Fresh digs planned in India’s Vaishali district

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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is all set to begin fresh excavations, after a gap of 16 years, in Kolhuwa, Marpasona and Virpur villages in the Saraiya area under Vaishali district, to establish the links between them and 6th century civilisation and culture.

The Lion Pillar at Kolhuwa built by Emperor Ashoka,Vaishani district, India. A source said ASI experts believe that the region was the epicentre of the civilisation that produced Buddha’s and Mahavira’s philosophy and also nestled the kingdoms of the Guptas, Kushans and Palas. Ashoka’s pillar and Buddha’s stupa are situated in Kolhuwa village — and this lends special significance to the forthcoming excavations, which will be carried out in the vicinity of these historical artefacts. A source said the area has been important from the time of Buddha.

A high-level team from the ASI, along with 15 technical experts, led by assistant archaeologist J.K. Tiwary and Ashish Kumar had been camping in the village to plan the forthcoming excavations.

Superintending archaeologist Sanjay Kumar Manjul and deputy-superintendent archaeologist Arvind Manjul are likely to pay a visit to these hamlets for supervising further excavations in a day or two. Tiwary said the ASI team with technical experts is on a tour of Vaishali, mainly in these villages to conduct excavation to ascertain links of between these villages and the sixth century. Tiwary also said excavations would be carried out on the pattern of systematic and scientific method of digging out fields.

An abundance of relics and remnants procured during the last excavation suggest significant clues about ancient civilization and culture could be found here in future.

Former rural development minster and Vaishali MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had written a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to allow ASI to conduct in-depth excavation in the region. The ASI team has decided to go for a month-long excavation and identified a sprawling area on the eastern flank of Buddha’s stupa in Kolhuwa village. Chief draftsman of the ASI Raman Kumar, however, said the excavation would be carried out for a long time and predicted that the villages spotted for excavations undoubtedly had rich relics, clay pots, terracotta vessels, statues and many other precious remnants depicting the glorious past.

Convener of Vaishali Development Committee, Vijay Suman, who has relentlessly spearheaded the crusade for new excavations, said these villages have outstanding history buried beneath them.

Fresh excavation of these historic villages could uncover secrets that would in turn attract foreign tourists from Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Thailand and Japan.


Author: Khwaja Jamal | Source: The Telegraph [January 07, 2011]


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