Thursday, February 27, 2014

Discovery of ancient sculpture of Mahāparinirvāṇa Buddha

Tangible remains of the Buddhist past are scattered all over in the villages of Bihar. Most of these remains are still undocumented and unknown to the world. Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (NNM) has made this initiative to  photo document such undocumented heritage. The objective also is to facilitate awareness generation towards the significance of all such places locally and worldwide.

Recently the team from NNM has discovered a set of villages, 20 kms east of Bodhgaya, settled over ancient remains of some ancient Buddhist Monastery. The ancient remains (mound) of the monastery and temples is scattered in a large area on the South and West side of the Maher Hill. In the South-East end of the mound are the remains of an ancient temple with two images of Matreya Buddha. Both the images are from Pala period (8th-12th CE).

Towards its west are remains of yet another ancient temple. The main sculpture of the temple has been removed among it lies a 5ft X 3ft image Mahāparinirvāṇa Buddha from ancient times. This huge image at this place indicates that there was a Mahāparinirvāṇa temple here.

NNM team is doing its best to facilitate awareness generation towards the sanctity and importance of the place among the local community and also the stakeholders worldwide.

The idea is to revive the sanctity of the scared place. We hope some Buddhist institutions contributes towards the revitalisation of the place.

Dr. D Lama with the custodians of the Heritage 

The image is 5ft 4in long, 2ft 10in high and 10in deep

When discovered it was half buried and painted in white
Fully exposed Image of the Reclined Buddha

6th February, 2014, Telegraph

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