Gandhara Buddha at Jaulian, Pakistan


The beautiful Buddhist remains in Jaulian give a hint at how magnificent this complex would have once been . Jaulian is now ruined  Buddhist monastery dating from the 2nd century CE  . Jaulian is located in   Khyber Pakhtunwala province province, near the provincial  the city of  Taxila. Jaulian, along with the nearby monastery at  Mohra Moradu form part of the Ruins of Taxila– a collection of excavations that were inscribed as a  UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1980.

The Jaulian archaeological complex contains the remains of a Buddhist monastery and a large Stupa or Buddhist shrine. The site was constructed in the early days of Buddhist expansion out of the Indian subcontinent when this region was part of the Kushan Empire. The Kushans were a nomadic people from the Eurasian steppe who came to control and rule over an important segment of the Silk Road linking China and India to the Mediterranean basin.

The site of Jaulian is located in the Taxila Valley, once part the ancient Kingdom of Gandhara, which spanned over parts of modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan and experienced its peak during the Kushan Period between the 1st and 4th centuries CE. With access to land routes to the Parthian (Persian) Empire in the West, seaports along India’s West coast, and the Central Asian corridor of the Silk Road, Gandhara was well situated to benefit from commercial activity. Jaulian, along with the rest of ancient Taxila was devastated in the 450s CE during the invasion of the White Huns, and later abandoned.

The art of Gandhara sublime in its soft expressions and fluid rendition  was influenced  by Hellenistic  and Persian  characteristics .


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