Settlements > Taxila

Taxila

Background

Taxila (from Pāli: Takkasilā, Sanskrit: तक्षशिला, IAST: Takṣaśilā, meaning "City of Cut Stone" or "Takṣa Rock") is an important archaeological site of the ancient Indian subcontinent, located in the city of Taxila in Punjab, Pakistan. It lies about 32 km (20 mi) north-west of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, just off the famous Grand Trunk Road. 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 Hunas in the 5th century. During his invasion of the Indus Valley, Alexander the Great was able to gain control of Taxila in 326 BCE without a battle, as the city was surrendered by its ruler, king Omphis (Āmbhi). Greek historians accompanying Alexander described Taxila as “wealthy, prosperous, and well governed."

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

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