In news: In the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered Buddhist caves and stupas, and Brahmi inscriptions, dating back to the 2nd century, and Hindu temples from the 9th-11th centuries, and possibly the world’s largest Varaha sculpture.
- 46 new sculptures have come to light in exploration that took place 84 years after the last such effort in 1938.
- The Varaha sculpture is among the many monolithic sculptures of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
- Discoveries include:
- 26 Buddhist caves dating back to the 2nd and 5th centuries. The caves and some of their remains had ‘Chaitya’ (rounded) doors and stone beds typical of Mahayana Buddhism sites. This discovery brings the total number of caves found in Bandhavgarh to 76, as 50 are already in the records since the last survey.
- 24 inscriptions in Brahmi text, 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.
- 26 temples date to the Kalachuri period between 9th-11th centuries. In addition to this, two Saiva mutts have also been documented. The Kalachuri dynasty, which spread over parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, is also associated with the earliest Ellora and Elephanta cave monuments.
- Some remains of the Gupta period, such as door jambs and carvings in caves, have also been found.
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Source: The Hindu
Previous Year Question
Q.1) Which one of the following statements is correct? (2021)
- Ajanta Caves lie in the gorge of Waghora river
- Sanchi Stupa lies in the gorge of Chambal River.
- Pandu-Leni Cave shrines lie in the gorge of Narmada River.
- Amaravati Stupa lies in the gorge of Godavari River.