Chhema monastery, (near) Taxila, Punjab, PK

Raw data

An inscription records the foundation of a monastery in a place called Chhema, northeast of Taxila. The inscription is interesting because the donor appears to be the son of a donor mentioned on the Mathura lion capital. This would be a very early connection, perhaps 100 BCE. See Epigraphia Indica, Vol 4, 1896-97, p. 54-55. [Stewart Gordon, 7 September 2009]

"Professor J. Dowson of Sandhurst College, in a letter* addressed to Mr. E. Thomas, translates the inscription on the plate as
follows : 'In the year seventy-eight (78) of the great king Mogo on the fifth (5) day of the month Paneemus, on this notable occasion the satrap of Chhahara and Chukhsa by name Liako Kusuluko deposits a relic of the holy Sakyamuni in the Sepatiko, which he had established in the country called Chhema, north-east of the city of Taxila in honor of the great collective body of worshippers, and of all the Buddhas, for the honoring of his father and mother, for the long life, strength and prosperity of the satrap's son and wife, for the honoring of all his brothers and relatives and for making known his great liberality, fame, and success.' The great king Mogo is identified by General Cunningham and Professor Dowson to be the same as the Moa or Mauas of the coins which are frequently found in the neighbourhood."
* [Published in the Bengal Asiatic Society's Journal, No. 4 of 1863. 1870.] Notes on Archeological Remains at Shah hi Dheri. 91

"III. — Pliny J calls Taxila a famous city lying on a low, but level plain, the general name of the district being Amenda. Chhema was, however, the name of the country where the relics, according to the inscription, were deposited. No such country is now known, but chhema is a Sanscrit word, signifying pardon, forgiveness, absolution. Perhaps then the locality or country was expressly set apart for the deposit of propitiatory offerings "to all the Buddhas" particularly as the whole of the surrounding country from Khurram Grujar on the one side and Khanpur on the other, is dotted with small topes, the majority of which have been almost entirely demolished by zamindars and others, in search of coins and relics which are eagerly bought by dealers in the town of Pawal Pincli."

Input by: tmciolek, July 13, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 13 Jan 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 2 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Chhema monastery, PK.

General location of the Chhema monastery, PK.
lat=33.8025 long=72.88438
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2012.

Google Map link:,%20PK)&ll=33.8025,72.88438&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Pakistan: Punjab

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Khurram Grujar village - approx., Lat 33.7379 Long 72.8799 - based on the visual identification of the site in maps, - tmciolek, 25 Jul 2012.
  • Khanpur village - approx., Lat 33.8019 Long 72.89078 - based on the visual identification of the site in maps, - tmciolek, 25 Jul 2012.
  • An unidentified ruins of a rectangular structure [= remnants of one the Chhema's buildings?] W of Khanpur can be discerned at approx. Lat 33.8025 and Long 72.88438 - based on the visual identification of the site in maps, - tmciolek, 25 Jul 2012.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Ancient name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

  • Taxila Ruins of Sirkup, approx., Lat 33.755 Long 72.829 - based on the visual identification of the site in maps, - tmciolek, 13 Jul 2012.

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • [missing data]

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • perhaps 100 BCE - Epigraphia Indica, Vol 4, 1896-97, p. 54-55.
  • MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 13 Jan 2013
  • <=0200 dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological, architectural

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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