New discoveries of Buddhist civilisation

Islamabad—The recent archeological excavations at the Buddhist monastery of Badalpur located on the Silk Road, which is connecting China and Gilgit Baltistan, by Taxila Institute of Asian Civilization (TIAC) unearthed the unique discoveries of stupas, coins and grinding stones and other glimpses of Buddhist civilization.
Talking to APP, Director TIAC, Professor Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Khan who was leading the team alongwith Dr Sadeed Arif in the excavation process said the site is inscribed on the world heritage list and located in district Harripur in Taxila valley. The monastery is rectangular in plan and measuring 22/22 meters with monks cells and a water tank in the centre, he said.
The monastery is made up with lime stone and built up in semi-ashlar and semi-dipper style with mud motor in site and kanjor stone has been used in molding. Dr. Ashraf told that the site has an imposing rectangular main stupa on the west which measures 71 meters by 60 meters.The dome of the stupa is missing but its drum is added to the base which is about six meters high.
Two offering stupas were built in front of the main stupa. The stupa courtyard comprises of Chapple images of different sizes. The discovery of coins is the out-standing features amongst the antiquities found during the recent excavations at the Buddhist site of the Badalpur. Besides coins a large number of pottery, bones, and grinding stones have been found from this site, Dr. Ashraf said.
These coins represent the major era of great ‘Kushan’. The site of Badalpur was first mentioned by sir Alexander Cunningham, the then Director General of Archeological survey in India in 1863-64. Dr. Ashraf said the objective of this excavation was to determine the chronology of the site through archeological finds, promote cultural and religious tourism, protect the site from further encroachment and preserve the culture heritage for the future generation. This Buddhist site was visited by the monks and pilgrims from Central Asia, China, and India.—APP

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