Saturday, 5 July 2014

A day in Taxila

Today I saw the Buddha's face depicted as a Greek, as a Persian, and as an Indian in stone, clay and terracotta at the Taxila Museum. I also explored one of the archaeological sites, Dharmarajika, with a stupa, monastic cells, remnants of a 35-foot Buddha. A stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the ashes of Buddhist monks, and used by Buddhists as a place of meditation.

It was burning hot but my brain was still functioning enough to reflect upon the magnificent civilisation that existed in Taxila.

The Ghandaran civilisation stretched from the Swat and Kabul river valleys to the Potohar Plateau. It was the centre of Buddhist culture that absorbed the influences of the Greeks, Persians and even the Huns. Its main cities were Purushapura (modern Peshawar), and Takshashila (modern Taxila). Taxila was a place of learning and had one of the oldest universities in the world.

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