Published on: January 23, 2023
Why in news? Recent excavations at Bharatpur in Paschim Bardhaman district of West Bengal have revealed the presence of a Buddhist monastery.
- The site unique in terms of other Buddhist sites as the presence of a large stupa, along with a monastery complex and black and red ware pottery, from the Chalcolithic or Copper Age
- Excavation is likely to shed more light to understand the earliest occupation of the site and its continuity till the establishment of a Buddhist monastery
The site is important for two main reasons:
- It is an early village settlement on the bank of the Damodar river
- The Buddhist monastery complex.
- The excavation was an attempt to trace the cultural continuity of the site where settlements could have been located for thousands of years
- The site was excavated with five beautiful seated sculptures of the Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra with all five fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground were found.
- This region has the potential to reveal interesting aspects about the extension of Buddhism in the region.
- A Buddhist stupa is a commemorative monument usually housing sacred relics associated with the Buddha or other saints or priests, whereas votive stupas have similar significance but are smaller structures originating in eight cylindrical structures.