The Gandhara reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Gandhara

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Gāndhāra (also Ghandara, Ghandahra) was an ancient kingdom in Afghanistan and north-west Pakistan centered on the Swat River (see Udyana) and Kabul River tributaries of the Indus River. Its primary cities were Peshawar and Taxila.

[[BuddhaEnlarge

[[Buddha

's First Sermon at Sarnath, Kushan Period, ca. 3rd century Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)]]


Gandhara is noted for the distinctive Gandhara style of Buddhist art, a consequence of the Greco-Buddhist syncretism which fused Indian influences with Hellenistic influences during the centuries following Alexander the Great's conquest of Central Asia in 334 BC. The Gandharan style flourished beginning in the 1st century AD under the Kushan dynasty, until the invasion of the White Huns in the 5th century.

The area's language, Gāndhārī, was a Prakrit. It was written in the Kharoṣṭhī script.

The Gandharan Buddhist texts are both the earliest Buddhist texts ever discovered and the earliest Indian manuscripts ever discovered.

Gandhara is also thought to be the location of the mystical Lake Dhanakosha, birthplace of Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The Kagyu sect identifies the lake with Andan Dheri stupa, located near the tiny village of Uchh near Chakdara in the lower Swat Valley. A spring was said to flow from the base of the stupa to form the lake. Archaeologists have found the stupa but no spring or lake can be identified.

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