1900-yr-old Buddhist Monastery discovered in Gujarat

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Ahmedabad, Oct 11 (UNI) Gujarat Archaeology Department has discovered a small Buddhist monastery in Vadnagar town of North Gujarat.

Talking to UNI, State archaeology department director Dr Yadubirsingh Rawat today said the 1900-yr-old monastery was built of bricks on a plinth and had 12 chambers of different sizes, where the monks used to stay. Its entrance was in northern direction. A small drain was found in south-west corner of the monastery.

Dr Rawat said ''So far, more than 2,000 pieces of archaeological importance have been found from Ghaskol Darwaja excavation site in Vadnagar, including 2,000-year-old house, several clay utensils, silver coins, beads, ornaments, Roman style head sculpture, turbaned face clay plaque, votive tablet, head sculpture, plaque sculpture depicting Buddha and parts of vessel on which Buddhism related words are written in Brahmi script.'' He said ''The Buddhist monastery probably belongs to second to fourth century era. It was probably in use for 300 years. After two years of excavation, we can now confirm that this was a Buddhist monastery.'' According to Mr Rawat, Chinese traveller Hieun Tsang had visited Vadnagar, which was known as Anandpur between 640 AD and 644 AD, and had documented presence of 1,000 Buddhist monks and 10 Buddhist monasteries in and around Vadnagar. Decades ago, a sculpture of Bhagvan Buddha was found from Vadnagar, which was then placed in Vadnagar museum for permanent exhibition.

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