A high-powered delegation of Thailand, led by none other than the distinguished Royal Thai Princess Maha Chakkri Sirinthon herself, visited the ancient Buddhist remains at Taxila, Sirkap and Julian on Tuesday, March 20 to witness the grandeur and archaeological remains of the once thriving Buddhist civilization in this part of the region.
She was accompanied by Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to Prime Minister, and other members of the delegation. She also visited Dharmarajika Stupa and Sirkap.
Princess lauded the steps taken by the successive Pakistani governments to preserve and restore the ancient sites and said that she was impressed by the quality of the archaeological restoration work carried out at these sites.
The Thai delegation took a whole day to visit these sites, exploring and asking question regarding the primitive Buddhist sculptures and statues.
“It is an exciting experience to tour Taxila,” said delegation members. They said Taxila was like a book on the Buddha.
Taxila and many of the adjacent ruins are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the history of the region dates back to 5th Century BC. The city dates back to the Gandhara period and contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilāwhich was an important Hindu and Buddhist centre, and is still considered a place of religious and historical sanctity in those traditions. By some accounts, Taxila was considered to be amongst the earliest universities in the world and is well known for its association with Chanakya, also known as Kautilya, the strategist who guided Chandragupta Maurya and assisted in the founding of the Mauryan Empire.
Taxila is located 549meters above sea level and holds some of the best preserved stupas and Buddhist statues in the world. In 2006 it was ranked as the top tourist destination in Pakistan by The Guardian newspaper.