HARAPPA – Earliest Discovered Indus Valley Town
Harappa is an important archaeological site about 200 km south of Lahore. Harrappa is the foremost discovered site of Indus valley Civilization that flourished during 3500 BC to 1500 BC. The site shows traces of a well settled community living systematically with hygienic standards at that time. The site takes its name from a modern village located near the former course of the Ravi River. The current village of Harappa is 6 km from the ancient site.
The ancient city of Harappa was incidentally discovered during British rule in early 19th century during the construction of Lahore-Multan Railway. At site entrance, Harrappa Museum displays interesting excavated objects from the site.
TAXILA – Once a Great Centre of Buddhist Civilization
Taxila or Takshashila ("City of Cut Stone" or "Takṣa Rock") is one of the subcontinent’s treasures, and was once an important city of the kingdom of Gandhara. The ruins of Taxila are located about 30 km north of Islamabad/Rawalpindi, just off the famous Grand Trunk Road. Taxila was an important Buddhist Centre from 5th century BC to 6th Century AD. Ancient Taxila was situated at the pivotal junction of South Asia and Central Asia.
The renowned archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the ruins of Taxila in mid-19th century. In 1980, Taxila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2006 it was ranked as the top tourist destination in Pakistan by The Guardian newspaper.
Taxila was considered to be amongst the world’s earliest Buddhist university. Other notable sites here are: Bhir Mound, Dharmarajika Stupa, Sikap and Sirsukh cities, Shrine of double-headed Eagle, Jandial Temple, Jaulian Buddhist Monastery, etc.
Taxila Museum is famous for its magnificent collection of Gandharn Art (a blend of Greek and Buddhist art and house rare collection of utensils, jewelry, toys and pottery highlighting daily life of the inhabitants of ancient Taxila.