Buddha Vihar Unearthed in Odisha's Jajpur district
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Buddha Vihar Unearthed in Odisha's Jajpur district

Report by Akshya Rout; Jajpur: The remains of a Buddha vihar along with some stone images of Lord Buddha ,Ganesh , Saraswati , Padmapani and others were unearthed from a land in village Hatikhal  in Jajpur district. Some workers stumbled across the ancient Buddha Vihar while they were digging earth for a pond under NREGA .

The workers stumbled upon a Buddha vihar beneath the earth after they dug four feet. A two feet high image of Lord Ganesh having four hands, three feet long meditating Buddha image, three feet high image of Saraswati , image of Padmapani , Tara, many ceramic hoards, high framed earthen bowls tiny bowls, begging bowls, spout jars, terracotta lamps, many broken potteries, , coins some stones with inscriptions.

"The unearthed Buddhist monastery had perhaps been built in 8th century AD under the active royal patronage and propagation of a Buddhist king of Bhaumakura dynasty flourished within 8th to 11th, century AD in Orissa. But, in 12th century, Hindu Rajas of Somabanshi and Gangs of Orissa were anti- Buddhism and pro- Bramahanical who could have possible demolished the Buddhist monastery and constructed a Shiva or Mahakala temple on the ruins of the Buddha vihar.

But, later on in 16th, century Muslim invaders demolished the Shiva or Mahakala temple as the Muslim rulers demolished and attacked many temples. Hindu kings had also demolished Buddha vihars and constructed Mahakala temples on the ruins of Buddha vihar in Ratnagiri and
Udayagiri two famous Buddhist monasteries in the area.

 Seven yearsback, the officials of Archeological Survey of India stumbled across a giant Buddha vihar beneath the Mahakala temple at Ratnagiri while the temple s renovation works were going on ", said Dr Harischandra Prusti a noted Buddhist researcher and the principal of Derabishi college .

The unearthed stone image of Lord Ganesh with four hands is a rare discovery in the state as the Lord Ganesh sits in Maharajalilasana posture in the temple. Out of four hands, one right hand holds a rosary. Another left hand holds a laddo. Third hand holds a noose (Brajapasana) .The fourth hand which is missing perhaps held a Khadi (earthen pen). The stone image of Ganesh was carved out from a Khondolite stone, added Dr Prusti.

This village is situated near the famous Buddhist sites of Lalitagiri, Ratnagiri , Udayagiri, Kaima and Langudi where the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed many Buddha images, potteries and other artifacts for which the ASI should unearth this village and its nearby areas to unearth more artifacts, said Prusti

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