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The City of Smells (Taxila Charsadda and Swat)

گندھارا۔ The City of Smells. (Taxila Charsadda and Swat)

Gandhara was an ancient state that consisted of parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northern Pakistan and the Pothohar region of Punjab province. Peshawar, Taxila, Takht Bai, Swat, Dir and Charsadda were its main centres. It was to the north of the Kabul River.Gandhara lasted from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE.

Gandhara History

Gandhara is mentioned in the Rig Veda and Buddhist traditions. Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang who came here for pilgrimage. It has been described in detail. This region was also a province of Iran and Alexander the Great also came here. The philosopher Kautilya Chanakya also lived here. The Kushan period was the golden period of Gandhara’s history. Gandhara civilization reached its zenith during the reign of Kushan king Kanishka. Gandhara became the centre of Buddhist teachings and people started coming here to study. Greek, Iranian and local influences combined to give birth to the art of Gandhara. The arrival of Han invaders in the 5th century led to the decline of Buddhism. After the invasions of Mahmud Ghaznavi, Gandhara faded from history.

Gandhara stretched from the Kabul Valley and Ghazni to across the Indus River, including Swabi, Swat, Mardan and Rawalpindi. Arab historians date the Indian kingdom of Gandhara, which stretched from the Indus River to the Kabul River. Remember by the name of Kandhar (Gandhar). Al-Biruni mentions Kandahar (Gandhara) and writes that its capital was Vahanda or Ohanda. Al-Masudi mentions Kandahar (Gandhar) as the country of the Rahubids (Rajputs) and Kabul on the Indus River.The earliest mention of the region is found in the Rig Veda, the religious book of the Aryans. Because his bhajans depict the major rivers of the region, Kabul, Swat, and Gomel.

This suggests that the area was occupied by the Aryans. Evidence found in the area They have been named the Gondhra Grove Cltur. The Mahabharata reveals that Gandhara or Gandharada’s kingdom was here. Which was subdued by the ruler of Kashala with the help of KaKiya. Koshala’s two sons, Taksa and Poskda, founded two cities, Takshashila and Poshkalawati (Charsadda). The state was spread on both sides of the Indus River. Some archaeologists believe that Taxila was founded by the Taka tribe, who came from Central Asia. Therefore, it was named Teklasila, which gradually became Taxila. It is also attested by a Greek historian of the period and described as the city of Taxailo. Gandhara is mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures.

Gandhara Art.

Gandhara art is actually the essence of Greek, Saka, Parthian and Kushan civilizations. The center of Gandhara art was Taxila, but its roots were the stupa of Manikyala (present-day Rawat), the last frontier of the Gandhara region stretching from Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Afghanistan to Central Asia.
During the rise of the Gupta dynasty from the Maurya period, new centres of art and architecture came into being. Among them Barit and Bodhgaya, Mathura and Gandhara are notable. It is said to be the speciality of the sculptures of Mathura that here Gautam Buddha was first presented in human form (statue) and later it remained popular for a long time. The Gandhara school made the most progress in this art. Thus, the influence of Gandhara art is found in most areas of the subcontinent. Its specimens are found in the northern regions of Pakistan and some places in Afghanistan. Taxila is the most prominent in this regard. All these artifacts contain the traditions of Gautama Buddha’s life or religion. There is a lot of emphasis on details in these sculptures, so that they resemble the condition of the human body, for example, even the muscles are tried to be shown. In this way, the order of clothing became very important.
Experts opine Gandhara art also has Greek and Roman influences, but some have called it, rather than Gandhara, Indo-Greek art. There is no doubt, however, that the time of the Greek rulers of Bakhtar certainly accepted these influences in the region; but it cannot be ignored that among the artifacts of this school that have become available are Buddhist traditions or statues of Gautama Buddha, and the most admirable sculptures of this art we find in the statues of Gautama Buddha or Bidastua. Gandhara art flourished under the patronage of the Kushan rulers. That’s the reason It reached not only China and Japan but also the Far East through Chinese Turkestan and we can clearly see the influence of Gandhara art on the art of these regions.

It is said that earlier the statue of Mahatma Buddha was not made and there was no custom of worshipping him. Then the Fourth Council of Kanishka called the Kashmir Council was convened, in which many important decisions were taken and it was decided that the statues of Mahatma Buddha should be carved like the gods of Rome and Greece, so that there is a feeling of beauty and peace and not of misery and sadness. So it is said that a few sculptors were called from Greece to make their method known to the local sculptors. It is said that Gandhara’s statue of Buddha is actually a copy of the god Apollo, but they contain the same potra and peace symbol found in Gandhara’s carved statues. In addition, Gandhara’s iconography goes into detail, he creates a masterpiece out of the same stone as the nails, while the Greeks believed in making huge statues. It is not that huge statues were not built in Gandhara, the great statues of Bamiyan are the monuments of this period.

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