Gandhara Civilization

One of the worlds’ richest heritage is found in the territory which is modern day northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara civilization is considered to be the zenith of civilization in the days of yore. The Kingdom of Gandhara survived from the 6th century BC to the 11th century AD. Purushapura (modern day Peshawar), Pushkalavati (Modern day Charsadda in NWFP), and Takshashila (modern day Taxila) were the prime cities of Gandhara civilzation. Pushkalavati remained the capital of Gandhara from 6th century BC to the 2nd century AD. Then the capital was moved to Purushapura. Takshashila remained the education hub from 5th century BCE[3] to the 2nd century CE.

Fasting BuddhaBuddhist Kushan kings are the most notables of the rulers in Gandhara civilization. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered this area and in Muslim era, the buddhist lost their control. According to wikipedia, the people of Gandhara were settled since the Vedic times on the banks of Kabul River (river Kubha or Kabol) up to its mouth into Indus. The region is known as Peshawar Valley. Later the Gandharas crossed the Indus and included parts of north-west Punjab of Pakistan. Gandhara was located on the grand northern high road (Uttarapatha) and was a centre of international commercial activities.

Though the marks and ruins of Gandhara civilization can be found throughout in Northern Pakistan, its heritage has been saved more in true form in Taxila, Peshawar and Swat valley. According to wikipedia, evidence of Stone Age human inhabitants of Ghandhara, including stone tools and burnt bones, was discovered at Sanghao near Mardan in area caves. The artifacts are approximately 15,000 years old.

If one visits Peshawar, Swat and Taxila, they tell a spell bounding story in the form of stupas, ruins and other artifacts. Kushan tribe contributed the most to the heritage treasure of Gandhara. Gandhara civilization reached to the zenith during the reign of the great Kushan King Kanishka (128-151-AD). In this era, a great tower of 400m was built in peshawar. Salt range in Pakistan, also has some marks of this dynasty. Jayapala was the last king of this civilization and committed suicide after getting defeated by Mahmud of Ghazni.

1 thought on “Gandhara Civilization”

  1. One of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Indus Valley civilization flourished over 5,000 years ago in most areas now in Pakistan. Fossilized remains of Stone Age man have also been discovered in the Chakwal district of the Punjab province of Pakistan.

    In many ways the Indus civilization was very advanced. It’s great cities with good streets, fine houses, drainage and water systems, police, stable government and peace and prosperity were better than anything that followed in the subcontinent for the next 3000 years. During the same period, those very things existed in civilizations in the Fertile Crescents, Egypt, Crete, and China.


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