PESHAWAR: Peshawar Museum, the only museum of Gandhara art in the world with around 30,000 rare antiquities has attracted domestic and foreign tourists besides archaeologists in droves. The tourists took a keen interest in its Mughal-era architecture, artifacts, ancient weapons of the British army, and swords of freedom fighters. Following completion of conservation and renovation work by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Peshawar Museums with a collection of about 30,000 rare antiquities and Gandhara artifacts is a center of attraction for foreign and domestic tourists, followers of Buddhism, monks, diplomats, the general public, archaeologists and architectural lovers these days as it was also opened for tourists at night. Impressed by its architectural designs and Gandhara artifacts, a group of foreign tourists and diplomats has recently visited Peshawar Museum where they were briefed by Director Archaeology and Museums, Dr. Abdul Samad Khan, and other senior officers of the department about the completed conservation project, its history and Gandhara treasures housed in the facility. Dr. Abdul Samd said the entire building of colonial-era including its exterior and interior structure and designs have completely been rehabilitated and conserved by renowned experts without compromising on its original ancient architecture and designs. The two-story building, an amalgamation of British and Mughal architectures, originally consisted of the main hall and two side aisles on the ground and first floor, surmounted by four elegant cupolas and a small pinnacle on all corners, has been rehabilitated and conserved leaving unerasable imprints on visitors’ minds. “It is the only museum in the world where the complete life story of the Founder of Buddhism, Lord Buddha was preserved in the form of panels and statues,” Dr. Abdul Samad said. The completed renovation and conservation work includes an ancient main hall constructed in 1906 in memory of Queen Victoria where the complete life story of Lord Buddha, Buddha Gallery with statues of Lord Buddha, and Buddha Savatta Gallery having princely life of Lord Buddha were attracting tourists from across the world. The renovation work was necessitated after its exterior and interior structure was badly damaged by earthquakes, torrential rains, and harsh weather. Peshawar Museum was constructed some 150 years back on Sher Suri Road opposite Governor House where over 30,000 rare antiques, artifacts, coins, swords, guns, and other antiquities including 16,000 were properly showcased and around 14,000 artifacts were lying in cupboards. Besides its colonial-era dorms and ceilings, all the outdated plastic pipes, as well as electrical wires, were replaced with imported electrification and other relevant materials to prevent water seepage and ensure uninterrupted power supply in a unique style of colorful lighting looks awesome at night. Foreign tourists and diplomats have been highly impressed by the galleries of ancient dresses of Waziristan tribes, primitive cooking plates, and jewelry besides muzzleloader guns mostly used by the British Army and Swords of freedom fighters and punch-marked coins. The visitors appreciated the efforts of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums KP for the renovation and conservation of the historic building of Peshawar Museum and the preservation of Gandhara artifacts. The delegation also visited Takht Bhai, a UNESCO world heritage site in Mardan, and Kalash Museum in Lower Chitral and was fascinated by the great conservation efforts of the Directorate. The visitors were told that KP was renowned for its natural beauty, historical sites, and Gandhara civilization besides ancient Kaslash culture attracting tourists throughout the year.