TAXILA, Oct 01 (APP): The Gandhara Resource Center Pakistan (GRCP) on Sunday proudly hosted the Taxila Chaupal, a community congregation, at the Taxila Railway Station and demanded the government to declare it a unique heritage site of the country.
The event, aimed at fostering community engagement and celebrating Taxila’s illustrious heritage, brought together esteemed speakers, community members, and guests who shared a deep appreciation for the region’s history.
GRCP, a dedicated community-based initiative in Taxila, has been tirelessly working to revive and preserve the local heritage, especially its rich Buddhist legacy.
The Taxila Chaupal serves as a valuable platform to mobilize local communities, encouraging them to take ownership of their heritage and actively participate in its preservation.
During the event, the historical significance of Taxila Railway Station was highlighted, shedding light on its pivotal role in trade, commerce, and industry within the region.
The former Station Master, Ghazanfar Ali, shared valuable insights into the station’s history, emphasizing its transformation and contributions to the local economy.
According to Ali, situated strategically between Peshawar and Rawalpindi, Taxila Railway Station traces its origins to 1883 when it was established as Siaray Kala Railway Station by the North Western Railways (NWR).
This railway junction quickly became a vital transportation hub, facilitating the movement of goods and people across the Indian subcontinent. Over the years, it played a crucial role in supporting economic growth and development in the region.
In 1924, the station was renamed the Taxila Railways Junction, marking its growing importance in the local area. It continued to play a central role in the local economy, serving as a key transportation hub for both civilian and military purposes.
He explained that in 1973, the station underwent another renaming, becoming the Taxila Cantonment Junction, reflecting its close ties to the military establishment. Today, it remains a critical transportation hub, connecting Taxila with other cities and regions in Pakistan and beyond.
Guest speakers at the Taxila Chaupal included Executive Director of Green and Clean Taxila, Shahid Naseer who urged the GRCP Core Committee to collaborate on initiatives promoting a clean and green Taxila while preserving its heritage. Ex-DIG Police Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Abdul Waheed Khan also shared his thoughts on the occasion.
The event was graced by Tahir Salman and Asif Fareed from “Taxila Baithak,” who emphasized the importance of future collaborations. Guests and participants alike expressed their appreciation for GRCP’s efforts in promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of the Gandhara Civilization.
The event recognized the dedicated team behind Taxila Chaupal, including Dr. Nadeem Omer Tarar, Sara Mehmood, Riaz Ahmed, Iftikhar Ud din Siddique, Malick Ushtar, Iftikhar Ahmed, Raja Muhammad Noor Nizami, Talib Ansari, Sohail Ahmed, Sania Kazmi, Waqas Ahmed, and others.
One of the highlights of the event was the presence of a special guest of honor, Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan who shared his journey from serving as an Assistant Station Master to becoming the Station Master of Railway Station Taxila.
He recounted his dedicated efforts in beautifying and renovating the station, making it a center of beauty visited by both foreign and local guests. He also expressed concerns about the station’s decline over the years due to various factors.
The Taxila Railway Station, with its scenic platform adorned with old shady trees and benches, continues to evoke nostalgia and serve as a symbol of the region’s history and heritage.
Gandhara Resource Center Pakistan remains committed to preserving Taxila’s rich heritage and fostering community involvement in heritage conservation. With events like Taxila Chaupal, GRCP aims to keep the legacy of Taxila alive for generations to come.