In the summer of 2001, I made an agreement with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) to conduct independent research on the Silk Road. I proposed to travel overland from Xian, China, to Delhi, India.
My Liberal Studies Adviser, Prof. John Cheng, agreed, providing I visited Harappa, the Indus River Valley Civilization site, and Taxila, the Gandhara Civilization site.
Taxila was one of the most ancient universities in the world, where people from all over Asia and the Middle East came to study and teach. At least eighteen subjects were covered, including medicine, religion, and science. Instruction was available in at least five different languages, and this multicultural environment contributed to the pre-eminence of Taxila as a center of learning from the 5th century BC until the 2nd century AD.
Taxila was a key site where the ancient Greeks met the Buddhists, a cultural coincidence that occurred at the dawn of Mahāyāna Buddhism and the birth of the Gandhāran Civilization.
I was fortunate to be able to visit the Sirkap archaeological site at Taxila, evidence of an ancient Greek city in South Asia.