Taxila is one of the various world heritage sites present in Pakistan. It is situated 31 km to the west of Islamabad the capital of Pakistan. It is one among the seven tehsils of Rawalpindi district. The city in the earlier days was known as Takshashila. The recorded history of Taxila starts from 6th century BC when this Gandharan kingdom became a part of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia.
An overall Punjabi culture prevails in the city with people understanding both English and Urdu languages but speaks the Punjabi language with a different dialect native to the region. The dresses and the food are under the influence of the people of Punjab Province which is a distinguishing factor with other cities of Pakistan.
Taxila is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. This city is famous for its strong ties with Buddhism. Many statues of Buddha portray the various stages of his life that are currently preserved both at the Taxila Museum.
There are 5 small stupas in the city. The first one being the Dharmarajika stupa, which is located two miles from Taxila Museum. Then is the Glen of Giri, which is about three-and-half miles from Dharmarajika stupa, this is atop the highest peak of the range of hills are two stupas and a fortress inbuilt a cleft near a spring of pure, sweet water. Jaulian is another marvellous complex of chapels, stupas, and a monastery with an assembly hall, storerooms, refectory, kitchen and bathrooms still very well preserved. Two miles west of Jaulian another well-preserved monastery is at Mohra Moradi. In one of the monk’s cells here there found a stupa with almost all the details intact.
Statues of other famous people in history like Alexander the Great and that of the eminent ruler Ashoka also were located within the city of Taxila. All these statues show great skill and craftsmanship because of the detail and intricacy that went into the making of these statues.
Alexander the Great in 327 BC ruled the state after which the Mauryans took over. It was under Ashoka’s rule during which era it reached the zenith of its development and culture. Eventually, Taxila was abjured and destroyed. The last significant period for Taxila was the Gandhara period. It was during this point that Taxila became a world-known centre for philosophy and art. The city features a strong tourist base and also attracts many tourists from the region of China and Greece, for that it became a centre for Buddhism.
Taxila In The Field Of Education
One of the oldest recognized universities of the globe is also present in Taxila. This university came into being within the Gandhara period. Once it had 10,500 students including those from Babylon, Greece, Syria, and China. Experienced teachers taught languages, Vedas, philosophy, medicine, politics, warfare, accounts, commerce, documentation, music, dance, and other humanistic disciplines.
Taxila In The Field Of City Planning
Like the historical cities Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, Taxila was also a well-planned city with wide streets and well-built houses also as stupas for the priests. The royalty of the time lived in splendid palaces in the city. Valuable coins found from Taxila are the witness for it. The present-day Taxila is not as well maintained as it was in the past. The shops encroaching on the main city roads and the town planning overall has been very poor since after the autumn of the Gandhara civilization.
Taxila In The Field Of Art And Culture
Taxila Museum is one of the foremost famous museums in Pakistan. The artefacts displayed at the museum depict the ancient culture as well as the history of the area. The major jewels and statues found in the stupas around the museum are not present in the museum. The city has its own railroad station but no airport and therefore the nearest airport lies in Islamabad.
Taxila’s Present Day
The present-day city of Taxila is also significant for its industries. Pakistan’s ordinance factory, cement factories, and other industries like stoneware, pottery, and footwear increase the importance of the town. The industry found in Taxila is vital both from the military also as other commercial reasons.
In the olden days, Taxila was the centre of learning and culture. It was the prime seat of learning in the subcontinent also. The town has two prominent universities namely HITEC university and the university of engineering and technology Taxila. Besides this several small local school systems also is present.
The town’s historical significance has no impact on the present life of the people. There are not many ruminants of Buddhist culture within the native of Taxila. Nowadays they follow Punjabi culture be it their individual life or at any social gatherings.
All images belong to their respective owners.
Also, check out Lakshmi Vilas Palace- The Largest Private Dwelling