Taxila – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Taxila is an important place for archaeological site of the ancient Indian subcontinent. The city is 32km from the capital of Pakistan. Because of the important ancient site it is famous and upto one million tourists attracts per year.

History of Taxila

The Greeks came up with the city’s name Taxila. The area around Taxila was established in and by the neolithic era. Some ruins at Taxila are dating back to 3360 BCE. The ruins from the era of early Harappan period around 2900 BCE have also been discovered in the Taxila area. Though the area of Taxila was eventually became uninhibited after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization. Excavations of archaeological site show that the city may have grown significantly during the rule of the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE. The area continued under Achaemenid suzerainty under the reign of Xerxes I and continued under Achaemenid rule for over a century. During his invasion of the Indus Valley, Alexander the Great was able to gain control of Taxila in 326 BCE without a battle and the city was surrendered by its ruler. Greek historians associated with Alexander described Taxila as prosperous, wealthy, and well governed. In 2nd century BCE, Taxila was captured by the Indo-Greek kingdom of Bactria. They built a new capital Sirkap on the opposite side of bank of the river from Taxila. During this new period of Bactrian Greek rule there were several dynasties likely ruled from the city as their capital. During lulls in Greek rule the city accomplished profitably on its own. To independently control numerous local trade unions who also minted most of the city’s independent currency. In the mid-4th century CE, the Gupta Empire gained control over the territories in Eastern Gandhara and founding a Kumaratya’s post at the city of Taxila. The City of Taxila became famous for its Trade links which includes Silk, Sandalwood, Horses, Cotton, Silverware, Pearls, and Spices. During this time the City heavily features in Classical Indian Literature, both as a centre of Culture as well as a militarised border City. Xuanzang visited India between 629 to 645 CE, Taxila which was deserted and isolated was visited by him in 630 CE and found most of its sangharamas still ruined and desolate. He adds that the kingdom had become a dependence of Kashmir with the local leaders fighting between themselves for power. By the 9th century, it became a dependency of the Kabul Shahis. The Turki Shahi dynasty of Kabul was defeated by the Hindu Shahi dynasty which was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni.

Geography

The city is located at the elevation of 549 meters above sea level.

Taxila Weather

The weather of Taxila is hot and moderate cool. In summers, the temperature of Taxila can raise upto 40 C. while in winters, the temperature of Taxila can go as low as 5 C.

Culture of Taxila

The culture of Taxila is simple and elegant. Some of the languages spoken in Taxila are:

  • Urdu
  • Pashto
  • Punjabi
  • English

Taxila Airport

Taxila does not have an airport. The nearest airport to taxila is Islamabad international airport in Islamabad which is 32 km from Taxila. Pakistan International Airline flies from here to other cities and countries and vice versa.

Top places to visit in Taxila

Some of the best places to visit in taxila are listed below:

Taxila Museum

The Taxila Museum at the arrival to the site is the best place to start. The museum gives an overview of the history of the city as well as showcasing some of the wonderful findings. The museum includes many Buddha statues and other artifacts. You can visit this museum with family and loved ones to see the ancient artifacts of the oldest civilization.

Bhir Mound

Bhir Mound is the oldest city site of ancient Taxila and has been excavated numerous times over the last century for different reasons. The site contains numerous layers of ruins: the earliest dating from the 6th-5th century BCE; the second from the 4th century BCE which existed at the time of Alexander the Great invasion; the third from the time of the Maurya kings in the 3rd century BCE and the last containing post-Mauryan structures. Malik Express offers you various accommodation options by venture hotels from where you can visit this place and many other places.

Sirkap

This site is close to the museum so can go here on foot. This site is the second city of ancient Taxila and is currently known as Sirkap. The site was excavated first in 1912-30 under the supervision of Sir John Marshall and again in 1944-5 by Sir Mortimer Wheeler.

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