Jaulian Monastery, Pakistan
Jaulian was constructed between the 2nd and 4th centuries in the early days of Buddhist expansion out of the Indian subcontinent in the Ancient state of Gandhara. Centered around the confluence of the Kabul and Swat rivers in Modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan, the region attained its greatest florescence during the Kushan Kushan between the 1st and 4th centuries CE. Jaulian is part of the Taxila archeological site, home to the ruins of a once thriving ancient city and center of learning in Gandhara. It was along the trade routes of Taxila Valley that buddhism is believed to have spread. The Buddhist monastery and associated stupas of the Jualian archaeological complex shed light on the early evolution and spread of Buddhism along the Silk Road. The complex of Jaulian consists of the main stupa and twenty-seven subsidiary stupas located around the main stupa and two adjacent courts. An additional fifty-nine chapels are located around the courts and feature scenes from the Buddha’s life. Several structures related to monastic life, including monk quarters, assembly hall, kitchen, and store room complete the complex.
Inscriptions in the Kharosthi script are located at the bottom of some of the stupas and chapels and feature the names and titles of their donors. They illustrate the importance of patronage to the spread of Buddhism in the region, and the many different classes of donors show the broad appeal and impact the religion had to many segments of society.
Mar 22, 2019
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