June 29, 2014
A team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has recently found two engravings of Buddha in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, which could throw new light on the Buddhist tradition of the region.
The team led by superintendent archaeologist SS Gupta found the engraving on a fallen rock near Zemithang, 94 km north of Tawang.
Below the engraving, a one-line inscription has been carved into the stone which appears to be veneration to Buddha in the local dialect.
The engraving, measuring 1.95m in length and 2.15m in breadth, sees the figure seated on a lotus pedestal with a halo carved behind his head.
Another engraving of Buddha was discovered at Tak Tsang, in Tawang district. This engraving also sees Buddha sitting on a lotus pedestal.
There is an inscription below in the local dialect honoring Buddha. The engraving measures nearly 50cm in length and 30 cm in width.
There also appear to be a few blue and green patches, which archaeologists believe are a later addition.
“The discovery of such figures is unique. The existence of various forms of Buddhist stupas, of both the Hinayana and Mahayana traditions of Buddhism shows that it is a living religion in the area. It also reflects on how prevalent the religion is among tribes. The influence of neighbouring countries like Myanmar and Tibet can clearly be seen here,” Gupta told Hindustan Times.