06.07.2012 - 06.07.2012
Market on the way to Taxila.
Rawalpindi is close enough to these ancient ruins called Taxila. How did we get there? By taxi, of course. Reason being that it was too damn hot and it allowed us a quick outing in case we need come back to recover our luggage from the airport.
While most people haven't heard of Taxila (along with tourism in Pakistan), it is the subcontinent's richest archaeological site (says the guidebook). It is largely Buddhist with Greek influence as Alexander the Great passed through here. Add a dash of the neighbouring Persians plus Christianity with St Thomas passing through as well. These various elements are reflected in the ruins, eg. Buddhas with Greek facial features.
We started off at the museum and proceeded to visit three sites in the surrounding region by our taxi:
1. The first site was Sirkap which showed off the multi-cultural influences in its ruins and their decoration. It was only a few days ago when devotees commemorated St Thomas here (an annual affair).
2. Next was Mohra Moradu which had a few Buddhist stupas and some good statues.
3. Lastly, when I was losing interest due to the heat, I took a quick peek at Dharmarajika stupa on top of a hill.
I checked the Islamabad Airport website and noticed that the flight to Gilgit [Gilgit-travel-guide-1309157] had taken off. Hopefully it will come back with our luggage. Sadly it showed as cancelled a bit later (perhaps it turned back). So we're at leisure for the rest of the day.