Bhir Mound

The Bhir Mound is an archaeological site that is part of the ancient city of Taxila in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It contains the oldest ruins in the area along with the nearby Hathial mound.


Darius I conquered the area in 518 BCE. At that time, Bhir was still a small town. The archaeological excavations carried out here by John Marshall from 1913 to 1934 revealed heavy masonry of the Achaemenid buildings that formed the earliest stratum of the site. Various other relevant artefacts were found as well.

In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great came and conquered the area. Raja Ambhi, it is recorded, entertained the Greek king here. He surrendered to Alexander and offered him a body of soldiers mounted on elephants. In 316 BCE, Chandragupta of Magadha, the founder of the Mauryan dynasty, conquered Panjab. Taxila lost its independence and became a mere provincial capital. Still, the city remained extremely important as centre of administration, education and trade. During the reign of Chandragupta's grandson Ashoka, Buddhism became important and the first monks settled in Taxila. Ashoka is said to have resided here as the vice-king of his father. In 184 BCE, the Greeks, who had maintained a kingdom in Bactria, invaded Gandhara and Panjab again. From now on, a Greek king resided in Taxila, Demetrius.