Buddhist Caves and Temples found in MP

Buddhist Caves and Temples found in MP

News: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered Buddhist caves, stupas and temples at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

Key Findings:
• 26 Buddhist Caves were discovered dating back to the 2nd and 5th centuries, pertaining to the Mahayana sect of Buddhism. The caves and some of their remains had ‘Chaitya’ (rounded) doors and stone beds typical of Mahayana Buddhism sites.
• 24 inscriptions in Brahmi text were, all dating back to the 2nd-5th centuries. The inscriptions mention sites such as Mathura and Kaushambi, and Pavata, Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa. The kings they mention include Bhimsena, Pothasiri and Bhattadeva.
• Also part of the findings is 26 ancient temples and remains from the Kalachuri period.
• Some other findings include board games, a monolith depicting 10 avatars of Vishnu, 2 Shaiva math belonging to Kalachuri Period and a votive stupa.

About Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve:
• Found in Umaria district of MP, it was initially a National park (1968) and then became Tiger Reserve (1993).
• Its mention can be found in the ancient books of the ‘Narad Pancharatra’ and the ‘Shiv Purana’ that this place is being associated with Ramayana.
• The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which was said to be given by Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka. Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother's Fort).
• The Bandhavgarh Fort is a great masterpiece of “Treta Yuga” (one of the ages of mankind in Hinduism).
• It was ruled by major dynasties including Sengars, the Kalchuris, and the Baghels (believed to rule the regions for the longer period).
• The whole park is filled with more than 20 streams out of which some of the most important streams are Johilla, Janadh, Charanganga, Damnar, Banbei, Ambanala and Andhiyari Jhiria. These streams then merge into the Son river.
• Species Found include Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Striped Hyena, Leopard and Tiger, Wild Pigs, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur.

About ASI:
• The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
• Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
• Besides it regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

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