An ancient and rare Lord Budha’s head is now on display at Islamabad museum, where it was kept locked in high protection for decades.
Belonging to the Kushan period, the extraordinary sculpture was discovered from one of the earliest Buddhist Stupa Buddhkara I from the 3rd century BC, a contemporary of the World Heritage Site Dharma Rajika in Taxila. What also makes the Lord Buddha head sculpture unique is its sharp, feminine features, with long hair brushed back and wrapped over and around a halo and slanted, feline eyes. Islamabad Museum Director, Dr Abdul Ghafoor Lone said Lord Buddha is commonly seen wearing his hair in a bun, with straight eyes.
The head of Budha statues was given utmost attention when sculpting and finer materials are used in the head portion than the rest of the body making the heads stand the test of time longer with even the minute details intact. The body of the Budha was destroyed during the plunder and ruckus of white Huns when they raided Buddhist monasteries and stupas.
The Italian archaeologists also excavated a schist stone panel from the Swat Valley. Lone said the grey panel from the 2nd century AD “depicts a temple on fire, while Buddha is seen seated inside and the Kasyapa brothers are trying to put out the flames”.
The art piece symbolizes Buddha’s triumph over the fire snake, he explained.