The Manthal Buddha rock, a sizable granite boulder in the Manthal Village in Skardu
Sculptures of the Buddha from the eighth century, is situated three kilometers from Sadpara Road.
In Gilgit Baltistan, it is a cultural site.The massive Buddha carving on the rock,
which is surrounded by twenty tiny Buddhasattvas (disciples) and two standing Metreyias (future Buddhas), has become a popular tourist destination.
History About Manthal Buddha Buddhism
Before Muslims arrived, the Baltistan region—which is today entirely Muslim—was one of the world centers of Buddhism. According to some historians, the Buddhist population in Afghanistan and the Hindukush region originally came from the Baltistan region.
Being the center of Buddhism, they had the Buddha etched all around Gilgit-Baltistan on sizable rock chunks and mountains.
Where they would find a flat surface. It seems that this was done at the time to preserve and spread Buddhism
However, when Muslim preachers arrived in the area in the 14th century.
They converted the entire area to Islam, wiping out Buddhism’s splendor but leaving the rock sculptures in place.
How did this get so much attention? A fascinating tale!
Gilgit valleys, Baltistan’s ravines, villages, and cities continue to be watched over by the stone carvings that were left behind after Buddhism was eradicated.The world wasn’t aware of this Buddha rock until the early 20th century.
A British traveler who was departing from Tibet in 1904 arrived in Skardu and visited the rock carving that she had written about in her book “A Summer Ride Through Western Tibet”
Even though this article put the rock in the spotlight on a global scale, it wasn’t well known locally until the start of the first decade of the twenty-first century, However, This place is significant for anyone interested in Buddhist history and culture since it gives a glimpse into local Buddhist traditions. The rock’s elevated location provides an amazing perspective of the surrounding area.
How to visit
Therefore, it will take around 51 minutes to get from Skardu city to Manthal Buddha Rock by car. In addition, as you cross Skardu city, you may locate Kharpocho fort, which is also a magnificent location for tourists.