Sunday 12 December 2021

142. Monuments of the Gandhara Civilization at Taxila - 02 (Mohra Moradu)

As we noted in the previous post Taxila area is dotted with almost two dozen monuments of the Gandhara Civilization. One of them is Mohra Moradu, named after a small village nearby, is located at 33°45'39.1"N, 72°51'39.4"E.  It is a well preserved site and one of the most important in the area. It is located on a small hill in a relatively secluded place, appropriate for meditation and prayers. Like other Buddhist monuments, it too has a big stupa and a monastery to the east, a living place for the Buddhist monks.

The site was excavated in 1915-16 under the direction of Sir John Marshall. It belongs to the 2nd century AD, but was repaired and renovated extensively during the 4th to the 5th century. The stupas was built over a square plinth and base of the plinth was decorated with the finest stucco figures of Buddas and other holy figures. Some of them are on display in the Taxila Museum.  To the south of the main stupa is a smaller votive stupa. This stupa too is decorated with stucco figures, which are quite visible even today. The whole civilization was devastated and uprooted after the attacks of the White Huns in the mid 5th century AD. The monasteries were abandoned and Gandhara Civilization never recovered after wards. 

The main stupa is surrounded by hills. (25.11.2021)

Upper structure has partially vanished, but the plinth is still intact. (25.11.2021)

History of Mohra Murado is given on this board. 

Plan of Mohra Moradu. (25.11.2021)

The northern side, the path leading to the monastery. (25.11.2021)

Plinth and the round structure on it is quite visible. (25.11.2021)

A view of the smaller votive stupa in the southeast of the main stupa. (25.11.2021)

The smaller stupa. (25.11.2021)

Stucco figures on the stupa. (25.11.2021)

The stone work of the plinth. (25.11.2021)

Upper portion of the stupa. (25.11.2021)

View from the north east. (25.11.2021)

Tariq Amir (25.11.2021)

The monastery is a typical Gandhara monastery with a square court of 27 cells with an open courtyard. Assembly hall, kitchen, refractory and baths are to the east of the monastery. A squred water pool exists in the coutryard. 

A partial figure of probably Buddha. (25.11.2021)

Cells for the monks. (25.11.2021)

Cells along the southern wall. (25.11.2021)

View to the east. (25.11.2021)

A general view of the monastery. (25.11.2021)

Stucco figures of Buddha, the heads are on display in the Taxila Museum. (25.11.2021)

A figure of Buddha, saved in a closed niche. (25.11.2021)

Perhaps the most famour and precious of all the artifacts found at Taxila. The replica of this stupa is the main attraction at the Taxila Museum. (25.11.2021)

A canal passing nearby. (25.11.2021)

Mohra Moradu is one of the main attractions of the Gandhara Civilization in Taxila. One learns and understands a lot about this, now vanished, civilization by visiting this place. The monuments are taken good care of and the surrounding natural beauty adds to its attraction. If you have not seen this place then you have missed a lot.


Tariq Amir

December 12, 2021.


Note: Mohra Moradu is marked in yellow colour. I shall write about other monuments marked in red, in my next posts. 

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