Indian Ancient University and Biggest Education Acadmey of world, Taxila

Map_of_Taxila_-_The_ancient_geography_of_India,_Volume_1_-_Sir_Alexander_Cunningham_-_pg46Indian Ancient University and Biggest Education Acadmey of world, Taxila is a small city and an important archaeological site in Rawalpindi District of the Punjab province in Pakistan. Taxila is situated about 32 km (20 mi) north-west of Islamabad and Rawalpindi; just off the famous Grand Trunk Road . The town lies 549 metres (1,801 ft) above sea level. It is the headquarters of the Taxila Tehsil in Rawalpindi district.

Taxila1

Ancient Taxila literally meaning “City of Cut Stone” or “Rock of Taksha”) was situated at the pivotal junction of India , Western Asia and Central Asia. Some of the earliest ruins in this area date to the time of the Achemenid or Persian empire in 6th century BC.

Owing to its strategic location, Taxila has changed hands many times over the centuries, with many empires vying for its control. When the great ancient trade routes connecting these regions ceased to be important, the city sank into insignificance and was finally destroyed by the nomadic Huns in the 5th century CE. Renowned archaeologist Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the ruins of Taksasila. By some accounts, Taxila was considered to be amongst the earliest universities in the world. Others do not consider it a university in the modern sense, in that the teachers living there may not have had official membership of particular colleges, and there did not seem to have existed purpose-built lecture halls and residential quarters in Takshashila in contrast to the later Nalanda university in eastern India.

Scattered references in later works indicated that Taxila may have dated back to at least the 8th century BCE. Archaeological excavations later showed that the city may have grown significantly during the Persian empire of 6th century BC. Taxila has changed hands many times over the centuries from Iranian, to Indo Greek and as last Indian rule, with many empires vying for its control. Historically, Takshashila lay at the crossroads of three major ancient trade routes. In 516 BC.

Takshashila is reputed to derive its name from Takṣa, who was the son of Bharata, the brother of the Hindu deity RAM.

Legend has it that Takṣa ruled a kingdom called Takṣa Khanda, and founded the city of Takshashila. According to another theory propounded by Kosambi, Takshashila, is related to Taksaka, Sanskrit for “carpenter”, and is an alternative name for the Nagas of ancient India. In the great Hindu epic Mahabharata , the Kuru heir Parikshit (grandson of the Arjun) was enthroned at Takshashila Traditionally, it is believed that the Mahabharata was first recited at Takshashila by Vaishampayana student of Vyasa at the behest of the seer Vyasa himself, at the Snake Sacrifice.

Taxila is also described in some detail in the Buddhist Jataka tales, written in Sri Lanka around the 5th century. The Jataka literature mentions it as the capital of the kingdom of Gandhara and as a great centre of learning. The Chinese monk Faxian (also called Fa-Hien) writing of his visit to Taxila in 405 CE, mentions the kingdom of Takshasila (or Chu-cha-shi-lo) meaning “the Severed Head”. He says that this name was derived from an event in the life of Buddha because this is the place “where he gave his head to a man”. Xuanzang (also called Hieun Tsang), another Chinese monk, visited Taxila in 630 and in 643, and he called the city as Ta-Cha-Shi-Lo. The city appears to have already overrun by the Huns and been in ruins by his time. Taxila is called Taxiala in Ptolemy’s Geography. In the Historia Trium Regum (History of the Three Kings) composed by John of Hildesheim around 1375, the city is called Egrisilla.

To be continue……

 

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