Essay about Culture of Gandhara Civilization

3684 Words Mar 4th, 2012 15 Pages
Culture of Gandhara Civilization
Gandhara is the region that now comprise of Peshawar valley, Mardan, Swat, Dir, Malakand, and Bajuaur agencies in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Taxila in the Punjab, and up to Jalalabad in Afghanistan. It is in this region that the Gandhara civilization emerged and became the cradle of Buddhism. It was from here that Buddhism spread towards east as far away as Japan and Korea.
The intriguing record of Gandhara civilization, discovered in the 20th century, are found in the archeological sites spread over Taxila, Swat and other parts of NWFP. The rock carving and the petro glyphs along the ancient Silk Road (Karakoram Highway) also provide fascinating record of the history of Gandhara.
Taxila
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The uphill approach has helped in the preservation of the monument. The exposed buildings here include the main stupa and two courtyards in different terraces surrounded by votive stupa and shrines, the monastic quadrangles surrounded by cells for the monks, and a large hall of assembly. In one of the stupa courtyard is a line of colossal Buddhas, which were originally 16 to 20 feet high.
The site's fragmentary sculptures in stone and stucco are a considerable wealth but its most remarkable feature is the peculiar design and arrangement of the small shrines, which surround the main stupa. These shrines stood upon a continuous sculptured podium and were crowned alternately with stupa-like finials forming an ensemble. The beauty and grandeur provided by the entire composition is unparallel in the Buddhist world.

Languages used in Gandhara
Gandhara's language was an indo-aryan dialect, usually called gāndhārī. Texts are written right-to-left, which had been adapted for indo-aryan languages from a semitic alphabet.
During the Persian rule, the Aramaic script was used to write the Iranian languages of the empire. Semitic scripts were not used to write South Asian languages again until the arrival of Islam and subsequent adoption of the Persian-style Arabic alphabet for new indo-aryan languages like Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi and Kashmiri.
The Greeks introduced their language, art and religion in the country of Gandhara, where thirteen Greek

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