A view of the ruins of Jaulian.
Shown within Pakistan
Location Rawalpindi District, Punjab, Pakistan
Coordinates 33°45′56″N 72°52′30″E / 33.76552°N 72.87498°E / 33.76552; 72.87498Coordinates: 33°45′56″N 72°52′30″E / 33.76552°N 72.87498°E / 33.76552; 72.87498
Type Monastery

Jaulian (Urdu: جولیاں) are the ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery in Haripur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. The ruins are also quite close to Taxila in Punjab.


The ruins at Jaulian date from the fifth century CE and consist of two main parts. These are 1) the main stupa and 2) the monastery and university of Jaulian. The ruins are situated on a mountain top. The form and building of the university at Jaulian is similar to that of Mohra Muradu, about 1 kilometre away.

Main stupa

The main stupa at Jaulian is badly damaged. It is surrounded by 21 votive stupas. Some experts think that a few of the votive stupas are actually tombs of revered monks. The statues at the stupas are mostly preserved. A number of these have been removed for exhibitions at museums. The original structure of the building of the Stupa along with the plaster is preserved at some places.

A statue of buddha with a hole in the navel is an odd artifact. It is called the "healing buddha". Pilgrims would put their fings in the navel hole and pray for the ailment of the patients. The inscription preserved under the statue shows that it was given by a friar "Budhamitra Dharmanandin".[1] This inscription and a couple of others at this site show that the script was still used at Taxila in the fifth century CE.

Monastery and university

Jaulian silver Buddhist reliquary, with content. British Museum.

The monastery , apart from its monks and acolytes, also contained a number of rooms for the students in addition to a large pool for washing. There are 28 students' rooms. The monastery consisted of a second floor with another 28 rooms. Stairs of stone to the upper floor are still preserved. Statues of Buddha are present in front of some of the rooms. Th Buddhist university at Jualian, attached to the monastery, is accounted to be one of the oldest in the world. Students came to study here and consult texts from as far as South and Eastern India, from Afghanistan and China and other parts too.

Each room had a window for supply of fresh air and as a source of some light and a niche to hold the lamp of the student. The windows are small at the outer end of the wall and become enlarged at the inner end to keep wild animals out. The rooms were plastered and decorated with painting. The outer wall of the monastery is well preserved, which is very smooth and straight.

The monastery included a kitchen. A stone for grinding spices for the food is well preserved as well as two stone mills that were used to grind different types of grains. A hole in one of the brickstones of the kitchen wall was used for placing large spoons.

The monastery was burnt in 455 CE by the White Huns and thus destroyed.


  1. Marshall, John. Taxila: An Illustrated Account of Archaeological Excavations Carried Out at Taxila Under the Orders of the Government of India between the years 1913 and 1934. p. 372.
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