Taxila , Sanskrit Takshashila , ancient city of northwestern Pakistan , the ruins of which are about 22 miles 35 km northwest of Rawalpindi. When these routes ceased to be important, the city sank into insignificance and was finally destroyed by the Huns in the 5th century ce. Taxila is known from references in Indian and Greco-Roman literary sources and from the accounts of two Chinese Buddhist pilgrims, Faxian and Xuanzang. The great Indian epic Mahabharata was, according to tradition, first recited at Taxila at the great snake sacrifice of King Janamejaya, one of the heroes of the story.
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Ancient Taxila was situated at the pivotal junction of the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia. The origin of Taxila as a city goes back to c. Owing to its strategic location, Taxila has changed hands many times over the centuries, with many empires vying for its control. When the great ancient trade routes connecting these regions ceased to be important, the city sank into insignificance and was finally destroyed by the nomadic Hunas in the 5th century.
Taxila's ruins are internationally renowned, and function as a series of interrelated sites, including: a mesolithic cave, the remains of 4 ancient cities, and Buddhist monasteries and stupas. The city's Sanskrit name means "City of Cut Stone". The city's ancient Sanskrit name alternately means "Rock of Taksha " — in reference to the Ramayana story that states the city was founded by Bharata , younger brother of the central Hindu deity Rama , and named in honour of Bharata's son, Taksha.