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Submitted To: Sir Sadeed Arif Submitted By: Izhar Ahmed
Taxila Institute of Ancient Civilizations, Quaid-i-Azam University,
Serial No: 1 Contents Introduction Page 3 3 6 7 10 13 14 20 2 Taxila Valley 3 Taxila Museum 4 Archaeological sites in Taxila 5 Julian site 6 Conclusion 7 Photographs 8 References .
It was a flourishing city mentioned in the epic books of Hinduism Mahabharata and Ramayana. Taxila had its own unique status as it was situated in the middle of three main trade routes. The myth says Buddha gave his head in charity to the man at this place. fortifications. Taxila Valley: Takhshashila the Sanskrit name for Taxila. . during ancient times made Taxila very famous. monasteries and stupas. Therefore Takshashila means city of stone cutting. Another main route which connects Taxilla valley with Central Asia through Mansehra. is situated in northwestern Pakistan. hill or stone and Shila means to cut or to split. Archaeologically it includes numerous buildings. which is correctly called as Dharma-Nala. This great art and philosophy. Taxila is located at bank of local river known as Tamra-Nala. Taxila also contains important Vedic or Hindu and Buddhist center of learning from 6th century BC to 5th century AD. The Grand Trunk (GT) road connects the northern areas of the valley to the west of Kingdom of Magadha in the valley of Ganges in east. Basically Takshashila is mixture of two words. Srinagar and Kashmir. Takshashila. Taxila is situated about 35 kilometers Northwest of Islamabad. different scholars shares their ideas. Taxila dates back to the ancient Indian period that contains ruins of Gandhara. the northwestern routes through Bactria and Pushkalavati (pishawar). Takhsa means rock. settlements. The second main route. Taxila is Tehsil of Rawalpindi in Punjab province. In Chinese it is named as “Chu-cha-shilo”. an ancient city from pre-historic era.Introduction: Taxila is one of the ancient valleys of Pakistan. so it has many archaeological sites of different ages and emperors ruled over it. As the name of takshashila is concerned. which show its archaeological influence and represents Buddhist art.
the hill capital of the Takshakas. laid roughly. terracotta human and animal figurines. The ruins of Takshakas of Bronze age ( 3rd-2nd millennium BC) have been found at mound at the bank of Tamra-nala (Dharma-nala). During excavation of this site along with the structures. The Aryans came to Taxila during the middle of 2nd millennium BC. On Hathial mound there are excavated the Aryan settlement structures of Kanjur stone.In pre-historic period the oldest ruler of Taxila. Taxila University (7th Century BC to 8th century AD) . beads of precious stones have also been found .e. Such stone masonry is unique in Taxila valley. whose name was originated from their worship of Takila. the takshakas. i.
medicines. who gathered here. Taxila became a main city of Achaemenian occupied province Gandhara. and occupation of Taxila by Achaemenid rulers during 6th-5th BC. Alexander the Great entered the city during 326 BC along with his armies and he was greeted by local king. religion and language. had their own school of thoughts. Many philosophers. During the time of Buddha. and students were taught military sciences. Asoka the great. which was later copied by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka. The Achaemenian introduced coin system in the area which gave rise to local currency system.e. Dharmarajika stupa is good example of his works where he enshrined the relics of Buddha. philosophy.Taxila University is one of the oldest universities of the world. Alexander made this city the part of his great Kingdom but his week successors were not able to rule over it. politics. In 300 BC Taxila was under ruled by the Mauryan Empire Chandragupta Maurya and Taxila was made the capital of his western province. Taxila was occupied and became a part of Achaeminid Empire during the time of king Darius I i. Alexander`s march to this region was actually a part of his campaign against the Achaemenian ruler. when the last local ruler Pukkusati was defeated and overthrown. . Taxila University became a strong educational center. The Achaemenians did a lot of useful works in the area. which had its existence even before the time of Buddha. 521 – 486 BC. It was the Achaemenian practice to engrave on rocks and stones. The Greeks called the city as “Greatest of all the cities in the area”. The Achaemenian employment of Aramaen clerks. who used this writing and gave origin to local writing called Kharoshthi. was one of the successors of Mauryan dynasty converted in to Buddhism as Emperor and constructed large number of monuments and monasteries throughout his Empire including the ones in Taxila.
They established a strong dynasty that ended till second half of 5th Century AD. after which the “Kushans” invaded Gandhara and established their dynasty. The Sassanians ruled for very short period. Bactrian kings kept hold on the area till 90 BC. The sculptures and statues of Buddha were made. Due to this reason urbanization in this area reached its peak position. During this era (1st century AD) trade flourished with Roman Empire and advanced trade routes along the famous Silk Road. and however power was soon passed to an offshoot of disposed Kushan rulers. when the “Scythians” or “Sakas” attack the area and occupied the city. The Kushans were originally from Gansu province of China.Taxila’s position was an open place to conquest. They conquered the area in 190 BC. The Scythians ruled over the area for a half century. the successors of Alexander the great. This city was built with fortified large and defensive walls of coursed rubble. Taxila was brought to its downfall during 5th century AD. The Kushans supported and gave a peak position to art and Buddhism. Their king moved the city to new location known as Sirkap. Taxila museum: . they destroyed monasteries and many other monuments and looted the treasures of city. The Kushan came to downfall in 230 AD when the Sassanian Emperor made this area as part of his Empire. The Mauryan dynasty was disintegrated by Greeko-Bactrians. When the White Huns invaded in the area. which they believed was more defensive city. The Kushans period is described as the Golden age of Taxila.
This museum in known as Site Museum. Most of the sites at Taxila are located around the Taxila Museum. Archaeological Sites: Bhir Mound . The wall showcases in the northern part of museum are decorated with stucco sculptures of Buddha and his life story. More than seven thousand antiquities discovered different archaeological sites are present in Taxila museum. the main hall. as it is situated between many archaeological sites present in Taxila. In the middle of main hall there is a door leading to a small hall which is decorated by gold jewelry. There is a Stupa of Buddhist monastery of Mohra Moradu in the middle of museum. The construction of this Museum was started in 1918 laid by Lord Chelmsford. viceroy of India. it contains stone sculptures showing life story of Buddha and other great monastic events. these shows the great architecture of Gandhara art. the director General of Archaeology in British India. displayed in three galleries. The walls are made of stoner bricks and the design of building is Ell shaped which shows Greco-Roman style of architecture and style of galleries were set by Sir John Marshal. Next to the Stupa in the middle of building is table of archaeological map of Taxila. Its construction was completed in 1928 and was opened for public view by Sir Habibullah. While entering. The southern part of museum consists of different objects discovered from the sites which are related to household and miscellaneous.Taxila museum is located in on the Grand Trunk (G. Many tables placed in same order showing other findings from the sites of Taxila. The artifacts displayed in museum reflect cultural history and achievements of the people of Taxila. silver and other coins of Gandhara art.T) road to Peshawar. There are big water containers exhibited in the southern middle hall of museum.
) Mohra Muradu ( The main Stupa at Mohra Muradu monastery at Taxila). Taxila. Taxila.(The ruins of Bhir Mound. Pakistan) Dharmarajika (The Dharmarajika stupa. .
Sirkap (Double-Headed Eagle Stupa at Sirkap) Sirsuk (The wall of Sirsukh. Taxila.) .
This site consists of two main parts.) About 7 kilometers to the north east of Taxila museum. This site dates back to 5th century AD. historical ruins or site of Jaulian is situated. Taxila. the remains of monastery also called University of Jaulian and two stupas with .Jinan Wali Dheri (A view of Jinnan Wali Dheri) Jaulian Site: (A view of the ruins of Jaulian.
caplets cells around it. but the second floor was destroyed by the White Huns in 455 AD by burning the monastery. these rooms are totally 28 in number. In these rooms the monks or religious people live and offer their rituals. Natesa Aiyar excavated this site in 1916-17 under the directions of Sir John Marshall. The monastery contains an assembly hall. Monastery: A Monastery denotes a building or complex of buildings that contains such rooms which are reserved for prayers. The monastery had two floors. This site s situated on the top of mountain perching 300 feet above the ground level. as well as for domestic workplaces. store rooms. In each room there was window that was made to allow air and light in to the room. There are sculptures of Buddha in front of some rooms. refectory. Jaulian actually means the place of sacred people. The monastery of Jaulian site contains number of rooms or cells which were made for the monks or students. This site was has been mentioned in world cultural heritage during 1918. . Mr. and kitchen and bath rooms and a big water pool in the middle.
philosophically this base shows the things hidden underground. Simply it is a burial mound of Buddha. The Chatras are round structures made in numbers around the Yashti. Dhatu. Some call it Bheeta. Above base the Dome shows the earth. Pagoda and Dagaba. and Chatras. Stupa is decorated with carved colossal seated Buddha in meditation. there were two types of stupas. Yashti is a large stick type standing above the Dome. The ground part is called base which is covering relic casket and is made of stones. the Great Stupa and the Mamurat stupa (votive stupas). Shetiya. the Harmika is thought to be the house of great 32 Gods. The Base . Harmika. Yashti. Basically Stupa had five parts. Main stupa is surrounded by 21 small stupas.Stupa: Stupa is basically a Sanskrit word which was derived from Thupa. These small stupas are the tombs of monks lived there in Jaulian . At the bottom of Yashti there is a square type which is called Harmika. this standing structure of Yashti shows the link between earth and sun. Stupa is an oldest Buddhist burial mound which was originally to cover the relics. In Jaulian. Stupa is a funeral mound where they enshrined relics of Buddha and his monks. Dome. these Chatras shows universal system in which stars and other satellites are revolving around the sun.
the city which has been declared a heritage site by UNESCO. Buddhism is reflected in every building and art piece that the city contains. holds many important archeological sites. The city is full of Gandhara art. Excavations have lead to finding of figurines dating back to 3rd millennium BC. . The pilgrims would put their middle finger in the navel hole and pray for their wish or.Healing Buddha: In Jaulian monastery there is a statue of Buddha with a hole in navel. It is famous about Healing Buddha that this was used for fulfilling wishes. for the treatment of any patient Conclusion: Taxila. The city is full of artifacts which display the art of every dynasty that ruled over it. It has also remained a center of education and philosophy. It would not be wrong to call it a sacred city as it contains many monasteries and remains of Buddhism. These great rulers show that the city was of great importance as myths speak of it.
Photographs: (Fig1: view of interior northern part of museum) (Fig2: Iron cart excavated from Sirkap site) .
(Fig3: Jewelry embroidery displayed at Taxila museum) (Fig4: Coins of Ancient times displayed at museum) .
displayed in southern hall of museum) .(Fig5: Stucco Sculpture with Gold water colored image of Budha in Dhyanamudra pose) (Fig6: Daily utensils used for grinding.
(Fig7: Antiquities displayed in showcase) (Fig8: Keys of Locks discovered from Sirkap) .
(Fig9: View of monastery`s interior at Jaulian site) (Fig10: View of water pool and rooms at Jauloian monastery) .
(Fig11: image of Buddha in Dharmachakra pose at Jaulian Stupa) (Fig12: Image of votive stupas around the main stupa at Jaulian site) .
Waheed. Architecture in Pakistan.References: 1: 2: 3: A Guide to Historic Taxila. Ahmad Hassan. Karachi 4: 5: http://www.com/pakistan/taxila http://www.. A. A.orientalarchitecture.com/a-visit-to-taxila .Pakistan Publications. 1963. Rajput. Dani.bepakistan. B. 1997. Pakistan. Taxila: Story in Stone.
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