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Mes Aynak – an ancient Indian city near Kabul


This is an archaeological reconstruction of the beautiful city of Mes Aynak, known to the ancient world as the “gateway of India”. It was known as such because it was on the northwestern frontier of ancient India. This reconstruction has been created by a team of scientists.

This is how the walled city would have looked like 2000 years ago. The Chinese traveler Xuanzang visited this city and called it the ‘gateway of India’. The original name of the city as found in Sanskrit sources was Lampaka (Mes Aynak is its modern name). According to Xuanzang, it was 30 Li by area. It is known that the citizens of Mes Aynak followed Buddhism and Shaivism as Buddhist Stupas and Shiva coins have been found during excavations.

During the 10th century, the city was ruled by Brahman Shahi king of Kabul, Jayapaladeva. But it was burnt to the ground by a Ghaznavid invasion. Once these walls were broken and Kabul Shahis fell, it was very easy for Ghaznavi to cross the Hindu Kush and invade mainland India. Today, the place belongs to Afghanistan ( near Kabul) and the only remains found at the site are ruining and decapitated Buddhas.