Mankiala

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Mankiala (also known as Manikyala and Manikiyala) is a village in the Potohar plateau, Punjab near Rawalpindi, Pakistan, which is known for its Buddhist stupa. It is located some 50 km from Islamabad, beyond Rawat Fort. The name Mankiala is said to be derived from Raja Man or Manik.

Mankiala Stupa is a Gandhara era stupa built to memorialize the place where, according to legend, Buddha sacrificed some of his body parts to feed seven hungry tiger cubs. 

 History

It was built in the reign of Kanishka (128-151 AD).  Mountstuart Elphinstone, the first British emissary to Afghanistan chanced upon this stupa in 1808 AD and penned a detailed account in his memoir ‘Kingdom of Caubul’ (1815). According to an inscription on a stone the stupa was restored in 1891 by a regiment of the British. Raja Usman was architect.

“The relic deposit was found [in 1830] in a ‘box of iron’ (not preserved) within a sealed central relic chamber 33 ft below the top of the stupa dome. The ring was inside the gold reliquary 1848,6.2.5, together with a piece of stone (ruby?) 1848.6.2.5b, a gold Kushan coin of Huvishka (AD153-191) (CM 1847.12.1.258) and silver coins of Tigin (c. AD 696) (CM 0526; 1894.5.6.1271), Abdullah b. Hasim (AH 66/AD685) (CM BMC 171), Yasovarman (AD 680-95) (CM 1847.12.1.450/OR5202) and Rana Vigraha (c. 7th-8th century).” 

The mouth of the stupa has a gaping hole as a result of excavations by relic hunters in the past. It now has a barrier around it for safety reasons.

From Islamabad/Rawalpindi, drive south towards Lahore on the Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road. On reaching Rawat, take a left and drive for about 10 km to reach it