genusof metalmark butterflies, see " Taxila (butterfly).Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Taxila
State Party = PAK
Type = Cultural
Criteria = iii, vi
ID = 139
Region = Asia-Pacific
Year = 1980
Session = 4th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/139
Taxila ( _sa. तक्षशिला IAST2|Takṣaśilā, ,
Pali:"Takkasilā") is an important archaeologicalsite of Ancient India, now within Pakistan. It contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takshashila (also Takkasila or Taxila) an important Vedic/Hindu [cite book | last = Majumdar, Raychauduri and Datta | authorlink | title = An Advanced History of India | origyear = 1946 | publisher = Macmillan| location = London | pages = 64] and Buddhist[UNESCO World Heritage List. 1980. [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/139 Taxila: Brief Description] . Retrieved 13 January 2007] centre of learning from the 6th century BCE"History of Education", "Encyclopædia Britannica", 2007.] to the 5th century CE."Nalanda" (2007). "Encarta".] Joseph Needham(2004), "Within the Four Seas: The Dialogue of East and West", Routledge, ISBN 0415361664:
quote|"When the men of
Alexanderthe Great came to Taxila in Indiain the fourth century BC they found a universitythere the like of which had not been seen in Greece, a university which taught the three Vedasand the eighteen accomplishments and was still existing when the Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsienwent there about AD 400."] In 1980, Taxila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sitewith multiple locations. [UNESCO World Heritage Site. 1980. [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/139/multiple=1&unique_number=153 Taxila: Multiple Locations] . Retrieved 13 January 2007.]
Historically, Taxila lay at the crossroads of three major
trade routes: the royal highway from PāUnicode|ṭaliputra; the north-western route through Bactria, Kāpiśa, and PuUnicode|ṣkalāvatī ( Peshawar); and the route from Kashmirand Central Asia, via Śrinigar, Mansehra, and the Haripur valley [cite book | last = Thapar | first = Romila | authorlink = Romila Thapar| title = Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas| origyear = 1961| year = 1997| publisher = Oxford University Press| location = Oxford| id = ISBN 0-19-563932-4 | pages = 237] across the Khunjerab passto the Silk Road.
Taxila is situated 35 km to the west of
Islamabad Capital Territory—and to the northwest of Rawalpindiin Punjab—just off the Grand Trunk Road.
Legend has it that
Taksha, an ancient Indian king who ruled in a kingdom called Taksha Khanda( Tashkent) founded the city of Takshashila.Fact|date=June 2007 The word Takshashila, in Sanskritmeans "belonging to the King Taksha". Taksha was the son of Bharata and Mandavi, from Indian epic Ramayana.
In the epic "
Mahābhārata", the Kuru heir ParikUnicode|ṣit was enthroned at Taxila. [cite book | last = Kosambi | first = Damodar Dharmanand| authorlink = Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi | title = An Introduction to the Study of Indian History| origyear = 1956| edition = Revised Second Edition | year = 1975| publisher = Popular Prakashan| location = Bombay| pages = 126]
According to tradition The Mahabharata was first recited at Takshashila by Vaishampayana, a disciple of Veda Vyasa at the behest of the seer Vyasa himself, at Janamejaya's (Parikshit's son) 12 year-long Sarpa-Satra Yajna (Snake Sacrifice).
Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi, "Taxila" is related to "TakUnicode|ṣaka," which means " carpenter" and is an alternative name for the Nāga. [Kosambi 1975:129]
518 BCE[cite book | last = Marshall | first = John | authorlink = John Marshall (archaeologist) | title = Taxila: Volume I | origyear = 1951 | year = 1975 | publisher = Motilal Banarsidass| location = Delhi| pages = 83] – Darius the Greatannexes modern day Pakistan, including Taxila, to the Persian Achaemenid Empire. [Marshall 1975:83]
326 BCE[Marshall 1975:83] – Alexander the Greatreceives submission of Āmbhi, [Named " Taxiles" by Greek sources after his capital city.] king of Taxila, and afterwards surrender to Porusat the Jhelum River. [Marshall 1975:83]
317 BCE– In quick succession, Alexander's general Eudemus and then the satrapPeithon withdraw from the Indus. [Peithon was named by Alexander satrap of Sindh, and was again confirmed to the Gandhararegion by the Treaty of Triparadisusin 320 BCE: "The country of the Parapamisians was bestowed upon Oxyartes, the father of Roxane; and the skirts of India adjacent to Mount Parapamisus, on Peithon the son of Agenor. As to the countries beyond that, those on the river Indus, with the city Patala(the capital of that part of India) were assigned to Porus. Those upon the Hydaspes, to Taxilesthe Indian." Arrian" Anabasis, the Events after Alexander". He ultimately left in 316 BCE, to become satrap of Babylonin 315 BCE, before dying at the Battle of Gaza in 312 BCE]
321 BCE- 317 BCE Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Mauryan empirein eastern India, makes himself master of the northern and northwestern India, including Punjab. Chandragupta Maurya's advisor Kautilya(also known as Chanakya) was a teacher at Taxila.
*During the reign of Chandragupta's grandson
Aśoka, Taxila became a great Buddhistcentre of learning. Nonetheless, Taxila was briefly the center of a minor local rebellion, subdued only a few years after its onset. [Thapar 1997]
185 BCE[cite book | last = Kulke | first = Hermann | coauthors = Rothermund, Dietmar | title = A History of India| origyear = 1986| edition = Third Edition | year = 1998| publisher = Routledge| location = London| id = ISBN 0-415-15481-2 | pages = 68] – The last Maurya emperor, BUnicode|ṛhadratha, is assassinated by his general, PuUnicode|ṣyamitra Śunga, during a parade of his troops. [Kulke and Rothermund 1998:68]
183 BCE[Kulke and Rothermund 1998:70] – Demetrios conquers Gandhāra, the Punjab and the Indus valley. [Marshall 1975:83] He builds his new capital, Sirkap, on the opposite bank of the river from Taxila. [Kulke and Rothermund 1998:70] During this new period of Bactrian Greekrule, several dynasties (like Antialcidas) likely ruled from the city as their capital. During lulls in Greek rule, the city managed profitably on its own, managed independently and controlled by several local trade guilds, who also minted most of the city's autonomous coinage.
90 BCE[Marshall 1975:84] – The Indo-Scythianchief Mauesoverthrows the last Greek king of Taxila. [Marshall 1975:84]
* "c". 25 CE [Marshall 1975:85] –
Gondophares, founder of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom, conquers Taxila and makes it his capital. [Marshall 1975:85] .
* 76 [Kulke and Rothermund 1998:75] – The date of and inscription found at Taxila of 'Great King, King of Kings, Son of God, the
Kushana' ("maharaja rajatiraja devaputra Kushana"). [Kulke and Rothermund 1998:75]
* "c". 460–470 [Marshall 1975:86] – The
Ephthalites sweep over Gandhāra and the Punjab; wholesale destruction of Buddhist monasteries and stupas at Taxila, which never again recovers. [Marshall 1975:86] Before the fall of these invader-kings, Taxila had been variously a capital for many dynasties, and a centre of Vedic and Buddhist learning, with a population of Buddhists, Classical Hindus, and possibly Greeks that may have endured for centuries. [The " Life of Apollonius Tyana" demonstrates that the rulers of Taxila spoke Greek several centuries after Greek political dominance had faded.]
archaeologistSir John Marshall conducted excavations over a period of twenty years in Taxila. [cite book | last = Marshall | first = Sir John | authorlink = John Marshall (archaeologist) | title = A Guide to Taxila| year = 1960| publisher = Department of Archaeology in Pakistan, Sani Communications| location = Karachi]
Ancient centre of learning
Takshashila was an early center of learning dating back to at least the 5th century BCE.
Hartmut Scharfe( 2002). ' 'Education in Ancient India". Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-12556-6.] There is some disagreement about whether Takshashila can be considered a university. While some consider Taxila to be an early university [ Radha Kumud Mookerji(2nd ed. 1951; reprint 1989), " (p. 478), Motilal Banarsidass Publ., ISBN 8120804236:
quote|"Thus the various centres of learning in different parts of the country became affiliated, as it were, to the educational centre, or the central university, of Taxila which exercised a kind of intellectual
suzerainty over the wide world of letters in India."] [ Hermann Kulkeand Dietmar Rothermund( 2004), "A History of India", Routledge, ISBN 0415329191:
quote|"In the early centuries the centre of Buddhist scholarship was the University of Taxila".] [
Balakrishnan Muniapan, Junaid M. Shaikh( 2007), "Lessons in corporate governance from Kautilya's Arthashastrain ancient India", "World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development" 3 (1):
quote|"Kautilya was also a
Professorof Politics and Economics at Taxila University. Taxila University is one of the oldest known universities in the world and it was the chief learning centre in ancient India."] or centre of higher education, [Radha Kumud Mookerji (2nd ed. 1951; reprint 1989), "Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist" (p. 479), Motilal Banarsidass Publ., ISBN 8120804236:
quote|"This shows that Taxila was a seat not of elementary, but higher, education, of colleges or a university as distinguished from schools."] others do not consider it a university in the modern sense, [
Anant Sadashiv Altekar( 1934; reprint 1965), "Education in Ancient India", Sixth Edition, Revised & Enlarged, Nand Kishore & Bros, Varanasi:
quote|"It may be observed at the outset that Taxila did not possess any colleges or university in the modern sense of the term."] [F. W. Thomas (
1944), in John Marshall ( 1951; 1975 reprint), "Taxila", Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi:
quote|"We come across several
Jātakastories about the students and teachers of Takshaśilā, but not a single episode even remotely suggests that the different 'world renowned' teachers living in that city belonged to a particular college or university of the modern type."] [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-7133 Taxila] (2007), Encyclopædia Britannica:
quote|"Taxila, besides being a provincial seat, was also a centre of learning. It was not a university town with lecture halls and residential quarters, such as have been found at Nalanda in the Indian state of Bihar."] in contrast to the later
NalandaUniversity. ["Nalanda" (2001). " Columbia Encyclopedia".] Takshashila is described in some detail in later Jātaka tales, written in Sri Lankaaround the 5th century CE. [Marshall 1975:81]
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, who later helped consolidate the empire of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, was a senior teacher there. The institution is very significant in Buddhist tradition since it is believedFact|date=February 2007 that the Mahāyānasect of Buddhismtook shape there.
Some scholars date Takshashila's existence back to the 6th century BCE or 7th century BCE. ["Taxila", "Columbia Encyclopedia", 2001.] It became a noted centre of learning at least several centuries before
Christ, 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( Sanskritfor The knowledge of Economics) by Chanakya, is said to have been composed in Takshashila itself. Chanakya (or Kautilya), [ [http://britannica.com/eb/article-9044882 Kautilya] . Encyclopaedia Britannica.] the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta [Radhakumud Mookerji (1941; 1960; reprint 1989). "Chandragupta Maurya and His Times" (p. 17). Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 8120804058.] and the Ayurvedichealer Charakastudied at Taxila.Radha Kumud Mookerji (2nd ed. 1951; reprint 1989). "Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist" (p. 478-489). Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 8120804236.] Generally, a student entered Takshashila at the age of sixteen. The Vedasand the Eighteen Arts, which included skills such as archery, hunting, and elephantlore, were taught, in addition to its law school, medical school, and school of military science.
"Taxila, Archeological excavations"). From top, left:
* Fluted cup (Bhir Mound, stratum 1)
* Cup with rosace and decoratice scroll (
Bhir Mound, stratum 1)
Stone palettewith individual on a couch being crowned by standing woman, and served ( Sirkap, stratum 5)
* Handle with double depiction of a
philosopher(Sirkap, stratum 5)
* Woman with
smile(Sirkap, stratum 5)
* Man with
moustache(Sirkap, stratum 5)]
Present day Taxila is one of the seven
Tehsils (sub-district) of Rawalpindi District. It is spread over an undulating land in the periphery of the Pothohar Plateauof the Punjab. Situated just outside the capital Islamabad's territory and communicating with it through Tarnol passof Margalla Hills, Taxila is a mix of posh 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 hospitals that are located in the area.
The industries include heavy machine factories and industrial complex, ordnance factories of
Wah Canttand cement factory. Heavy Industries Taxilais also based here. Small, cottage and household industries include stoneware, potteryand footwear. People try to relate the present day stoneware craft to the tradition of sculpture making that existed here before the advent of Islam.
In addition to the ruins of
Gandharacivilization and ancient Buddhist/Hindu culture, relics of Mughal gardens and vestiges of historical Grand Trunk Road, which was built by Emperor Sher Shah Suriin 15th-16th centuries, are also found in Taxila region. Taxila Museum, dedicated mainly to the remains of Gandharacivilization, is also worth visiting. A hotelof the tourism department offers reasonably good services and hospitality to the tourists.
Taxila has many educational institutes including University of Engineering and Technology (UET).
Heavy Industries Taxila
Ancient Universities of Pakistan
* Taxila under the Achaemenids
* [http://www.heritage.gov.pk/html_Pages/guide_to_historic_taxila.htm "Guide to Historic Taxila" by Professor Dr. Ahmad Hasan Dani in 10 chapters]
* [http://www.livius.org/ta-td/taxila/taxila.htm "Taxila", by Jona Lendering]
* [http://bruning.xs4all.nl/~umayr/taxila/ Some photos by Umayr Sahlan Masud]
* [http://www.punjab-info.fsnet.co.uk/taxila.html Taxila page] from [http://www.punjab-info.fsnet.co.uk/index.htm punjab-info]
* [http://mcduddl.com.ne.kr/PKST/PK-IM-TXL.htm Travel With Young - Taxila 한글]
* [http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/maps/gandh.html Map of Gandhara archeological sites, from the Huntington Collection, Ohio State University (large file)]
* [http://taimur.sarangi.info/2006/11/24/taxila-museum-and-jaulian-monastery "Taxila Museum and Jaulian Monastery", by Saadullah Bashir]
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