Guide to Historic Taxila



The Aryans arrived in Taxila around the middle of the second millennium B.C.and gave rise to the regional name Gandhara (meaning the land of Fragrance), continued to rule here until the time of the Indian epic Mahabharata. Gandhara gave the queen Gandhari to the Mahabharata pandava heroes. One of the local Takshaka ruler bit (i.e. defeated) Parikshita, a grandson of Arjuna, a Mahabharata hero, but his son janmejaya routed the Takshakas, and established his seat at Taxila on the top of Hathial Mound. Here on this site for the first time Mahabharata was recited by Vaisampayana to the king janmejaya. And thus the spot become famous and the entire hill Range, called Hathial, become popular as it later was Hasti (meaning elephant) and AI, i.e. Aiaya (meaning abode) – the Place of Elephants. Others would like to derived it as Asthi and Aiaya, i.e. Place of Bones.


On Hathial Mound the Aryan settlements structures of Kanjur stone , laid in rough fashion, have been excavated. This type of stone masonry is unique in Taxila. Along with the structures have been found terracotta human and animal figurines, beads of precious stones, burin, arrow-head, whet-stone, copper bars, needles, bone pins with globule head, found in other Aryan graves as well. Human figurines have a pointed bottom, joint legs, heavy buttocks and splayed arms, also found in the oldest layers in the Bhir mound and also known from the Aryan graves in Swat and Dir. Still more important are the varieties of red and gray pottery, which include storage jars, stemmed and pedestal cups, bowls, goblets and tall vases.


Hathial Mound. 2) Hathial pottery


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                      Page Prepared by: Suleman Shah                      


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