The Archaeological Survey Of India has excavated a Buddhist monastery-cum-shrine at Bahoranpur village in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district.
Curious visitors had been visiting the site, which dates back to the Pala period. All photos: Deepanwita Gita Niyogi
Bahoranpur (Hazaribagh), Jharkhand
A Buddhist monastery-cum-shrine has been unearthed in Bahoranpur, a village in the foothills of the picturesque Sitagarha hills, in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) began digging at the site in 2019, but work was stalled after the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year. Work again resumed for a while in January 2021 only to be discontinued after the COVID-19 second wave hit the country hard.
“A few local people knew about the site though it was not very well researched. They just had an idea that a Buddhist site lies here,” Rajendra Dehuri, superintending archaeologist in charge of excavation branch-III of ASI, told Gaon Connection.
In 2003, the Archaeological Survey of India Ranchi circle was set up. After primary exploration, focus shifted to this place. We found antiquities here. There are many similar sites spread over smaller areas, said Dehuri.
Climb up a steep path, and you can spot a lot of Buddha statues against brick walls. The place offers a breathtaking view of the vegetation-covered hills. The remains of a staircase, which opens out to the West, has also been exposed. Several small relics have been preserved for systematic study.
“Jharkhand has not been properly explored. So, we have to interpret history based on historical data available. The state government will take a decision as to the exhibits found here. Sites in southern Bihar also have similar features,” Dehuri explained.
The entire complex is possibly a Buddhist monastery as well as a shrine or place of worship, said Dinesh Kumar, who is supervising the work on behalf of ASI. “Three chambers have been found, and monks possibly resided here. The staircase would have probably been used to enter the rooms,” he told Gaon Connection.
Curious visitors had been visiting the site, which dates back to the Pala period, until the lockdown to take a look at the excavations.