Conference Format

Following a successful event in 2022, the 2024 conference will feature in-person panel discussions, workshop sessions and art and craft festival spread over three days setting off from March 2-3, 2024. The conference activities will be followed by 1-3 days of guided tours to key ancient Buddhist sites in the Gandhara region of Pakistan.

Research Sessions

The research sessions will follow a format of panel discussions providing an opportunity to multiple presenters to speak on a common theme of the conference. There can be multiple concurrent sessions depending on the number of presenters on one theme. Research presenters will be encouraged to rely less on paper reading and lecturing and use more engaging techniques to present their research. Presentations by the panelists will be followed by questions and answers.

Art and Craft Festival

Together with high quality research, the conference will host an art and craft festival featuring photography, painting, sculpture and other forms of visual arts to showcase the beauty, vibrancy and spirituality of the Gandharan Buddhist art. Artworks will be on display at the conference venue throughout the event. Attendees can walk around and interact with the artists.

Workshop Sessions

An important feature of this year’s conference is 3-day workshops on topics critical to documentation and preservation of the Buddhist heritage of Pakistan. Climate change threats together with increasing human activity are making it more challenging to protect heritage sites in our times. These workshops for interested young men and women will focus on the use of modern technologies in risk assessment and preservation of cultural heritage.

Guided Tours

After three days of the conference and festival, conference attendees will be offered flexible 1 to 3-day itineraries to visit key Buddhist heritage sites and museums in Gandhara such as Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Taxila, Peshawar, Mardan, Haripur and Swat.