Sunday, May 31, 2009
Gridhkutta & North Gate-Palace city
Xuanzang and Fahien have given the details of the Gridhkutta. When Fahien visited, Rajgir was already a desolate place; he stayed at the Gridhkutta for a night. Broadley was first to identify the site on Chhatha hill. Broadley identification was based on the remains scattered there on the top of the Chhatha hill.
Cunningham was looking for the site further east to Chhatha hill. This was because Cunningham was following the Xuanzang details, as per Xuanzang the Gridhkutta was 15li NE of the palace city. Cunningham’s identification of north gate, palace city is just 5Li from the Gridhkutta. It is evident further east he found no such remain to match the details left by the travelers. If he had corroborated the details provided by Fahien he would have definitely reached Chhatha hill. Fahien went to Gridhkutta from north gate mountain city, and his distance of 15 Li are almost exact. Also North gate mountain city is a better fixed point than the Palace city. Now that Gridhkutta has been identified there is a need to identify the Palace city, the place from where Xuanzang gives his measure.
Coordinates - 25º00' 01''N 85º 26' 48''E
Marshall in 1905 was first to notice the remains of the road made up of rough undressed stones. There are no traces of the stupas left on the road as mentioned by the Xuanzang. Broadley and later Marshall found images and other antiquities in the surrounding.
Stupa to mark the place from where Buddha beheld Magadha