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Buddhist Caves in Bandhavgarh Forests

Context:

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered Buddhist caves and stupas at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS I: History

What are the Findings?

Buddhist Caves:

  • 26 Buddhist Caves were discovered dating back to the 2nd and 5th centuries, pertaining to the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.
  • The caves and some of their remains had ‘Chaitya’ (rounded) doors and stone beds typical of Mahayana Buddhism sites.

Inscriptions in Brahmi text:

  • 24 inscriptions in Brahmi text were, all dating back to the 2nd-5th centuries.
  • The inscriptions mention sites such as Mathura and Kaushambi, and Pavata, Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa.
  • The kings they mention include Bhimsena, Pothasiri and Bhattadeva.

Remains of Temples:

  • The remains of 26 temples dating to the Kalachuri period between 9th-11th centuries and the possibly world’s largest Varaha sculpture also dating to the same period were found.
  • The Kalachuri dynasty, which spread over parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, is also associated with the earliest Ellora and Elephanta cave monuments.
  • The Varaha sculpture is among the many monolithic sculptures of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
  • Two Saiva mutts have also been found.

Remains of the Gupta Period:

  • Some remains of the Gupta period, such as door jambs and carvings in caves, have been found.

-Source: The Hindu


 

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