Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jajpur, Feb 17:
Ancient Buddhist sculptures have been found in the premises of a Naga mutt in Bikramtiran panchayat under Badachana block in Odisha’s Jajpur district.
The ruins of the sculptures were discovered in the premises of Baujang Naga mutt by renowned Buddhist researcher, historian and principal of Sahaspur College Dr Harish Chandra Prusty recently.
A 40X40 metre structure made up of baked brick and stone was found in the premises after which Dr Prusty started his research to unravel the mystery behind the discoveries.
The brick sculptures found here bear resemblance to those found in Buddhist heritage sites at Udaygiri, Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Nagarjunkonda and date back to the same period, Dr Prusty said.
Two sculptures of Lord Buddha made of black stones, measuring 8 ft and 7 ft respectively in length and with inscriptions on them, have been found during the excavation. Another two sculptures bearing lotus petals at the base measuring 1.6 ft each were also found at the site.
Dr Prusty has urged the state government to take up preservation of this Buddhist site discovered recently.
It may be recalled that villagers of Sukhuapada in the district had discovered two Buddhist caves in 2012, which had similarities with the caves discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) around three decades back in the hillocks at Neulipur, Kaima, Deuli, Gokarneswar, Brajagiri, Biddhalinga, Lalitagiri and Udayagiri.
Buddhism is known to have flourished in Odisha under Bhaumakaras and Somvamshis from 7th to 11th Century AD and declined with the fall of these dynasties. There are innumerable sites in Jajpur and Kendrapara districts which have treasures of Buddhist heritage and legacy.
A three-day International Buddhist conference to showcase the Buddhist culture and history was held earlier this month where over 150 delegates from different countries participated.