Taxila, Sanskrit Takshashila, ancient city of northwestern Pakistan, the ruins of which are about 22 miles (35 km) northwest of Rawalpindi. Taxila was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.
Its prosperity in ancient times resulted from its position at the junction of three great trade routes: one from eastern India, described by the Greek writer Megasthenes as the “Royal Highway”; the second from western Asia; and the third from Kashmir and Central Asia. When these routes ceased to be important, the city sank into insignificance and was finally destroyed by the Huns in the 5th century CE.
Taxila and the region of Gandhara witnessed the rule of several major powers of antiquity as listed here:
Achaemenids (~600-400 BCE)
Greeks (~326-324 BCE),
Mauryans (~324-185 BCE),
Indo-Greeks (~250-190 BCE),
Scythians (~2nd century to 1st century BCE),
Parthians (~1st century BC to 1st century CE),
Kushans (~1st to 5th century CE),
White Huns (~5th century CE).The site,as it stands now, comprises of archaeological evidence of urbanised habitation, zoarastrian, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu places of worship.
Hsuan Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim who visited Taxila on his way to Kashmir found it dissolute, half ruined and a dependency of Kashmir. Kashmir has been intrinsically linked with the fortunes of this city. Archaeological finds in Kashmir give enough evidence that we have been part of the religious and ethnographic fabric of Taxila. The visit to this ruined city on 7th April was highly satisfying. The archaeological monuments have been adequately protected. The site was excavated by the legendary archaeologist and first DG of Archaeological Survey of India, Sir John Marshal(1902-1928)The museum, set up by Sir John Marshal is well maintained and the objects, all from the site, have been professionally displayed. The House where Sir Marshall stayed is also now a museum with very rich collection of site reports and drawings.