ASI begins excavation to find Gateway to Nalanda Mahavihara

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Patna, Jan 8 (UNI) The Archaeological Survey Of India(ASI) has launched an excavation between Biharsharif and Nawada districts to find the main gateway to the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara.

Sources at the state unit of the ASI said here today that the excavation work had been started at Ghorakatora on National Highway 31 after preparing the contour map. The excavation is expected to throw fresh light on the existing ancient Nalanda site. The ASI felt that the excavation was essential to reveal the hidden glorious past of Nalanda.

After completion of the excavation work the area might prove to be an important structural site.

The sources informed that the excavation at Ghorakatora had been taken up in grid pattern and would be horizontal.

Apart from discovering the main entrance gate, other relics of Buddha, likely to be buried near the area, would also be excavated.

The Ghorakatora mound measures around 900 metre in North-South and 500 metre East-West and is about 40 to 50 feet high. There is a small square shaped fort in the centre of the mound and the ceramics which were found at the site were red ware, black ware and black red ware potsherds.

The sources said the findings indicate that the site might date back to Chalcolithic culture leading to northern black polished ware, Sunga-Kushana times up to medieval period.

Several terracotta ring wells had also been noticed at the site which might be connected with the ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara.

UNI RS PL SW DS1437

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