Jason Neelis, La Vieille Route Reconsidered: Alternative Paths for Early Transmission of Buddhism Beyond the Borderlands of South Asia”

Stupa veneration scene at Chilas II with a Kharosthi inscription: “By Pusia, resident of Oni.”

In his influential magnum opus, La Vieille Route de l'Inde de Bactres à Taxila (1942-1947), Alfred Foucher proposed that the “Ancient Route“ across the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan was the “grande route” for the diffusion of cultural elements into and out of South Asia. However, petroglyphs and inscriptions in the Upper Indus, Gilgit, and Hunza valleys of northern Pakistan demonstrate that an alternative network of capillary routes provided multiple pathways for early Buddhist transmission directly between Gandhara and eastern Central Asia.


home page