Gautama Buddha was the figure on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the eastern part of Ancient India, sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BC. He is recognised by Buddhists as an enlightened teacher, who shared his insights to help sentient beings end the cycle of rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorised by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and not committed to writing until approximately 400 years later. Gandhara is the ancient name of a region in northwest Pakistan, which is bounded on the west by the Hindu Kush mountain range, and bounded to the north by the foothills of the Himalayas. Buddhism probably reached Gandhara as early as the third century BC, and this relief is a fine example of the increasing popularity enjoyed by the belief system.
To discover more about Gandharan Buddahs, please visit our relevant blog post: Understanding Gandharan Buddha Poses and Postures.