Indian Express NATION
SUNDAY, MAR 15, 2015
Written by Sumegha Gulati | New Delhi | Published on:March 14, 2015 4:45 am
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has begun excavations in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown Vadnagar to corroborate the nearly 1,400-year-old account of a Chinese traveller who mentioned there were 10 Buddhist monasteries in that area of Gujarat at that time.
Excavations by Gujarat State Archaeology Department between 2006 and 2010 have already unearthed monumental remains that could be of one of the monasteries.
The ASI, which began excavations on January 5 this year, has made initial discoveries that indicate that one or more Buddhist monasteries could indeed have flourished at the site.
Dr B R Mani, ASI Additional Director General, said, “As of now, we have found shards of pottery, lead, coins and many other objects. The excavation is in progress.”
Madhulika Samanta, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavation Branch (Baroda), said the purpose of ASI’s excavation was to find the “lost city” of Vadnagar mentioned in historical accounts.
In Si-Yu-Ki, or ‘The Buddhist Records of the Western World’, (the first English translation of which was published in 1884 by the Orientalist scholar Samuel Beal) the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang (also transcribed as Hsuan Tsang and Xuan Zhuang) wrote a few sentences about “‘O-nan-to-pu-lo”, or Anandapura, the ancient name for the area around Vadnagar. Continue reading