"True Ruins!" Taxila by besal

Taxila Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 92 photos

Taxila is a region that contains numerous examples of Hindu, Buddhist and Greek cultures and was an important focal point for interactions with the outside world and it will continue to do so. It reminds us of the rich cultural heritage that is to be found in Pakistan.

From 5th Century BC to 2nd century AD, Taxila was an important Buddhist learning center. The different stages of Taxila was influenced by Persia, Greece, and Central Asia.

In 327 B.C. Alexander conquered Taxila which was the Achaemenian Empire. Later it came under Mauryan dynasty and reached a great level of development under the rule of great Asoka.

The next step in Taxila's history was the indo-Greek descendents of the Alexander warriors. The final period is called The Gandhara period. The great Kushan Dynasty was then established in 50 A.D, and within these 200 years Taxila became the most renowned center for philosophy, art and learning. Taxila is the greatest attraction for the pilgrims and tourists coming from China and Greece. The final period of Taxila is in the fifth century A.D. when white Huns destroyed the most successful and the greatest Gandhara civilization of last several centuries.

What to see

Exploring Taxila is an experience in itself. The richness and variety of various artifacts is bound to attract your attention. There are many images of Buddha, in stone and stucco and numerous panels depicting all the important stages of the great Sage's life. The whole site is spread over several kilometers, starting from a well stocked Museum which houses various antiques found in and around these sites. The main sites to see are the Bhir Mound, Dharmarajika, Sirkap, Jaulian, and lesser traveled Jandial, Sirsukh, and Mohra Moradu.

How to get there

Located only 35 kilometers away from the Rawalpindi along the Grand Trunk Road (Peshawar Road). It is easily accessible from the main road. As you pass the break in the mountain, take a right at the “tank” round about. Another 2-3 km of drive will take you to the museum, your starting point. It is better to have your own transport as various sites are located at short distances from this museum. There is also a small PTDC motel right next to the museum of one is interested in spending a night to explore this site more in detail.

Most of my tips for various sites will be in Off the Beaten path, as all these excavation sites are at a distance from each other, and requires some traveling.

Taxila sites are open from 0830-1230; 1430-1730 in summer time (1 April-30 September). 0800-1600 in winter (1 October-31 March). Every first Monday of each month, museum is closed for routine repair/maintenance/cleaning operations.

For a rough map of this area, see my general tip.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:One of the best ruins which are also well preserved
  • Cons:Lack of information for visitors
  • In a nutshell:A mega city of its time
  • Last visit to Taxila: Jun 2008
  • Intro Updated Apr 14, 2013
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Reviews (16)

Comments (6)

  • picek's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2010 at 4:51 AM

    Amazing place, the history 'speaks' from the ancient ruins and you make very good presentation. Beside, now I know where I have to look for true mortar and pestle from a rock :)

  • Oct 17, 2008 at 2:20 AM

    I came here while looking for information on HUNS and their destruction of Taxila....Great Information. A MILLION THANKS....PGR

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    very well done page on this archeological city. i passed through this city only once in my life on one trip from islamabad to swat. thanks for sharing.

  • goutammitra's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2008 at 7:26 PM

    I think I will have to undertake a visit to our Nalanda as well. These places need to brought in VT. There is not a single tip on VT about the place. Great tips by you as usual on Taxila.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2007 at 6:56 AM

    I'll happily confess my knowledge of Taxila was slight (read near nil) till I read this excellent page. What a marvellous historical site this is!

  • ShoebKadri's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Remeber that on every 1st Monday of a month it is kept closed !

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