Takshila 700 BCE- World’s first University

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The world’s first university was established in Takshila or Taxila around 700 BC. More than 2700 years back it is existed in ancient India and believed to be flourished from 600 BC to 500 AD, in the kingdom of Gandhar (Presently Haryana). Taxila is a town situated in Rawalpindi District of Punjab, Pakistan. Takshila was a part of India before the partition, now it comes in Pakistan’s Territory.

More than 10,500 students including from Babylon, Greece, Syria, and China studied more than 60 subjects and the minimum entry age was 16. Experienced masters used to teach the vedas, languages, grammar, philosophy, medicine, surgery, archery, politics, warfare, astronomy, accounts, commerce, documentation, religion, music, dance and other performing arts, futurology, mystical sciences, complex mathematical calculations. The legendary teachers at the university included scholars like Kautilya (Chanakya), Panini (Sanskrit grammarian), Charak (Famous Physician), Jivak and Vishnu Sharma. Its campus was one mile in length and a half-mile in width. It also had 300 lecture halls with stone benches for sitting, laboratories and other facilities were also available. Presence of chanakya perhaps gave the prominence to this university as it was believed that chanakya composed his famous treatise “Arthshastra” here in Takshila.

In the second half of the 5th century, Takshila was severely damaged by the invasion of Hephthalite and in 7th century it was finally abandoned. Takshila was declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO in 1980.