Vedicarcheologicaldiscoveries's Weblog

About discoveries that confirm the Vedic view of history

Archive for February, 2012

Bihar stupa could contain Buddha relics

Posted by Stephen Knapp on February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012

By IANS,
Patna : The Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) is set to begin excavation of a newly-found ancient stupa that was badly damaged and has been lying neglected for centuries in Bihar’s Begusarai district, an official said Saturday.
 
The Patna circle of the ASI has identified the location of the stupa at Harsai near Garhpura village. Archeaologists here believe that it could be one of the eight original stupas built to house the relics of Lord Buddha.
 
“Going by the physical appearance of the stupa and the use of mud lumps denotes that it could be one of the eight original stupas housing the Buddha’s corporeal relics. But that can be determined only after excavation,” the superintending archaeologist of ASI (Patna circle) S K Manjul said.
 
According to ancient scriptures, after the Buddha was cremated, there was a disagreement over the division of his remains. They were then divided into eight parts and distributed among the eight powerful kingdoms and republics, which laid claim over them. All of them buried their share of relics in stupas specially built to serve as markers of the physical presence of the Buddha and his teachings.
 
Till date archaeologists have identified six of them. “If this stupa turned to be seventh, it can be the ASI’s biggest discovery,” he said.
 
Manjul said the ASI plans to start the excavation in the next few months this year. “The ASI’s central advisory board of archaeology has already granted an excavation license to an archeaologist of ASI’s Patna circle to undertake the work,” Manjul said.
 
According to ASI officials here, the stupa may also turn out to be the only one, which emperor Ashoka could not open to take out the relics for distribution over the Indian sub-continent.
 
This stupa is made of sun-dried clay lumps and fixed with mud mortars and later strengthened with layers of gravel and burnt bricks. It is currently in a bad shape. The stupa is threatened by local resident, who are minning it for clay.
 
“Some local people have damaged a part of it to extend the agriculture fields.The stupa is lying neglected as it is unprotected till date,” he said.
 

  • HARSAI STUPA (Herson)

    (86˚10’40”/25˚36’20”)
    Harsai
    Manjhaul
    20 Kms North from Begusarai district headquarters.
    Stupa
    Archaeological Site
    Only one smaller Stupa of southern part seems to be intact due to thick vegetation cover. The main stupa has been cut almost to half.
    Diameter – 110 m
It consist of four stupas having the largest in the centre and there equidistant smaller in three directions, one each in the west, north and south. The completely clay built stupa use to have a hard outer most surface built by bricks-dust etc. (surkhi)This Bajralepit’ stupa consists of a three strate architectures. ‘Mahavansh’ has reference of such stupas. The finding of such remarkable stupa is significant for the history of the region. It must be seen in the contexet of Buddha’s visit to Anguttarap as referred in the “Majjhim Nikaya”.

http://www.begusaraiheritage.com/pages/imparc3.html

Posted in Vedic Archeology Discoveries | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

‘First astro observatory’ of Harappan Civilisation found in Kutch

Posted by Stephen Knapp on February 10, 2012

Tue Feb 07 2012, 01:57 hrs

Mumbai : A group of scientists has identified two circular structures at Dholavira in Kutch district of Gujarat, which they say is the first identification of a structure used for observational astronomy during the Harappan Civilisation. The discovery by M N Vahia from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Srikumar Menon from Manipal School of Architecture and Planning (Karnataka) is crucial, say scientists, as it is the first direct indication of intellectual capacity of people in the context of the civilisation and their relation to astronomy.“It is highly implausible that such an intellectually advanced civilisation did not have any knowledge of positional astronomy. These (structures) would have been useful for calendrical (including time of the day, time of the night, seasons, years and possibly even longer periods) and navigational purposes apart from providing intellectual challenge to understanding the movement of the heavens,” said the paper titled ‘A possible astronomical observatory at Dholavira’ to be published in the forthcoming edition of Man and Environment.

Vahia said Dholavira, assumed to be an island at that time, is almost exactly on the Tropic of Cancer and was an important centre of trade. “Hence, keeping track of time would be crucial to the city. So far, there had been no positive identification of any astronomy-related structure in any of the 1,500-odd sites of the Harappan Civilisation known today. The two structures identified by us seem to have celestial orientations inbuilt into their design. So, we have concluded that the two rooms in the structure were meant for observations of the sun,” he said.

He said the discovery will enable scientists to measure the intellectual growth of people of the Harappan Civilisation. It could give valuable insights on how the mentalities of the civilisation developed, in what ways they used the astronomical data to conduct business, farming and other activities.

The scientists simulated, what is now left of the two rooms, for response to solar observations and have concluded that important days of the solar calendar could easily be identified by analysing the image inside the room.

The simulations were conducted for summer and winter solstice. The study says the narrow beam of light from the entrances would also enhance the perception of the movement of the sun over a year.

“The interplay of image and its surrounding structures seem to suggest that the structure is consistent with it being a solar observatory to mark time. The west-facing circle has two flanking walls outside the exit, whose shadow touches the entrance on winter and summer solstice. The two square well-like structures at the southern end would provide an excellent location to observe zenith transiting stars even in the presence of city lights,” says the study.

Posted in Vedic Archeology Discoveries | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »