Author Topic: Ancient Buddha idol, monastery unearthed in Jajpur  (Read 4246 times)


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Ancient Buddha idol, monastery unearthed in Jajpur
« on: September 11, 2012, 05:36:19 PM »
Here's another nice find of the Buddha's statue and temple in Jaipur, proving once again that Buddhism was strong in india. For some reason these finds always make me happy as it reminds me that the Buddhist tradition existed a long time ago and there was always huge sponsors to sponsor and make the Dharma grow in every region.

Thu, Sep 06, 2012 at 11:00
Ancient Buddha idol, monastery unearthed in Jajpur

An ancient statue of Gautama Buddha and remains of a Budhha Vihar (monastery) have been unearthed from Kesharaipur-Hatikhol village in the vicinity of world famous Lalitgiri Buddhist site in Odisha's Jajpur district.

Workers came across the articles while digging the land for a drain there three days ago, said noted Buddhist researcher Harischandra Prusty. A meditating Buddha idol, made probably during post Gupta period, and earthen items like bowls, spout jars and broken potteries were found from the spot.

"The unearthed stone image is called Bhurisapta Padmapani, an incarnation of Lord Buddha. The idol is made of Khondolite stone and its height and width is 3 feet 2 inches and 2 feet 1 inch respectively. While one of its hands is seen in blessings giving posture, another hand holds a lotus. Both the wrists bear bungles and armlets in the arms," said Prusty.

In addition to the Buddha image, a monastery has been discovered on the foot of Kesharaipur-Hatikhol hill. "The monastery is 30 x 30 metres size. There are four rooms each measuring 10 feet x 9 feet each. It is made of good size stones. The Buddhist monastery has been probably built in the eighth century under the patronage and propagation of a king of the Bhaumakara dynasty that flourished between eighth and the 11th century in the state," said Prusty.

"If proper excavation work is carried out, many historical findings may come out, he said. District Collector Anil Kumar Samal said the district administration would follow up necessary excavation and conservation works. The digging work was stopped after the discovery, he said.


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Re: Ancient Buddha idol, monastery unearthed in Jajpur
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 04:25:40 AM »
Wonderful news! More and more priceless artifacts are being discovered around the world especially in India where Buddhism came from. It is said that during the Gupta dynasty, there were many statues that were carved and disseminated through out Asia.

The Gupta style of the Buddha & its influence in Asia

Sculpture of the Buddha Sakyamuni can be assigned to the late 6th or early 7th century, a period in which the Gupta Dynasty-style of northern and north eastern India was at its summit.

The Gupta period (4th to 6th century) is noted as a time during which the quintessential Buddha image was created, becoming an iconic form which was disseminated and copied throughout the Asian Buddhist world. Gupta style stands at a crossroads in art historical developments in the sub-continent.

The Gupta style embodies the earlier figurative styles of north and north west India (Mathura and Gandhara), while achieving a new power and sophistication. It is noted for the full, sensuous modelling of faces and bodies, for a subtlety of expression and for the harmonious proportions of its figures. During these centuries the workshops at Sarnath, a monastic complex built on the site of the Buddha's first sermon, became especially artistically influential. A particular type of standing Buddha image was produced here whose body is covered by a diaphanous robe, which clings to the figure while flaring at the sides. This was to become the prototype for a multitude of later images including the Radiant Buddha.

At Mathura, another important northern Indian artistic centre, other standing images were produced in which the folds of the garment were prominently shown. The Radiant Buddha therefore shows an ancestry embracing both traditions, it reveals the long flaring transparent garment of Sarnath and at the same time the prominent folds of Mathura.

Though the Indian Gupta style is confined historically to the 4th to late 6th centuries,  the immediate north Indian legacy of the style, sometimes referred to as the Post-Gupta style, extends into the 7th and 8th centuries, the time-frame to which this sculpture belongs. The image is close in style to the large bronze standing Buddha of the 7th-8th century discovered at Sultanganj in eastern India during the mid 19th century and now housed in the Birmingham Museum. The other two surviving standing bronze Buddha images of the same date and style are held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The Gupta style, and its related Buddha images, were to be highly influential for the many regional schools of sculpture that arose in later periods all over the Indian subcontinent. Its influence can be discerned in the sculptures of eastern and northern India from the 8th to the 12th centuries (Pala Dynasty) and felt in the Himalyan kingdoms of Nepal during the 5th to 9th centuries (Licchavi Dynasty),  Kashmir (7th to the 14th centuries) and in Tibet from the 11th onwards. But the significance of the Gupta-style Buddha reached far beyond the Indian subcontinent itself. It was carried with the teachings of the Buddha throughout Asia and laid the foundation for images produced in Tang China, (7th to 10th centuries) and in the Hindu-Buddhist states of Southeast Asia.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Ancient Buddha idol, monastery unearthed in Jajpur
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 10:52:47 AM »
To add to what Ensapa and Bambi have highlighted, read below an ariticle from the National Geographic Daily News.

It is to be noted that these statues were respectfully buried - it could be that they were buried to prevent damage by unwanted parties, as a way to preserve the statues?

[url]The head of a Buddha statue peeks above the dirt in Handan (map), China, where archaeologists have reportedly unearthed nearly 3,000 Buddha statues, which could be up to 1,500 years old.

The discovery is believed to be the largest of its kind since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, an archaeologist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told reporters in late March, according to the Associated Press.

The Buddha statues—most of which are made of white marble and limestone and many of which are broken—could date back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties (A.D. 534 to 577), experts say.

The statues—discovered during a dig outside of Ye, the ancient capital of the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties—may have been rounded up and buried after the fall of the Northern Qi dynasty by later emperors in an attempt to purge the country of Buddhism.

"It may have been that some of the ruins and broken sculptures from the past were gathered from old temple sites and buried in a pit," said Katherine Tsiang, director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago.

In some cases, the Buddhist statues may have been buried by the faithful themselves in times of danger.

"In other sites, there are inscriptions that suggest that old damaged sculptures were not just dumped in a pit, but respectfully buried in an orderly way," Tsiang said.

(More China archaeology: "Pictures: Lifelike 'Wet Mummy' Found During Roadbuilding.")

—Ker Than

Published April 17, 2012
National Geographic Daily News