Travel to Taxila: Pakistan contains a fair share of ancient history, one of the prominent treasure is Taxila. Taxila is a very important archaeological site, located in the Rawalpindi district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. It has a vast serial site that includes a Mesolithic cave and remains of four early civilization sites.
Taxila is a city of the Gandharan civilization, known as a capital and hub of Buddhism. It was a main point of learning an urban metropolis and a meeting point of several cultures, like Achaemenids, Greeks, Mauryans, Scythians, Parthians, Kushans, Huns and eventually the Muslims.
In the mid-19th century, Sir Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the devastations of Taxila. In 1980, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2006, Taxila was ranked as the top tourist place in Pakistan by The Guardian newspaper.
The University of Taxila was considered to be one of the oldest universities by some people. Taxila illustrates the different stages in the development of a city controlled by Greece, Persia, and Central Asia.
The city was destroyed by the Kushans, a Central Asian Tribe, in the 1st century. The Taxila serial site includes a number of Buddhist monasteries, stupas of different periods and Khanpur cave also. Buddhist monuments was built throughout the Taxila valley, and revolutionized it into a religious midland and destination for pilgrims from Central Asia and China.
There are 5 small stupas in Taxila. The first one is the Dharma ajika stupa. Jaulian is another glorious compound of chapels, stupas, and a monastery with assembly hall, refectory, kitchen and bathrooms andstore rooms which are still very well preserved. Two miles west of Jaulian is another well-kept monastery at Mohra Moradu. At Jandial, a mile and a half from Sirsukh is an image-less temple in the classic Greek style, with sandstone architecture. The Giri complex includes the remains of Muslims mosque, Ziarat and Madrassa of the medieval period.
Taxila was ruled by Alexander the Great in 327 BC after which it was taken over by the Mauryans. Towards the end, it came under the eminent ruler Asoka’s rule during which time it reached on top of its development and culture. The last remarkable historical period for Taxila was the Gandhara period. During that time Taxila became world known centre for art and philosophy. Because of being a centre for Buddhism, Buddhists from all over the world especially China and Greece come and visit the stupas.
World’s Oldest University
One of the recognized world’s oldest universities is also present in Taxila. This university came along in the Gandhara period. At one stage it had 10500 students including from Babylon, Greece, Syria and China. Experienced and able teachers taught languages, Vedas, philosophy, medicine,documentations, accounts, commerce, music, performing arts,politics, and complex mathematical calculations.
After visiting Jaulian and Sirkap, it will be the best choice to see the museum, which is well preserved and organized. Taxila museum is located at Taxila Punjab Pakistan, which is the most famous and one of the oldest museums in Pakistan. It is an archaeological and historical museum. The artefacts displayed at the museum are very high value and depict the comprehensive collection of Gandhara art and civilization dating from the 1st to the 7th centuries CE. Most objects in the collection depict the ancient culture as well as the history of the area, including stone, stucco, terracotta, silver, gold, iron and semiprecious stones. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religions are well depicted through these objects.