Gandhara Schist Sculpture of the Seated Buddha, Afghanistan, c. 200-500 AD. Gandhara throve in NE Afghanistan and NW Pakistan. At a confluence of trading paths along the Silk Route, the area had cultural influences from Greece to China. Gandhara flourished under the Kushan Dynasty and their king, Kanishka, who is given credit for spreading the philosophies of Buddhism throughout central Asia and into China. This period is regarded as the most important era in the history of Buddhism.