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New Buddha era relics excavated

New Buddha era relics excavated
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New Buddha-era relics have been unearthed in Ramgram Nawalparasi West Nepal located 46kms east of Maya Devi temple making this a prime Buddhism pilgrimage site for visitors coming to pay homage to the Buddha.

 

In an exciting news for archaeology structures of a pond and a Vihar (monastery) believed to have been built during the 5th century BC were uncovered during excavations at the Ramgram Stupa in Nawalparasi West. A joint team of archaeologists from the Department of Archaeology Nepal and Durham University in the UK had carried out a month long excavation work at the site.

 

According to Robin Coningham, professor at Durham University and advisor to UNESCO, several bricks used in building the Vihar and the pond were unearthed. He opined these discoveries are of great archaeological significance.  The discoveries of Buddha-era relics establishes Ramgram area as a historically and archaeologically significant site deserving to be included in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites along with the Tilaurakot palace of Kapilvastu.

 

Carbon testing of the recently uncovered structures and relics will help establish the Ramgram area as a historical site,” said Mr Ram Bahadur Kunwar, a senior archaeologist and spokesman at the Department of Archeology Nepal.

 

Ramgram Stupa is one of the eight original relic stupas where remains of Shakyamuni Buddha are enshrined. The stupa is a brick mound situated at ward 7 of Ramgram Municipality, around 7kms south of Parasi, the district headquarters of Nawalparasi West. 

 

In 2019, archaeologists conducted a geophysical survey of the Ramgram Stupa area. According to Professor Coningham, the current team of archaeologists carried out the fresh excavation a month ago based on the 2019 geophysical survey, which identified a Vihar and a pond in the area.

 

“Very old and ancient structures have been uncovered during the excavation. The structures align precisely with historical descriptions of the Stupa,” said the British professor. Further study of the new findings would establish the area as a very important historical site.

 

Conservation efforts together with the areas’ development would minimize human encroachment and human activities around the site. In the past, surveys were carried out in the Ramgram Stupa area in 1997, 1999 and 2014. Locals believe the area was once the capital city of ancient Koliya state, Panditpur. In 2014, a team of archaeologists excavated substantial evidence suggesting that Panditpur of the then Banjariya VDC was the capital of the ancient Koliya state. The team claimed that the materials uncovered date back to the 7th century BC. They had found mouths of wells, topaz, bangles, crystals, stones, and human statues dating back to the Kushan era circa 2nd century BC to 1st century CE during the excavation.

 

Lumbini and its surrounding areas continue to draw Buddhists and visitors alike looking to experience the region where Buddha once walked.

 

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