Category Archives: Iran

The Public Trust of India going to organise a three-day ‘Aitihya Mahotsav’
Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Public Trust of India going to organise a three-day ‘Aitihya Mahotsav’
Bhubaneswar: The Public Trust of India, an online global news agency located at Bhubaneswar, is going to organise a three-day ‘Aitihya Mahotsav’ a Photo Exhibition on ‘Buddhist Heritage’, from January 16 to 18 at Jaydev Bhawan supported by Tourism Department, Govt. of Odisha.

This is a new beginning in State’s tourism sector for promotion of Buddhist heritage. Odisha, being a Buddhist heritage destination, marked low turnout of visitors for the last few years.

The State has 300 Buddhist sites and 405 Buddhist remains. A visit to the Buddhist sites of Odisha will take you to exquisite temples, stupas, and monuments set in an ambience of serenity and intense spiritual activities. The Buddhist heritage at Ratnagiri-Udayagiri-Lalitgiri, known as the ‘Diamond Triangle’ attracts visitors every year. Similarly, Odisha’s advantage lies in its closeness to Bodhgaya and Varanasi as compared to other States with Buddhist remnants.

The initiatives being taken by the State Tourism Department and Tourism Ministry at Centre for promotion of tourism sector are laudable. Continue reading

India stone-faced on US offer to return stolen Buddhist idols

Times of India
Kirit Mankodi
29 April 2014

The US immigration and customs department (ICE/DHS) has seized $100-million worth antiquities from Subhash Kapoor who is undergoing trial in Tamil Nadu for stealing idols from a temple in Ariyalur. These antiquities were allegedly smuggled from many states in India and other Asian countries and recovered in raids on Kapoor’s business in New York called Art of the Past.

ICE is keen to return the items but has been unable to find a matching interest on the part of Indian authorities. For instance, among the antique pieces, is a Chola-era stone sculpture of Buddha, likely stolen from Tamil Nadu. Another is a Bharhut Yakshi – worth $15 million in the art market and the most expensive item so far found in the Kapoor catalogue — stolen from a shrine in Madhya Pradesh.
Continue reading

Persian treasures of the Silk Road

The Australian
August 20, 2013

Carved lion

A carved lion from the sarcophagus of Yu Hong, a sixth-century central Asian diplomat. Source: Supplied

A CHINESE farmer was repairing a dirt road in 1999 when he hit rock. Just under the topsoil he found the stone roof of an ancient tomb. Further digging revealed an underground passageway leading to a brick chamber. Within the chamber was a sight that would astonish archeologists. It was a white marble sarcophagus unlike any found in China. The coffin was elaborately carved, but none of the images were Chinese. There were no dragons, but plenty of elephants, camels and lions.

And none of the figures were Chinese. Instead, they were big-nosed foreigners with beards, deep-set eyes and long curly hair who wore Persian and central Asian clothes.

What was a sarcophagus covered in such foreign imagery doing in Taiyuan in China’s central Shanxi province? Continue reading

[New S Wales Exhibit, Aug 22 – Nov 10]: Sarcophagus lifts lid on sixth century life

The Sydney Morning Herald
John Saxby
August 20, 2013

 Silk Road Saga: Objects from the tomb of diplomat Yu Hong defy expectations.


Unique carvings: Curator Cao Yin with marble panels being installed for A Silk Road Saga. Photo: Brendan Esposito

It was common for elites in sixth-century China to be buried in a sarcophagus that resembles a Chinese house, like the centrepiece of A Silk Road Saga, a new exhibition opening at the Art Gallery of NSW on Thursday.

However, the richly detailed, white marble tomb of central Asian diplomat Yu Hong and his wife is a rarity, says curator Cao Yin.

Its carvings and designs contain no Chinese elements at all. Continue reading

Iran confiscates Buddha statues in crackdown on ‘cultural invasion’

The Guardian
Associated Press in Tehran
Sunday 17 February 2013

Buddha statues have joined Barbie dolls and characters from The Simpsons as banned items in Iran.

Officials are confiscating the statues from shops in the capital, Tehran, to stop the promotion of Buddhism, according to a report in the independent Arman daily.

The Islamic republic has long fought against items such as Barbie toys to block western influence, but this appears to be the first time authorities have shown an opposition to symbols from the east.

The newspaper quoted Saeed Jaberi Ansari, an official for the protection of Iran’s cultural heritage, as calling the Buddha statues symbols of “cultural invasion”. Continue reading

Snake in Buddhist, Hindu Arts

Iran Book News Agency
15 Jan 2013

Snake in Buddhist and Hindu Arts is the latest book of Iranian Indologist Amir Hossein Zekrgoo. The book evaluates and studies the role of snakes in India’s artistic works and traditions.

IBNA: The art and civilization of India enjoy considerable commonalities with the Islamic and Iranian art and civilization which indeed has encouraged the researchers to compare both civilizations.

One of these researchers is Iranian artist, art historian and Indologist Amir Hossein Zekrgoo whose books and translations are based on the field. Usually most of the critics and readers trust his works and translations since Zekrgoo has lived in India and studied about the main sources as well as artistic and ancient sites and the county’s museums. Moreover his fluency in Sanskrit adds to his credibility as well.

Studying the role of snakes in India’s artistic works and traditions, Snake in Buddhist and Hindu Arts holds original pictures as well as the author’s analyses. The book’s pictures cannot be found in websites or other books and they are indeed the result of the author’s search in the sources of Buddhist and Hindu traditions as well as the photos which were taken by Zekrgoo. Continue reading

International Conference on Afghanistan Aims to Develop Central Asian Studies at UCLA

“Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas: Archaeology and History in the Modern and Ancient Persianate World” is an upcoming 2-day conference to be held at UCLA and UC Irvine on November 8 and 9, 2012.

Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas: Archaeology and History in the Modern and Ancient Persianate World, an upcoming 2-day conference to be held at UCLA and UC Irvine on November 8 and 9, 2012, will assemble renowned international scholars to showcase the forefront of archeological and historical research on Afghanistan. Co-organizer of the event Nile Green, director of UCLA’s Program on Central Asia, considers the event a significant occasion to develop Central Asian studies on campus. Continue reading

Mount Khwaja, eyewitness to Iranian history


Thu, 29 Apr 2010 13:55:31 GMT

By Tamara Ebrahimpour

Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan Province is steeped in ancient history datable to over 5000 years and boasts of the most significant archeological and historical sites in the country.

The Sistan region has long been a prosperous land where the Bountiful Nature had made it a great site for social and political communities to flourish.

One of the most famous sites in the region is the Khwaja Mountain located some 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Zabol in the southeastern region of Iran. Continue reading

Author Interview: Why Hilary Smith Loves Ancient Iran and India …

Author Interview: Why Hilary Smith Loves Ancient Iran and India
By Lyn
It was certainly along the trade and pilgrimage routes that Buddhism and its iconography was exported to the area of today’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region in China, probably around the 1st century CE.