hund Museum Swabi
It is in a picturesque location on the right bank of the Indus River in the Swabi district near amber in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is easily approachable from the bypass road. It lies about halfway between Attock and Tarbela Dam.
Hund Museum Swabi is a landmark consisting of an extensive collection of artifacts and relics from various civilizations, including Gandhara civilization, Islamic history, and the Hindu shahi dynasty. It provides tourists an insight into the ancient history and values of old cultures. Thousands of tourists visit this museum from all over the world every year. If you are fond of exploring historical landmarks, visiting this museum will not disappoint you!