Dharmarajika Stupa, also known as the Great Taxila Stupa, is a Buddhist stupa located near Attock, Pakistan. Founded in the 3rd century BC, it was built by King Ashoka over the relics of the Buddha. The stupa, along with the large monastic complex that later grew around it, forms part of the ruins of Taxila, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
The Dharmarajika Stupa is believed to have been built on top of an even older stupa built by the Moorish emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC to house the Buddha’s relics. Buddhist scriptures state that incense was used during Dharmarajika prayers, and that the complex was paved with colorful glass tiles. The Indian he Greek coins found at this site date from the 2nd century BC. It suggests that the earliest possible religious monument was erected at this site in BC.
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Smaller stupas, older than the main stupa, are scattered throughout the Dharmarajika, surrounding an early core stupa in an irregular arrangement. It is known that early core stupas had gypsum circuits and were decorated with shell he bracelets with geometric designs. An early stupa probably had his four gates axially.
The Dharmarajika Stupa is the largest of all stupas in the Taxila region. Around the main mounds are pradakshina passages, an ancient practice of roaming holy sites. The Great Andala, or hemispherical mound, of the stupa, is damaged, but the base of the mound, known as the Medhi, is still mostly intact. Andahil was made of ashlar. The harmonica or fence-like structure of the stupa built on the hills of Anda has been lost.
The south gate of the stupa was originally considered the most important, but the construction of four smaller stupas on the west side of the stupa probably made it the preferred entrance for pilgrims. Suggest. Later construction around “Eastern Avenue” preferred a circular route to the east of the pagoda.
The stupa is surrounded by a circle of smaller stupas built about 200 years after the main stupa was built, probably assembled as part of a project funded by a single patron. Other stupas were built along the northern part of the site by various patrons and date from the Indo-Scythian period. These stupas form the “North Avenue” which houses several smaller shrines, and the North Avenue is a corridor of processions. Images of prayer were relegated to the periphery of the complex. This is probably due to religious conservatives who were reluctant to fully embrace the new practice of using imagery for religious practice.