Taxila

Taxila

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Taxila is a Tehsil
Tehsil
A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

 in the Rawalpindi District
Rawalpindi District
Rawalpindi is a district of Pakistan in the north of the Punjab province which contains the city of Rawalpindi. The district has an area of . It was part of Rawalpindi Division, until the year 2000 when the division was abolished...

 of Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 province of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. It is an important archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 site.

Taxila is situated about 32 km (19.9 mi) northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory
Islamabad Capital Territory
The Islamabad Capital Territory is one of the two federal territories of Pakistan. It includes Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, and covers an area of 1,165.5 km² of which 906 km² is Islamabad proper...

 and Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

 in Panjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

; just off the Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
The Grand Trunk Road also formerly known as Uttarapatha, Shah Rah-e-Azam or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads...

. Taxila lies 549 metres (1,801.2 ft) above sea level.

The city dates back to the Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

 period and contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā which was an important Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 centre. Takṣaśilā is reputed to derive its name from Takṣa, who was the great grandson of Bharata
Bharata (Ramayana)
In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Bharata was the second brother of the main protagonist Rama, and the son of Dasaratha and Kaikeyi. Dasaratha was the Emperor of Ayodhya and belonged to the Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty...

, the brother of Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

.

Historically, Takṣaśilā lay at the crossroads of three major trade routes:
  1. The uttarāpatha
    Uttarapatha
    Ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts use Uttarapatha as the name of the northern part of Jambudvipa, one of the "continents" in Hindu mythology.The name is derived from the Sanskrit terms uttara, for north, and patha, for road...

    , the northern road—the later Grand Trunk or GT Road — the royal road which connected Gandhara in the west to the kingdom of Magadha
    Magadha
    Magadha formed one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas or kingdoms in ancient India. The core of the kingdom was the area of Bihar south of the Ganga; its first capital was Rajagriha then Pataliputra...

     and its capital
    {{for|genus of butterflies|Taxila (butterfly)}}
    Taxila ({{lang-ur|{{Nastaliq|ٹیکسلا}}}}) is a Tehsil
    Tehsil
    A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

     in the Rawalpindi District
    Rawalpindi District
    Rawalpindi is a district of Pakistan in the north of the Punjab province which contains the city of Rawalpindi. The district has an area of . It was part of Rawalpindi Division, until the year 2000 when the division was abolished...

     of Punjab
    Punjab (Pakistan)
    Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

     province of Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    . It is an important archaeological
    Archaeology
    Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

     site.

    Taxila is situated about 32 km (19.9 mi) northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory
    Islamabad Capital Territory
    The Islamabad Capital Territory is one of the two federal territories of Pakistan. It includes Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, and covers an area of 1,165.5 km² of which 906 km² is Islamabad proper...

     and Rawalpindi
    Rawalpindi
    Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

     in Panjab
    Punjab (Pakistan)
    Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

    ; just off the Grand Trunk Road
    Grand Trunk Road
    The Grand Trunk Road also formerly known as Uttarapatha, Shah Rah-e-Azam or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads...

    . Taxila lies 549 metres (1,801.2 ft) above sea level.

    The city dates back to the Gandhara
    Gandhara
    Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

     period and contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā which was an important Hindu
    Hinduism
    Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

     and Buddhist
    Buddhism
    Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

     centre. Takṣaśilā is reputed to derive its name from Takṣa, who was the great grandson of Bharata
    Bharata (Ramayana)
    In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Bharata was the second brother of the main protagonist Rama, and the son of Dasaratha and Kaikeyi. Dasaratha was the Emperor of Ayodhya and belonged to the Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty...

    , the brother of Rama
    Rama
    Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

    .

    Historically, Takṣaśilā lay at the crossroads of three major trade routes:
    1. The uttarāpatha
      Uttarapatha
      Ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts use Uttarapatha as the name of the northern part of Jambudvipa, one of the "continents" in Hindu mythology.The name is derived from the Sanskrit terms uttara, for north, and patha, for road...

      , the northern road—the later Grand Trunk or GT Road — the royal road which connected Gandhara in the west to the kingdom of Magadha
      Magadha
      Magadha formed one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas or kingdoms in ancient India. The core of the kingdom was the area of Bihar south of the Ganga; its first capital was Rajagriha then Pataliputra...

       and its capital
      {{for|genus of butterflies|Taxila (butterfly)}}
      Taxila ({{lang-ur|{{Nastaliq|ٹیکسلا}}}}) is a Tehsil
      Tehsil
      A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

       in the Rawalpindi District
      Rawalpindi District
      Rawalpindi is a district of Pakistan in the north of the Punjab province which contains the city of Rawalpindi. The district has an area of . It was part of Rawalpindi Division, until the year 2000 when the division was abolished...

       of Punjab
      Punjab (Pakistan)
      Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

       province of Pakistan
      Pakistan
      Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

      . It is an important archaeological
      Archaeology
      Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

       site.

      Taxila is situated about 32 km (19.9 mi) northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory
      Islamabad Capital Territory
      The Islamabad Capital Territory is one of the two federal territories of Pakistan. It includes Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, and covers an area of 1,165.5 km² of which 906 km² is Islamabad proper...

       and Rawalpindi
      Rawalpindi
      Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

       in Panjab
      Punjab (Pakistan)
      Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

      ; just off the Grand Trunk Road
      Grand Trunk Road
      The Grand Trunk Road also formerly known as Uttarapatha, Shah Rah-e-Azam or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads...

      . Taxila lies 549 metres (1,801.2 ft) above sea level.

      The city dates back to the Gandhara
      Gandhara
      Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

       period and contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā which was an important Hindu
      Hinduism
      Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

       and Buddhist
      Buddhism
      Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

       centre. Takṣaśilā is reputed to derive its name from Takṣa, who was the great grandson of Bharata
      Bharata (Ramayana)
      In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Bharata was the second brother of the main protagonist Rama, and the son of Dasaratha and Kaikeyi. Dasaratha was the Emperor of Ayodhya and belonged to the Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty...

      , the brother of Rama
      Rama
      Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

      .

      Historically, Takṣaśilā lay at the crossroads of three major trade routes:
      1. The uttarāpatha
        Uttarapatha
        Ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts use Uttarapatha as the name of the northern part of Jambudvipa, one of the "continents" in Hindu mythology.The name is derived from the Sanskrit terms uttara, for north, and patha, for road...

        , the northern road—the later Grand Trunk or GT Road — the royal road which connected Gandhara in the west to the kingdom of Magadha
        Magadha
        Magadha formed one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas or kingdoms in ancient India. The core of the kingdom was the area of Bihar south of the Ganga; its first capital was Rajagriha then Pataliputra...

         and its capital {{Unicode in the Ganges valley in the east.
      2. The northwestern route through Bactria
        Bactria
        Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

        , Kāpiśa, and {{Unicode.
      3. The Sindu (English: Indus river
        Indus River
        The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

        ) route from Kashmir
        Kashmir
        Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

         and Central Asia, via Śri nagara
        Srinagar
        Srinagar is the summer seasonal capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. It is one of the largest cities in India not to have a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats...

        , Mansehra
        Mansehra
        Mansehra city is located at in Mansehra District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is very near to Abbottabad city. It is a major stop for tourists on the Karakoram Highway which leads to China...

        , and the Haripur valley across the Khunjerab
        Khunjerab
        Khunjerab may refer to:*Khunjerab Pass, the highest paved road crossing of an international border in the world, between China and Pakistan* Khunjerab Valley* Khunjerab River*Khunjerab National Park, a National Park in Pakistan...

         pass to the Silk Road
        Silk Road
        The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

         in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south. The Khunjerab passes between Kashmir and Xinjiang
        Xinjiang
        Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

        —the current Karakoram highway
        Karakoram Highway
        The Karakoram Highway is the highest paved international road in the world, but at its peak at the China-Pakistan border it is only paved on the Chinese side. It connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass, at an altitude of as confirmed by both...

        —and was traversed in antiquity.


      In 1980, Taxila was declared a UNESCO
      UNESCO
      The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

       World Heritage Site
      World Heritage Site
      A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

       with multiple locations. Recently it has been ranked as the top tourist destination in Pakistan by The Guardian
      The Guardian
      The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

      , which described it thus: {{cquote|This is the region from where Buddhism travelled to the far east - and Persians, Greeks and Hindus all subsequently left their mark. You can watch the sun set from the remains of a Buddhist monastery or wander through the streets of an excavated Persian city in the knowledge that there are two older ones buried below.}}

      Ruins



      The ruins of Taxila contain buildings and buddhist stupa
      Stupa
      A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of Buddha, used by Buddhists as a place of worship....

      s located over a large area. The main ruins of Taxila are divided into three major cities, each belonging to a distinct time period.

      The oldest of these is the Hathial area, which yielded surface shards similar to burnished red wares (or 'soapy red wares') recovered from early phases at Charsadda, and may date between the 6th century BCE and the late 2nd millennium BCE. Bhir Mound
      Bhir Mound
      The Bhir Mound is the oldest of the ruins of Taxila in the Punjab province of Pakistan.-Excavation:The ruins of Bhir Mound were excavated from 1913-1925 by Sir John Marshall. The work was continued by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1944-1945 and by Dr. Mohammad Sharif in 1966-1967. Further excavations...

       dates from the 6th century BCE. The second city of Taxila is located at Sirkap
      Sirkap
      Sirkap is the name of an archaeological site on the bank opposite to the city of Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan.The city of Sirkap was built by the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius after he invaded ancient India around 180 BC. Demetrius founded in the northern and northwestern Indian subcontinent an...

       and was built by Greco-Bactrian kings in the 2nd century BCE. The third and last city of Taxila is at Sirsukh
      Sirsukh
      Sirsukh is the name of an archaeological site near the city of Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan.-The City:The city of Sirsukh was founded by the Kushan king Kanishka after 80 CE, and is the last of the great ancient cities of Taxila. The invaders decided to abandon the older city of Sirkap and build a...

       and relates to the Kushan kings.

      In addition to the ruins of the city, a number of buddhist monasteries and stupas also belong to the Taxila area. Some of the important ruins of this category include the ruins of the stupa at Dharmarajika
      Dharmarajika
      The Dharmarajika is a large Buddhist stupa in the area of Taxila, Pakistan. It is thought that it was established by the Maurya emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE around relics of the Buddha.The stupa is also popularly called as 'Chir Tope.'The site of divided into two parts: the stupa area in...

      , the monastery at Jaulian
      Jaulian
      Jaulian are the ruins of an ancient buddhistic monastery near Taxila, Punjab , Pakistan.-The Ruins:The ruins at Jaulian date from the fifth century CE and consist of two main parts. These are 1) the main stupa and 2) the monastery and university of Jaulian. The ruins are situated on a mountain top...

      , the monastery at Mohra Muradu
      Mohra Muradu
      Mohra Muradu is the place of an ancient buddhistic stupa and monastery near the ruins of Taxila, in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The ancient monastery is located in a valley and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains...

       in addition to a number of stupas.

      History of Taxila


      {{See also|Taxila (satrapy)}}
      Legend has it that Takṣa, an ancient king who ruled a kingdom called Takṣa Khanda, the modern Tashkent
      Tashkent
      Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

      , founded the city of Takṣaśilā.{{Citation needed|date=June 2007}} However, Sanskrit
      Sanskrit
      Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

       Takṣaśilā, appears to contain the suffix śilā, "stone" with the prefix Takṣa, alluding to Takṣa, the son of Bharata
      Bharata (Ramayana)
      In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Bharata was the second brother of the main protagonist Rama, and the son of Dasaratha and Kaikeyi. Dasaratha was the Emperor of Ayodhya and belonged to the Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty...

       and Mandavi
      Mandavi
      In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Mandavi was the daughter of Kushadhwaja, a brother of King Janaka of Mithila and hence a cousin of Sita. She was the wife of Bharata, the younger brother of Lord Rama. They had two sons, Taksha and Pushkara. The Pushkara mentioned here is not related to Nala in Nala...

      , as related in the Ramayana
      Ramayana
      The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

      .

      In the Mahābhārata
      Mahabharata
      The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

      , the Kuru heir {{Unicode was enthroned at Takṣaśilā.

      According to tradition, the Mahabharata was first recited at Takṣaśilā by Vaishampayana, a disciple of Vyasa
      Vyasa
      Vyasa is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is also sometimes called Veda Vyasa , or Krishna Dvaipayana...

       at the behest of the seer Vyasa himself, at the sarpa satra yajna, "Snake Sacrifice ceremony" of {{Unicode's son Jasnamejaya.{{Citation needed|date=March 2009}}

      According to one theory propounded by Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi, Takṣaśilā is related to Takṣaka, "carpenter" and is an alternative name for the Nāga
      Naga (clan)
      The Naga were one of the ancient most kshatriya tribes of India who ruled large parts of the world at different times. They spread throughout India during the period of the epic Mahabharata. Anthropologist Gelek Lonbsang believes they have distant ancestry with East Asians based on their similar...

      s of ancient India.
      • c. 518 BCE – Darius the Great annexes Takṣaśilā to the Persian Achaemenid Empire
        Achaemenid Empire
        The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

        .
      • 326 BCE – Alexander the Great receives submission of King Āmbhi of Takṣaśilā, named Taxiles by Greek sources after his capital.

      • 321–317 BCE Chandragupta Maurya
        Chandragupta Maurya
        Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

        , founder of the Mauryan empire in eastern India, makes himself master of northern and northwestern India, including Panjab
        Punjab region
        The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

        . Chandragupta Maurya's advisor Kautilya (also known as Chanakya) was a teacher at Takṣaśilā.
      • During the reign of Chandragupta's grandson Aśoka, Takṣaśilā became a great Buddhist centre of learning. Nonetheless, Takṣaśilā was briefly the centre of a minor local rebellion, subdued only a few years after its onset.

      • 185 BCE – The last Maurya emperor, {{Unicode, is assassinated by his general, {{Unicode
        Pusyamitra Sunga
        Pusyamitra Sunga was the founder and first King of the Sunga Dynasty in Northern India.Pusyamitra Sunga was originally a Senapati of the Mauryan empire. In 185 BCE he assassinated the last Mauryan Emperor during an army review, and proclaimed himself King...

        , during a parade of his troops.

      • Early 100s BCE - Indo-Greeks build new capital, Sirkap
        Sirkap
        Sirkap is the name of an archaeological site on the bank opposite to the city of Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan.The city of Sirkap was built by the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius after he invaded ancient India around 180 BC. Demetrius founded in the northern and northwestern Indian subcontinent an...

        , on the opposite bank of the river from Takṣaśilā. During this new period of Bactrian Greek rule, several dynasties (like Antialcidas
        Antialcidas
        Antialcidas Nikephoros "the Victorious" was a Western Indo-Greek king of the Eucratid Dynasty, who reigned from his capital at Taxila. Bopearachchi has suggested that he ruled from ca 115 to 95 BCE in the western parts of the Indo-Greek realms, whereas RC Senior places him around 130 to 120 BCE and...

        ) likely ruled from the city as their capital. During lulls in Greek rule, the city managed profitably on its own, to independently control several local trade guilds, who also minted most of the city's autonomous coinage.

      • c. 90 BCE – The Indo-Scythian chief Maues
        Maues
        Maues was an Indo-Scythian king who invaded the Indo-Greek territories.-Conqueror of Gandhara:...

         overthrows the last Greek king of Takṣaśilā.

      • c. 20 BCE – Gondophares
        Gondophares
        Gondophares I a Seistani representative of the house of Suren as well as founder and first king of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom. He seems to have ruled c...

        , founder of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom
        Indo-Parthian Kingdom
        The Gondopharid dynasty, and other so-called Indo-Parthian rulers, were a group of ancient kings from present day eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan who ruled India, during or slightly before the 1st century AD...

        , conquers Takṣaśilā and makes it his capital.

      • c. 46 AD – Thomas the Apostle
        Thomas the Apostle
        Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is best known for questioning Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus in . He was perhaps the only Apostle who went outside the Roman...

         visits King Gondophares IV.

      • 76 – The date of and inscription found at Taxila of "Great King, King of Kings, Son of God, the Kushana" (maharaja rajatiraja devaputra Kushana).

      • c. 460–470 CE – The Hephthalite
        Hephthalite
        The Hephthalites or Hephthalite is a pre-Islamic Greek term for local Abdali Afghans, who's famous ruler was Nazak Abdali . Hephthalites were a Central Asian nomadic confederation of the AD 5th-6th centuries whose precise origins and composition remain obscure...

        s sweep over Gandhāra and Panjab; and cause wholesale destruction of the Buddhist monasteries and stupa
        Stupa
        A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of Buddha, used by Buddhists as a place of worship....

        s at Takṣaśilā, which never again recovers.


      Before the fall of these invaders, Takṣaśilā had been variously a capital for many dynasties, and a centre of Vedic and Buddhist learning, with a population of Buddhists, Hindus, and possibly Greeks that may have endured for centuries.

      The British archaeologist Sir John Marshall
      John Marshall (archaeologist)
      Sir John Hubert Marshall was the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1902 to 1928...

       conducted excavations over a period of twenty years in Taxila.

      Historical mentions


      The city of Taxila is mentioned by the Chinese monk Faxian
      Faxian
      Faxian was a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India, Sri Lanka and Kapilavastu in today's Nepal between 399 and 412 to acquire Buddhist scriptures...

       (also called Fa-Hien), who visited ancient sites of Buddhism in India. He came to Taxila in 405 CE. In his book A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, Being an Account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline, he mentions the kingdom of Takshasila (or Chu-cha-shi-lo) meaning "the severed Head" (Chapter 11). He says that this name was derived from an event in the life of Buddha because this is the place "where he gave his head to a man".

      Xuanzang
      Xuanzang
      Xuanzang was a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator who described the interaction between China and India in the early Tang period...

       (also called Hieun Tsang), another Chinese monk, visited Taxila in 630 and in 643. He mentions the city as Ta-Cha-Shi-Lo. The city appears to have already been in ruins by his time.

      Taxila is called Taxiala in Ptolemy
      Ptolemy
      Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

      ’s Geography.

      In the Historia Trium Regum (History of the Three Kings) composed by John of Hildesheim around 1375, the city is called Egrisilla.

      Ancient centre of learning


      According to scattered references which were only fixed a millennium later, it may have dated back to at least the 5th century BCE.
      There is some disagreement about whether Takshashila can be considered a university
      University
      A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

      . By some accounts, Taxilla was considered to be amongst the earliest universities in the world. While some consider Taxila to be an early university or centre of higher education
      Higher education
      Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

      ,
      others do not consider it a university in the modern sense,
      in contrast to the later Nalanda
      Nalanda
      Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the...

       University.
      Takshashila is described in some detail in later Jātaka tales, written in Sri Lanka
      Sri Lanka
      Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

       around the 5th century CE.

      Takshashila is considered a place of religious and historical sanctity by Hindus and Buddhists. The former do so not only because, in its time, Takshashila was the seat of Vedic learning, but also because the strategist, Chanakya
      Chanakya
      Chānakya was a teacher to the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta , and the first Indian emperor generally considered to be the architect of his rise to power. Traditionally, Chanakya is also identified by the names Kautilya and VishnuGupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise...

      , who later helped consolidate the empire of Emperor
      Emperor
      An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

       Chandragupta Maurya
      Chandragupta Maurya
      Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

      , was a senior teacher there. The institution is very significant in Buddhist tradition since it is believed{{Citation needed|date=February 2007}} that the Mahāyāna
      Mahayana
      Mahāyāna is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice...

       sect of Buddhism
      Buddhism
      Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

       took shape there.

      Some scholars date Takshashila's existence back to the 6th century BCE. It became a noted centre of learning at least several centuries BCE, and continued to attract students from around the old world until the destruction of the city in the 5th century CE. Takshashila is perhaps best known because of its association with Chanakya. The famous treatise Arthashastra
      Arthashastra
      The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and , who are traditionally identified with The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and...

       (Sanskrit
      Sanskrit
      Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

       for The knowledge of Economics) by Chanakya, is said to have been composed in Takshashila itself. Chanakya (or Kautilya), the Maurya
      Maurya Empire
      The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC...

       Emperor Chandragupta
      Chandragupta Maurya
      Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

       and the Ayurvedic healer Charaka
      Charaka
      Charaka, sometimes spelled Caraka, born c. 300 BC was one of the principal contributors to the ancient art and science of Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in Ancient India...

       studied at Taxila.

      Generally, a student entered Takshashila at the age of sixteen. The Vedas
      Vedas
      The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

       and the Eighteen Arts, which included skills such as archery, hunting, and elephant lore, were taught, in addition to its law school, medical school, and school of military science
      Military science
      Military science is the process of translating national defence policy to produce military capability by employing military scientists, including theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and military personnel responsible for...

      .

      Taxila today


      {{expand-section|date=November 2011}}


    2. Present day Taxila is one of the seven Tehsil
      Tehsil
      A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

      s (sub-district) of Rawalpindi District
      Rawalpindi District
      Rawalpindi is a district of Pakistan in the north of the Punjab province which contains the city of Rawalpindi. The district has an area of . It was part of Rawalpindi Division, until the year 2000 when the division was abolished...

      . It is spread over an undulating land in the periphery of the Pothohar Plateau
      Pothohar Plateau
      The Pothohar Plateau is a plateau in north-eastern Pakistan and the western parts of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The area was the home of the Soanian Culture, which is evidenced by the discovery of fossils, tools, coins, and remains of ancient archaeological sites...

       of the Punjab
      Punjab (Pakistan)
      Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

      . Situated just outside the capital Islamabad
      Islamabad
      Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

      's territory and communicating with it through Tarnol pass of Margalla Hills
      Margalla Hills
      The Margalla Hills—the foothills of the Himalayas—are a series of small-elevation hills located north of Islamabad, Pakistan. Margalla Range has an area of 12,605 hectares. The hill range nestles between an elevation of 685 meters at the western end and 1,604 meters on its east.- Etymology :Two...

      .

      Taxila is a mix of wealthy urban and rustic rural environs. Urban residential areas are in the form of small neat and clean colonies populated by the workers of heavy industries, educational institutes and hospital
      Hospital
      A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

      s that are located in the area.

      Nicholson's obelisk
      Nicholson's obelisk
      Nicholson's obelisk is a monument in Pakistan, erected in 1868 in honour of one of the British Empire's greatest military heroes—Brigadier-General John Nicholson....

      , a monument of British colonial era situated at the Grand Trunk road
      Grand Trunk Road
      The Grand Trunk Road also formerly known as Uttarapatha, Shah Rah-e-Azam or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads...

       welcomes the travellers coming from Rawalpindi
      Rawalpindi
      Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

      /Islamabad
      Islamabad
      Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

       into Taxila. The monument was built by the British to pay tribute to Brigadier John Nicholson
      John Nicholson
      -In politics:*John Nicholson , United States Representative from New York*John A. Nicholson , United States Representative from Delaware*John Robert Nicholson , Canadian former Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia...

       (1822–1857) an officer of the British Army who died in India during the Indian Rebellion of 1857
      Indian Rebellion of 1857
      The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to...

      , also known as the First War of Independence
      India's First War of Independence (term)
      The First War of Indian Independence is a term that is sometimes used, predominantly in India, to describe the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which has been described variously outside of India as "uprising", "revolt" and "mutiny".- History :...

      .

      The industries include heavy machine factories and industrial complex, ordnance factories of Wah Cantt
      Wah Cantt
      Wah Cantonment is a military city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan, to the north west of Rawalpindi/Islamabad.-History:...

       and cement factory. Heavy Industries Taxila
      Heavy Industries Taxila
      Heavy Industries Taxila is the backbone of Pakistan's engineering industry for the Pakistan Armed Forces, being a combination of multiple industries that has grown into a large military complex since 1980. It consists of six major production units and their support facilities, staffed by over 6500...

       is also based here. Small, cottage and household industries include stoneware
      Stoneware
      Stoneware is a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic ware with a fine texture. Stoneware is made from clay that is then fired in a kiln, whether by an artisan to make homeware, or in an industrial kiln for mass-produced or specialty products...

      , pottery
      Pottery
      Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

       and footwear
      Footwear
      Footwear consists of garments worn on the feet, for fashion, protection against the environment, and adornment. Being barefoot is commonly associated with poverty, but some cultures chose not to wear footwear at least in some situations....

      . People try to relate the present day stoneware craft to the tradition of sculpture making that existed here before the advent of Islam
      Islam
      Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

      .

      In addition to the ruins of Gandhara
      Gandhara
      Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

       civilisation and ancient Buddhist/Hindu culture, relics of Mughal gardens and vestiges of historical Grand Trunk Road
      Grand Trunk Road
      The Grand Trunk Road also formerly known as Uttarapatha, Shah Rah-e-Azam or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads...

      , which was built by Emperor Sher Shah Suri
      Sher Shah Suri
      Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

       in 15th–16th centuries, are also found in Taxila region.

      Taxila Museum
      Taxila Museum
      Taxila Museum is located at Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan.-Location:Taxila Museum is located 35 km from Islamabad on the Grand Trunk Road to Peshawar. It is famous for remains of Gandhara art...

      , dedicated mainly to the remains of Gandhara
      Gandhara
      Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

       civilization, is also worth visiting. A hotel of the tourism department offers reasonably good services and hospitality to the tourists.

      Taxila has many educational institutes including University of Engineering and Technology
      University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila
      The University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, or UET Taxila is located at Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan. It was established in 1975 as a campus of University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore and chartered as an independent university in 1993, offering Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees...

       (UET).

      Threats


      {{expand-section|date=November 2011}}
      In a 2010 report titled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage
      Saving Our Vanishing Heritage
      Saving Our Vanishing Heritage: Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites in the Developing World was a report released by Global Heritage Fund on October 17, 2010...

      , Global Heritage Fund
      Global Heritage Fund
      Global Heritage Fund is a non-profit organization that operates internationally. Its mission statement says that it exists to protect and preserve significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world, through scientific excellence and community development...

       identified Taxila as one of 12 worldwide sites most "On the Verge" of irreparable loss and damage, citing insufficient management, development pressure, looting, and war and conflict as primary threats.

      See also

      • Bhir Mound
        Bhir Mound
        The Bhir Mound is the oldest of the ruins of Taxila in the Punjab province of Pakistan.-Excavation:The ruins of Bhir Mound were excavated from 1913-1925 by Sir John Marshall. The work was continued by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1944-1945 and by Dr. Mohammad Sharif in 1966-1967. Further excavations...

      • Dharmarajika
        Dharmarajika
        The Dharmarajika is a large Buddhist stupa in the area of Taxila, Pakistan. It is thought that it was established by the Maurya emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE around relics of the Buddha.The stupa is also popularly called as 'Chir Tope.'The site of divided into two parts: the stupa area in...

      • Jaulian
        Jaulian
        Jaulian are the ruins of an ancient buddhistic monastery near Taxila, Punjab , Pakistan.-The Ruins:The ruins at Jaulian date from the fifth century CE and consist of two main parts. These are 1) the main stupa and 2) the monastery and university of Jaulian. The ruins are situated on a mountain top...

      • Mohra Muradu
        Mohra Muradu
        Mohra Muradu is the place of an ancient buddhistic stupa and monastery near the ruins of Taxila, in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The ancient monastery is located in a valley and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains...

      • Nalanda
        Nalanda
        Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the...

      • Sirkap
        Sirkap
        Sirkap is the name of an archaeological site on the bank opposite to the city of Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan.The city of Sirkap was built by the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius after he invaded ancient India around 180 BC. Demetrius founded in the northern and northwestern Indian subcontinent an...

      • Sirsukh
        Sirsukh
        Sirsukh is the name of an archaeological site near the city of Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan.-The City:The city of Sirsukh was founded by the Kushan king Kanishka after 80 CE, and is the last of the great ancient cities of Taxila. The invaders decided to abandon the older city of Sirkap and build a...

      • Taxila under the Achaemenids
      • Ancient Universities of Pakistan
      • Ancient Universities of India
      • Taxila Tehsil
        Taxila Tehsil
        Taxila Tehsil, head-quartered at Taxila, is one of the seven Tehsils of Rawalpindi District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. According to the 1998 census has a population of 151,000.-Administration:...

      • Heavy Industries Taxila
        Heavy Industries Taxila
        Heavy Industries Taxila is the backbone of Pakistan's engineering industry for the Pakistan Armed Forces, being a combination of multiple industries that has grown into a large military complex since 1980. It consists of six major production units and their support facilities, staffed by over 6500...


      External links


      {{Commons category|Taxila}}
      {{Ancient Dharmic centres of Higher Learning}}
      {{World Heritage Sites in Pakistan}}
      {{PakistanCities}}
      {{Pakistan topics}}
      {{Use dmy dates|date=September 2010}}