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Monday, February 21, 2011

Takshasila University

The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. Takshasila is also called Taxila, flourished from 600 BC to 500 AD, in the kingdom of Gandhar. 68 subjects were taught at this university and the minimum entry age, ancient texts show, was 16. At one stage, it had 10,500 students including those from Babylon, Greece, Syria, and China. Experienced masters taught the languages, grammar, philosophy, medicine, surgery, politics, warfare, astronomy, accounts, commerce, documentation, music, dance and other performing arts, futurology, the occult and mystical sciences,complex mathematical calculations.Generally students used to come here at the age of 16. The students had to pay some amount as Dakshina.  If they could not pay the fees they used to serve the teachers.  Apart from Law, Medicine and war strategies 18 different arts like Vedas, Archery, hunting and elephant riding were also taught. The panel of masters at the university included legendary scholars like Kautilya, Panini, Jivak and Vishnu Sharma. Many famous personalities like Panini (famous Sanskrit grammarian), Chanakya, and famous ancient Indian doctor Charaka and Chandragupta Mourya were all students of this university.  Historians say that Chanakya had written his Arthasasthra here, and his relationship with this University had brought fame to this University.   UNESCO had declared Takshasila as a World Heritage Site in 1980.Thus, the concept of a full-fledged university was developed in India.

This is presently located in Pakistan.  It is situated near the west of Grand Trunk road 35 kms, from Islamabad in Punjab state.  

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