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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 29 September, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Buddhist Caves found at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Buddhist Caves found at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

  • Following an exploration exercise this year, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) reported 26 Buddhist caves in Madhya Pradesh's Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.

About

  • The caves date from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century BC and are associated with the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.
  • For the first time since 1938, the exploration was held in the region.
  • These discoveries would be roughly contemporaneous with the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Other discoveries: In addition to the caves, other Mahayana sect remains, such as chaitya-shaped doors and cells with stone beds, have been reported.
  • A Buddhist pillar fragment with miniature stupa carvings from the 2nd-3rd centuries AD.
  • Brahmi Inscriptions: A total of 24 Brahmi inscriptions dating from the second to fifth centuries AD were discovered.
  • Inscriptions discovered mention Kaushami, Mathura, Pavata (Parvata), Vejabharada, and Sapatanaairikaa.
  • Shri Bhimsena, Maharaja Pothasiri, and Bhattadeva are among the important kings mentioned in the inscriptions.
  • Gupta period remains were also discovered: The exploration project discovered door jambs as well as 26 ancient Kalachuri period temples/remains (9th-11th century AD).
  • Excavations have also revealed 46 sculptures and 19 waterbodies dating from the 2nd to the 15th centuries.

The Ajanta Caves

  • Ajanta is home to some of the earliest Buddhist architecture, cave paintings, and sculptures.
  • It is in the north-central Maharashtra state, near Ajanta village.
  • Ajanta has 29 caves, the majority of which are Viharas (Buddhist monastery halls of residence), with some Chaitya-grihas (stupa halls)
  • The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta were built during the Gupta period in the second and first centuries B.C. (5th and 6th centuries A.D.).
  • In 1983, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Ellora Caves

  • Ellora, also spelled Elura, is a collection of 34 magnificent rock-cut temples in Maharashtra's Charanandri hills.
  • Display a spirit of coexistence and religious tolerance through the outstanding architectural activities of three major religions: Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Jainism.
  • Ellora's magnificent rock-cut monolithic Kailasa temple, also known as Kailash Leni, was built by Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna I.
  • In 1983, the Ellora complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Elephanta Caves

  • Elephanta Island (also known as the Island of Gharapuri) is located in Western India. The small island is dotted with numerous ancient archaeological remains that are the only testimonies to its rich cultural past.
  • The main cave is spread out on Gun Hill and contains incredible sculptures of Lord Shiva in various postures and forms. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

  • History: In 1968, it was designated as a national park.
  • In 1993, a tiger reserve was established.
  • Location: In the Satpura hill range to the east (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Known for: a healthy tiger population and a diverse range of herbivores.
  • It has a unique biodiversity because it has hills, valleys, rivers, marshes, and meadows that give rise to diverse vegetation.
  • Bandhavgarh is well-known for its Evergreen Sal forest and Mixed forest.
  • There are approximately 515 plant species found there.
  • Fauna: Home to 242 bird species and numerous reptile and insect species.
  • Major Mammals: Tiger, Leopard, Wild dog, Wild cat, Hyena, Wolf, Chital, Sambar, Black Buck, Rojda, and others.
  • Bandhav means "brother," and garh means "fort" in Hindu mythology.
  • It is believed Lord Rama built this fort and gave it to his brother Lakshman.

Read also: Bojjannakonda Buddhist Site

Source: The Hindu


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