Discovering Pakistan

5, 000 years of Civilization & Culture

Gandhara Art & Architecture Photos I

A small collection of photos that depict some of the beautiful works of Indo-Greek art and architecture produced in Buddhist Gandhara in the early centuries of the Common Era. The … Continue reading

May 15, 2013 · Leave a comment

Introduction to Gandhara

Read the first chapter from the book “Buddhist Architecture of Gandhara” by Kurt A. Behrendt, Assistant Curator of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. This chapter … Continue reading

May 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Blind Prince

Prolific Pakistani author & travel writer Salman Rashid relates the tale of Prince Kunala, or Kunal, the circumstances that took him to Taxila where he was tragically blinded, and the … Continue reading

April 17, 2013 · 2 Comments

Legend of Prince Kunala

Kunala was the son of Emperor Ashoka and Queen Padmavati and presumptive heir to to the Maurya Empire, which, at the time (3rd century BCE), covered most of the Indian subcontinent and all of present-day Pakistan. Kunala was … Continue reading

April 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

Ashoka and Buddhism

Indian historian Romila Thapar does a critical assessment of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the role that Buddhism played in his policies, and the social and political climate of the Indian subcontinent … Continue reading

April 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

Story of Jivaka

Jivaka, one of the most celebrated physicians in Ayurvedic tradition, trained at Taxila University and went on to serve many distinguished personages, including King Bimbisara of Magadha and his great … Continue reading

April 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

Taxila, Intellectual Capital of India

The great city of Takshashila (modern Taxila) was a capital of ancient Gandhara and home to one of the oldest, if not the oldest, university in the world. Takshasila University … Continue reading

April 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

Ashoka the Great’s Rock Edicts

Ashoka, the third monarch of the Maurya Empire, ruled the Indian subcontinent between 269 and 232 BCE. Regarded as one of India’s greatest rulers, Ashoka converted to Buddhism after waging … Continue reading

April 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Arthashastra

The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy, authored in the 4th century BCE by Kautilya (popularly known as Chanakya), a professor at Takshashila University and advisor … Continue reading

March 14, 2013 · Leave a comment

Megasthenes at the Mauryan Court

Shortly after Alexander and his troops withdrew from India in 325 BCE, leaving behind satraps (governors) in Taxila, Western Punjab and the Indus Valley, Chandragupta Maurya founded the first great … Continue reading

March 12, 2013 · Leave a comment

Alexander the Great in the Punjab

Dutch historian and author of a biography of Alexander the Great, Jona Lendering critically reviews the Macedonian king’s march through ancient Pakistan, highlighting the extreme violence used in the campaign. … Continue reading

March 11, 2013 · Leave a comment

On Raja Paurava and Alexander

Pakistani author and travel writer Salman Rashid pays homage to Raja Paurava, the King Porus who gave battle to Alexander the Great at the river Jhelum in 326 BCE. Rashid … Continue reading

March 11, 2013 · 1 Comment

Invasion of India by Alexander the Great

Alexander of Macedon, after conquering all of present-day Turkey, Egypt, the Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, set his sights on what the Greeks considered the frontier of the known world … Continue reading

March 8, 2013 · Leave a comment

Herodotus on India

Herodotus of Greece, the “Father of History”, had a most vague and meagre knowledge of the Indian subcontinent. He knew that it was one of the remotest provinces of the Persian Empire … Continue reading

March 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Inscription of Darius the Great

Darius the Great (550–486 BCE) was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. He ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of modern Pakistan. The pre-Islamic Persian kings … Continue reading

February 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Katas Raj – Where Shiva Wept

In 2005, Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani was invited to Pakistan on a goodwill tour. One of the places he visited was Katas Raj, a complex of beautiful, … Continue reading

February 27, 2013 · 1 Comment

Indra’s Beverage

British journalist Alice Albinia travels to the remote valleys of the Hindukush and Karakorum in northwest Pakistan in search of the original “Aryans” and the homeland of the Rigveda. There … Continue reading

February 22, 2013 · Leave a comment

Lament of Queen Gandhari

Gandhara was the name of an ancient Vedic kingdom, comprising the Peshawar Valley and Potohar Plateau in Pakistan, and the Kabul Valley in Afghanistan. According to the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, … Continue reading

February 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

Lava & Kusha, Founders of Lahore & Kasur

The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of ancient India, ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki. Consisting of 24, 000 verses, it tells the story of Rama, king … Continue reading

February 19, 2013 · Leave a comment