Monday, 16 February 2015

The Mosque at Gulshan Dadan Khan in Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi has been inhabited for thousands of years, it is believed that a distinct culture flourished on this plateau as far back as c. 1000 BC. The material remains found at the site prove the existence of a Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila and of a Vedic civilisation. The nearby town of Taxila has another significance; according to the Guinness Book of World Records it has the world's oldest university - Takshashila University.[2] In Takshashila, 19 km (12 mi) north-west of Rawalpindi, traces of at least 55 stupas, 28 Buddhist monasteries, 9 temples, a copper plate inscribed with the name Takshashila, a vase with Kharoshthi script among other things have been found.[3]
Sir Alexander Cunningham identified certain ruins on the site of the cantonment with the ancient city of Ganjipur or Gajnipur, the capital of the Bhatti tribe in the ages preceding the Christian era. Graeco-Bactrian coins, together with ancient bricks, occur over an area of 500 ha (2 mi²). Known within historical times as Fatehpur Baori, Rawalpindi fell into decay during one of the Mongol invasions in the 14th century.[4]
It appears that the ancient city went into oblivion as a result of the White Hun devastation. The first Muslim invader, Mahmud of Ghazni (979-1030), gave the ruined city to a Gakhar Chief, Kai Gohar. The town, however, being on an invasion route, could not prosper and remained deserted until Jhanda Khan, another Gakhar Chief, restored it and named it Rawalpindi after the village Rawal in 1493.

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