Chanakya taught here, Macedonian conqueror Alexander and Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya lived here, and Ashoka was the Viceroy here before he ascended the throne of the Mauryan Empire in Pataliputra. Over 2,500 years ago Taxila, 35 km from present-day Islamabad in Pakistan, was a major urban centre and place of learning.
The key to understanding the story of Taxila is its geography. Taxila was located just off the great trade route known as the Grand Trunk Road (Uttarapatha) and connected the Indian subcontinent with Central and Western Asia. This put the city at the centre of East-West trade and cultural exchanges. It also turned Taxila into a place where knowledge was absorbed and from which it emanated, for centuries.