February 4, 2023 2:47 pm

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Ancient Temples, Votive Stupas Explored at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Remains of ancient temples, scriptures, votive stupas, and many more were explored at the tiger reserve at a gap of eighty-three years, when last such exploration took place.  

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In a significant move, the Archaeological Survey of India in its month-long exploration excavated some significant findings in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. Remains of ancient temples, scriptures, votive stupas, and many more were explored at the tiger reserve at a gap of eighty-three years, when last such exploration took place.  

The Jabalpur Circle of ASI under Superintending archaeologist, Shivakant Bajpai and his team of dozen members covered a total of 170 square kilometers. The last such exploration was carried out in 1938 under archaeologist NP Chakravarti. 

Significance of the Findings

Among the incredible findings, 26 caves belonging to 2-5th Century were excavated that are associated with the Mahayana sect of Buddhism. According to an ASI official, it is an astonishing fact to discover the remains of Buddhist structures in a region ruled by the Hindu dynasty. This clearly signifies religious harmony between different cultures in the region. 

24 Brahmi inscriptions belonging to the 2-5th Century were also excavated, which mentioned the names of cities like Mathura, Kashami, Pavata, Vejabharada, and Sapatanaairikaa. Names of important kings were also mentioned, mainly Maharaja Shri Bhim Sena, Maharaja Pothsiri, and Maharaja Bhattadeva. 

Another statement by an ASI official states that the names of cities located far away from Bandhavgarh suggests that there might have been trade relations between different regions in India.

A total of 35 ancient temples have been documented, nine in the earlier survey and 26 in the recent one, which belonged to the Kalachuri Period(9-11th century). 

Among the other findings were 19 water sculptures(2-15th century), 2 monasteries, 2 votive stupas and 46 sculptures(2-3rd century). 

The recent excavation is quite significant in the field of unraveling the Indian historical culture. It will open a new chapter in the history of Bundelkhand.

Also, this is the first time that all the remains have been documented officially by the agency.  

Despite opening new doors to the archaeological domain, the exploration might also have a negative impact that might hamper the ecosystem of the Bandhavgarh forests. With the remarkable excavations, the area might attract tourists that will affect the wildlife in the region thus creating a problem of man-animal conflict. 

The Indian Affairs Staff
The Indian Affairs Staff

For India Matters

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