History of Taxila

History of TaxilaIn the Mahabarata the Kuru heir Pariksit waa enthroned at Taksasila.

According to tradition the Mahabharata was first recited at Taksasila by Vaishapayana, a disciple of Vyasa at the behest of the seer Vyasa himself, at the sarpa satra yajna "Snake Sacrifice ceremony" of Pariksit’s son Janamejaya.

According to one theory propounded by Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi, Taksasila is a related to Taksaka "carpenter" and is an alternative name for the Nagas of ancient India.

c. 518 BCE] – Darius the Great annexes Takṣaśilā, to the Persian Achaemenid Empire.
326 BCE – Alexander the Great receives submission of Āmbhi, king of Takṣaśilā, and afterwards surrenders to Purus at the Hydaspes.
c 317 BCE – In quick succession, Alexander's general Eudemus and then the satrap Peithon withdraw from the Indus.

321–317 BCE Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Mauryan empire in eastern India, makes himself master of northern and northwestern India, including Panjab Chandragupta Maurya's advisor Kautilya (also known as Chanakya) was a teacher at Takṣaśilā.

During the reign of Chandragupta's grandson Aśoka, Takṣaśilā became a great Buddhist centre of learning. Nonetheless, Takṣaśilā was briefly the centre of a minor local rebellion, subdued only a few years after its onset. 185 BCE – The last Maurya emperor, Bṛhadratha, is assassinated by his general, Puṣyamitra Śunga, during a parade of his troops.

Early 100s BCE Indo-Greeks build new capital, Sirkap, on the opposite bank of the river from Takṣaśilā. During this new period of Bactrian Greek rule, several dynasties (like Antialcidas) likely ruled from the city as their capital. During lulls in Greek rule, the city managed profitably on its own, to independently control several local trade guilds, who also minted most of the city's autonomous coinage.

c. 90 BCE – The Indo-Scythian chief Maues overthrows the last Greek king of Takṣaśilā.

c. 20 BCE – Gondophares, founder of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom, conquers Takṣaśilā and makes it his capital.

c. 46 AD – Thomas the Apostle visits King Ghondophares IV.

76 – The date of and inscription found at Taxila of 'Great King, King of Kings, Son of God, the Kushana’ (maharaja rajatiraja devaputra Kushana).

c. 460–470 CE – The Hephthalites sweep over Gandhāra and Panjab; and cause wholesale destruction of the Buddhist monasteries and stupas at Takṣaśilā, which never again recovers.

Before the fall of these invaders, Takṣaśilā had been variously a capital for many dynasties, and a centre of Vedic and Buddhist learning, with a population of Buddhists, Hindus, and possibly Greeks that may have endured for centuries.

The British archaeologist Sir John Marshall conducted excavations over a period of twenty years in Taxila.


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