Sannati, an vital Buddhist web site in Kalaburagi district excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is an image of official apathy with most of the treasured gadgets excavated persevering with to be housed in short-term sheds close to the excavation web site, or worse, mendacity scattered within the open. A number of gadgets have been shifted to a museum.
Even a sculpture-portrait of Emperor Ashoka — the one out there picture of the Mauryan emperor, which is taken into account a very powerful factor discovered within the excavation — can be in a small open shed with no protecting partitions. Besides buying 24 acres of land for excavation, the State authorities has carried out little to preserve the historic web site.
In September 2009, the Karnataka Housing Board took up the development of a museum, dormitories, workers quarters and compound wall at a value of ₹3.52 crore on a fairly large plot just a few metres away from the excavated web site in Kanaganahalli. The buildings have been nearly completed however not handed over to the ASI even a decade later.
“The State has not handed over the buildings to the ASI even 10 years since their construction. As far as I know, the government has not taken them into its possession as there were some issues related to payment of bills to the contractor. The buildings are not in usable condition now. Shifting of excavated panels and other sculptures is also a challenge as items carved in light limestone are delicate,” G. Kamaraj, Deputy Superintending Archaeological Engineer hooked up to Dharwad Circle of ASI, instructed Bharat.One.
Due to this neglect, barring just a few visits by a handful of analysis students, historians and fans, the ASI web site wears a abandoned look all year long, with 5 armed guards at its gate.
Sannati, a small village on the banks of the river Bhima in Chittapur taluk of Kalaburagi, got here into prominence after the collapse of the roof of the Kali temple in Chandralamba temple complicated in 1986.
The collapse revealed the traditionally useful Ashokan edicts written in Prakrit language and Brahmi script on the foundations of the temple, attracting historians from throughout India. The revelations subsequently prompted excavations by the ASI at Sannati and the close by Kanaganahalli that, in flip, led to the invention of the magnificent Maha Stupa, which had been known as Adholoka Maha-Chaitya (The Nice Stupa of the Netherworlds) within the inscriptions. Extra importantly, a sculpture-portrait of Ashoka seated on his throne along with his queens was additionally found.
The excavations additionally discovered round 60 sculpted domes and slabs, sculpture-portraits of greater than 4 Shatavahana monarchs, sure distinctive depictions of Buddhist missionaries despatched by Ashoka to totally different components of India, clay pendants, black polished pottery, Satavahana and pre-Satavahana cash, ornaments made from copper, ivory and iron, a township with paved pathways, homes, limestone flooring, tablets, sculptures, and terracotta gadgets. Historians imagine that the Sannati Ranamandal (struggle zone) was a fortified space unfold over 210 acres, of which solely a few acres have been excavated to this point.
A monk’s plea
Bhante Tissavro, a 70-year previous Buddhist monk who heads the Bodh Gaya-based Budh Avsesh Bachao Abhiyaan (Save Buddhist Relics Marketing campaign), is now on a mission to develop the Sannati web site. He’s working from pillar to submit pressurising the Union and State governments to take up the duty.
Mr. Tissavro believes that Sannati is the place the place Emperor Ashoka could have travelled to in direction of the top of his life. “There are references to indicate that Ashoka travelled south thrice. There is no reference to his returning to the north after his third journey south,” he stated. “Sadly, the only surviving image of the great emperor and the Maha Stupa that he built are simply lying uncared for at Sannati.”
He has appealed to the State authorities to allocate funds for the event of Sannati into a significant Buddhist centre in South India. He additionally suggests its popularisation by organising a ‘Sannati Buddh Mahotsav’, alongside the strains of the Buddh Mahotsav at Gaya and Surya Mahotsav in Bihar.
“Sannati is the largest Buddhist site in India excavated by the ASI. Despite having a rich historical and cultural heritage, it is not on India’s tourist map,” he stated.