What’s in News:
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) earlier this year discovered Buddhist caves and stupas, and Brahmi inscriptions, dating back to the 2nd century, and Hindu temples from the 9th-11th centuries, and possibly the world’s largest Varaha sculpture also dating to the same period, at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
- These findings would approximately date back to the same time as the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra.
What was found?
- ASI officials told the media that the caves date back to the time between 2nd century BC and 5th century BC, and pertain to the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.
- Other remains of Mahayana sect, such as chaitya-shaped doors and cells containing stone beds, have also been reported.
- The ASI team found a Buddhist pillar fragment containing miniature stupa carvings, dating back to the 2nd-3rd century AD.
- In all, 24 Brahmi inscriptions, dating from 2nd-5th century AD, have been reported.
- The inscriptions mention sites such as Mathura and Kaushambi, and Pavata, Vejabharada and Sapatanaairikaa.
- Important kings of the era mentioned in the inscriptions include Shri Bhimsena, Maharaja Pothasiri and Bhattadeva.
What else have been found
- The remains of 26 temples date to the Kalachuri period between 9th-11th centuries. In addition to this, two Saiva mutts have also been documented.
- The Kalachuri dynasty, which spread over parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, is also associated with the earliest Ellora and Elephanta cave monuments.
- Large monolithic sculptures of various avatars of Vishnu like ‘Varaha’ and ‘Matsya’, and “board games made in natural caves.
- Coins belonging to Mughal-era and Sharqi dynasty of Jaunpur Sultanate have also been found
- Buddhist remains, maths, sculptures, water bodies, mural inscriptions in old scripts like Brahmi and Nagari. inscriptions are also in Shankhalipi.
- Some remains of the Gupta period, such as door jambs and carvings in caves, have also been found.
About Bandhavgarh National Park of Madhya Pradesh
- Bandhavgarh National Park is situated amid the Satpura and Vindhya ranges
- It is best known for Evergreen Sal forest and Mixed forest.
- The Major Mammals of Bandhavgarh are Tiger, Leopard, Wild dog, Wild cat, Hyena, Wolf, Chital, Sambar, Black Buck, Rojda etc.
- According to Koppen’s Scheme, this park lies in Monsoon type with Dry Winter Climate.
- Bandhavgarh National Park is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India.
- White Tigers were first discovered near this region. Bandhavgarh National Park at present is a famous natural hub for White Tigers.