The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found ancient temples, monasteries, caves and inscriptions during its recent exploration at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. Some of these remarkable archeological remains from the 2nd and 5th centuries.
Taking to Twitter, the ASI revealed that its team has found remarkable archaeological remains, including 26 temples, 26 caves, 2 monasteries, 2 votive stupas, 24 inscriptions, 46 sculptures, other scattered remains and 19 water structures.
For the first time since 1938, an ASI team conducted exploration in the region. During the months-long exploration, it covered nearly 170 sq km falling in the area of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy later tweeted about the findings at Bandhavgarh.
The time period of the findings covered the reigns of the kings Shri Bhimsena, Maharaja Pothasiri, Maharaja Bhattadeva. Places deciphered in the inscriptions are Kaushami, Mathura, Pavata (Parvata), Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa.
A senior ASI official said, "Names of these cities located far away from Bandhavgarh suggest that there were trading ties and people from other cities may have donated something, but again, it is a matter of conjecture."
Superintending Archaeologist of the Jabalpur Circle, S K Bajpai, who led the team, said, “This is the first time ASI has explored Bandhavgah since the 1938 exploration by archaeologist N P Chakravarti”.
Many structures there were documented. We reported and documented more structures, including ancient caves, temples, Buddhist remains, maths, sculptures, water bodies, mural inscriptions in old scripts like Brahmi and Nagari."
Located about 500 km from state capital Bhopal, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is home to the majestic big cats.
"For me, the most startling finding is the remains of the Buddhist structures in the region where a Hindu dynasty ruled. It suggests religious harmony, but who built these Buddhist structures is not known yet, " the ASI official added.
ASI had taken special permission from the forest authorities to explore the area in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. The ASI official said that he encountered a tiger and elephants during the job, but caves gave them shelter.
Image courtesy: ASI