Pakistan: “These are Buddha’s footprints” – A trip to Sirkap

Dawn; It was the spring of 2012, students flooded in and out of classrooms hunting teachers for assistance with exam preparations and coursework. The ‘curious’ lot, as one of our professor’s aptly put it, was busy taking on extra courses for the last semester of high school.

That was when I opted for the art history course and fell in love with it instantly. The romance was short lived – the course only lasted two months. But during those two months, we traveled from Egypt to Mesopotamia, from ancient Greece to the sub-continent, and basically everything in between.

It was the course, the animated talks about ancient civilizations and the long hours of research and sifting through reading materials that first prompted me to travel and discover them for myself. My travels took me to the sacred sites at Taxilla – a lost land and age, forever reminiscent of a burgeoning cultural heritage.

The Jain Temple is a sanctuary built around a stupa, perhaps for pilgrims of that time. It now lies buried under grass and dirt, with rubble walls outlining its silhouette.

Sirkap’s picturesque beauty and its lush green grass contrasts with piles of rubble that narrate the story of the once mighty city of Takshashila, With a history of constant invasion, Taxila was finally decimated by the Hun Empire. The only relics of that age are the artefacts excavated from the Bhir mound, Sirkap and other sites.

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Categories: Asia

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