Taxila is a significant archaeological site in the modern city of the same name in Punjab, Pakistan. It lies about 25 km northwest of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and 25 km southwest of Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, just off the famous Grand Trunk Road.
Taxila was an important city of Ancient India, situated at the pivotal junction of the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia, on the eastern shore of the Indus river. Its origins go back to c. 600 BCE. Some ruins at Taxila date to the time of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, followed successively by the Mauryan Empire, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, and Kushan Empire periods.
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. The renowned archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the ruins of Taxila in the mid-19th century. In 1980, Taxila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.