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Pranab visits historic city of Taxila

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

Islamabad, Jan 14: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjeetoday visited the historic site of Taxila, which, from the 5th centuryB.C. to 2nd century A.D., was the seat of Buddhist learning.

Winding up his Pakistan visit, the External Affairs Ministerbecame the first Indian political leader to visit the historic siteafter both India and Pakistan yesterday agreed to facilitate movementof diplomats to Taxila and Hasanabdal in Pakistan and Noida and Gurgaonin India.

Ostensibly to seek 'blessings' of Chanakya in the art ofstatecraft and politics, the External Affairs Minister went round theruins of the ancient city of Taxila where Chanakya was born, Taxilauniversity where he (Chanakya) received education in statecraft andpolitics and also taught for sometime, and which saw the invasions ofAlexander the Great and the Huns.

Mr Mukherjee was shown around the area by Director General Archaeology and Museums Fazal Dad Kakar.

It was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1980.

Serving as a link between the 21st century human and acivilisation that goes back to 1000 years, Taxila was a major seat ofBuddhist learning which was destroyed by successive invasions andearthquakes.

The Pakistan government has now developed it into an industrialarea with a Heavy Industry Taxila (HIT), set up there. This mainlycaters to the Pakistan Army, and manufactures equipment for it.

About 45 km from capital Islamabad, Taxila has a history of over 1000 years (518 B.C. to 600 A.D).

The ruins indicate the planned architecture of the ancient times.

The ruins of the Taxila university have 1000 year-old statues of Buddha in various positions of meditation.

At the entrance to the area having the ruins of the taxila city, is amuseum that houses most of the objects excavated from the site. MrMukherjee also signed the vistors book there. It has the statues of theBuddha in different sizes and poses of meditation.

Most of the statues are headless.

Museum officials, when asked about the condition of the statues said these were destroyed by the Huns when they invaded Taxila.

It was after their invasion that Buddhist monks spread to China, Japan, Afghanistan and other countries.

One gigantic statue of the Buddha has a deep mark on the forehead.

The officials said probably it sported a jewel which was carved out of the stone and removed by the invaders.

A short distance from the museum and the ruins of the Taxila city,are the ruins of the Julian monastery where Chanakya used to teach theart of statecraft and politics.

The ruins have clearly demarcated rooms where students used to study, practice meditation and stacrteaft and hold discussions.

In the centre is a huge square shaped pit, which was used for bathing.


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