2000-yr-old Buddhist site found in Doddaballapur
The Times of India News Service
BANGALORE: A rare 2,000-year-old Buddhist site has been unearthed by the Mysore University Archeology Department in Doddaballapur taluk, Kannada and Culture Minister Rani Satish said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters here, Satish said the excavation work was undertaken with funding from the state archeology department at Rajghatta village from the last one month. ``Traces of horse-shaped buildings, hundreds of paper-weight sized stupas, prayer hall bricks and pieces of pottery have been uncovered,'' she stated, adding that she herself had gone on a site inspection.
The village had not been able to grow any crop for years on end and had been considered drought-prone, Satish said. ``Now we feel that the mud finish on these buildings under the top soil prevented the water from seeping through and that's why crops couldn't grow. The people of this village have been selling the mud for construction work for their livelihood,'' she explained.
The discovery was made when excavation was done under several stone slabs measuring 10 x 10 feet, which were called ``Bhimana Guhe'' by the villagers. ``The mud was dug in oval cave like shapes and used for the burial of bodies in boxes, traces of which have been found,'' Satish said.
The excavations have also uncovered small slabs with writing on it, which could be Pali, Satish said. ``There is evidence that Rajghatta, which had a much grander sounding name earlier, was the seat of some local king at some point,'' she added.
Satish said the village of Rajghatta was presently a very remote village. ``The villagers are very excited about the discovery that their village is a place of historic value,'' she added.
On renovation and restoration work undertaken by the department at Abalur in Haveri district, which is the hometown of poet Sarvagna, Satish said Rs 48 lakh had been released for the purpose. ``We have also paid compensation to the present residents of the house where Sarvagna used to live and have taken it over. Renovation work at the temple, installation of his statue and a Sarvagna peeta is in progress,'' she outlined.
Satish said Rs 16 lakh had been released for the preservation of the ``Gadduge'' (grave) of the Veerarajas of Kodagu in Madikeri. ``These are similar to the Gol Gumbuz in terms of building materials and the panchaloha rods that have been used. Some people have encroached upon the area, whom we will have to regularise, but further encroachment will be prevented,'' she added.