An important Buddhist shrine helped to make the city a centre of pilgrimage until the 7th century.
The name of the Gandhāris is attested in the Rigveda (RV 1.126.7) and in ancient inscriptions dating back to Achaemenid Persia.The Behistun inscription listing the 23 territories of King Darius I (519 BC) includes Gandāra along with Bactria and Sattagydia (Θataguš).In the book Histories by Herodotus, Gandhara is named as a source of tax collections for King Darius.The Aitareya Brahmana refers to King Sailusha of Gandhara who was a contemporary of Janaka, king of Videha.Gandhara was one of sixteen Mahajanapada of ancient India.After it was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1001 AD, the name Gandhara disappeared.
During the Muslim period, the area was administered from Lahore or from Kabul.
Conquered by Alexander the Great in 327 BC, it subsequently became part of the Maurya Empire and then the Indo-Greek Kingdom.
The region was a major center for Greco-Buddhism under the Indo-Greeks and Gandharan Buddhism under later dynasties.
On the identity of Caspatyrus, there have been two opinions, one equating it with Kabul, the other with the name of Kashmir (Kasyapa pur, condensed to Kaspapur as found in Hecataeus).
The boundaries of Gandhara varied throughout history.
It was also a central location for the spread of Buddhism to Central Asia and East Asia.