Warning: include(domaintitles/domaintitle_cdn.exoticindia.php3): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 921

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'domaintitles/domaintitle_cdn.exoticindia.php3' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 921

Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address [email protected].

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Art and Architecture > History > Antichak Excavations- 2 (1971-1981)
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Antichak Excavations- 2 (1971-1981)
Pages from the book
Antichak Excavations- 2 (1971-1981)
Look Inside the Book
Description
Foreword

In the early medieval period, Vikramasila mahavihara emerged as one of the most prominent Buddhist centres of learning along with three others in eastern India - Nalanda, Oddantapuri and Somapura. According to the Tibetan traditions, the extensive and magnificent establishment of Vikramasila was founded by the illustrious Pala ruler Dharmapala in the beginning of the ninth century but it was destroyed in the thirteenth century. The Tibetan sources furnish other descriptive details. It was located on a hill on the bank of the Ganga in Magadh. The central shrine was founded by a massive wall. Among the three contemporary mahaviharas in the eastern region of the country (Vikramasila, Oddantapuri and Somapura), it was the biggest and the most important.

Despite such literary references, the exact geographical location of the site of Vikramasila mahavihara has remained a matter of controversy among scholars. The probability of the site of Antichak - about fifty kilometers to the northeast of the Kahalgaon Railway Station in Bhagalpur district, of Bihar, was first considered by C. Oldham in 1930, while editing the report of Francis ti Buchanan.

Prof. B.P. Sinha of Patna University took up excavations at Antichak from 1960-69. The team partially exposed the central, brick-built cruciform shrine along with two circumambulatory passages decorated with terracotta plaques. Because of limited resources, the University team could not continue with the work. The excavations were then taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India.

From 1971-72 to 1980-81, Excavation Branch-III, of Patna of the Survey took up large scale excavations at Antichak under the direction of Dr. B.S. Verma, the then Superintending Archaeologist. It brought to light the largest excavated monastery complex in India (300 x 300 m), comprising a series of about 208 monastic cells and a few basement chambers. The complex faces north and has only one entrance (mahavihara) which is boldly articulated with a pillared-hall with flanking chambers, stepped-terraces and a spacious paved pathway leading to the shrine. The cruciform shrine situated in the centre of the monastic court has its arms meticulously aligned to the middle of the sides. Conceived as a gigantic fortified edifice, the monastic quadrangle is embellished with a massive circular tower at each corner and with four similar circular towers alternating with four square ones on each side. The towers are spaced out at regular intervals.

Some of the noteworthy artefacts recovered from the Antichak excavation include a large number of terracotta plaques depicting Buddhist and Brahmanical deities, animals, birds figurines; many beautiful stone sculptures of various gods and goddesses; a few small bronzes of Buddhist deities viz. the Buddha, Maitreya, Vajrapani, Avalokitesvara and Manjusri. Some coins and inscriptions were also retrieved.

The Antichak excavations have been extremely significant on at least two counts. First, they have revealed that in its plan and conception, the complex corresponds to the monastic scheme unearthed at Buddhist sites such as Paharpur and Mainamati in Bangladesh. The Paharpur complex, in particular, is very similar in both plan and grandeur. Second, the excavations have established a firm chronological bracket for the site, i.e., the period between the 10th and 12th centuries AD. The palaeography of inscribed artefacts (such as seals, sealings, stone images and legends on coins) coupled with stylistic analysis of sculptures have been crucial in determining the chronology.

But how far have the excavations helped in identifying the Antichak monastery with the Vikramasila mahavihara? The geographical and cultural evidence from the site as well as its chronology seems to strongly suggest such a correlation. The material remains of the Antichak monastery are located at a distance only about two kilometers from the Ganga. On the basis of the cultural evidence, it seems that a monastic complex of this magnitude would surely have figured among the three contemporary mahaviharas of the east, discussed in Tibetan accounts. Since Oddantapuri has been conclusively identified with a mound in Biharsharif town, near Nalanda and Somapura with the site of Paharpur, discussed above, therefore Antichak appears to have been the site of Vikramasila mahavihara. The traditional accounts recording Pala-period patronage of this mahavihara fits in comfortably with the chronology established for the site.

However, a neat correspondence between Vikramasila and Antichak or even between Vikramasila and the scattered archaeological remains in the area of Antichak-Pattharghatta is problematic. This is because the excavations have not yielded corroborative epigraphic evidence, i.e., inscribed seals, sealings or copper plates bearing the name of the monastery. The discovery of such inscribed material has proved to be the clinching evidence in the identification of several monastic sites in India. Therefore, in the light of available information, the identification remain tentative.

It gives me great pleasure to place before the scholars this detailed excavation report of Antichak. For seeing the book through the press, I must thank several people in the Publications team: Dr. P.K. Trivedi (Director), Dr. Arundhati Banerji (Superintending Archaeologist), Shri Hoshiar Singh (Production Officer), Dr. Piyush Bhatt, Ms. Tajinder Kaur and Dr. Vinay Kumar Gupta (Assistant Archaeologists). Ms. Sanjukta Datta provided very useful editorial assistance.

Preface

The mound in the village Antichak was first mentioned by Buchanan in AD 1811 who expressed his opinion that the mound might be the ruins of a royal house. But in AD 1930, Oldham identified the mound as a probable site of Vikramasila mahavihara. Since then, for long, the exact geographical location of the site of the Vikramasila mahavihara of the Pala period was a matter of controversy among the scholars of India and abroad. Dr. B.P. Sinha of the University of Patna, analyzing all the facts before him, arrived at the conclusion that the mound in the village Antichak, might be the most probable site of the Vikramasila mahavihara. On this presumption he started excavations on the highest mound and partially exposed a huge brick stupa. He continued his excavations for about nine sessions (1960-69).Continuous excavation of a huge mound and its elevated surrounding areas for a long time was, however, not possible for the University on the consideration of the fund and time involved therein. The shortage of technical personnel was another factor. Ultimately, he approached the Government of India to take over the work of exposing the entire area to settle the long controversy regarding the location of the Vikramasila mahavihara.

The Government of India, under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India, sanctioned the "Vikramasila Excavation Project" to excavate the area. The Project work started in the year 1971 under my supervision, and it continued till 1980. The excavations which commenced in1971-72 were spread over ten field seasons and these seasons covered the hottest months of these years. In the first season, a part of the mound in the north was exposed which yielded the remains of the Main Gate along with the pylons. In the next season, both the sides of the Main Gate including Postern Gate in the northern wing of the mahavihara were exposed. This gave the clue of the entire plan of the mahavihara and accordingly, in the subsequent years diggings, the complete monastery-complex was exposed. Simultaneously, a few trenches were laid in front of the main monastery upto a distance of about 150 m away towards north. These trenches also yielded many important structures of late phase.These structures were constructed of the building materials robbed from the main monastery when the vihara was plundered. A fairly good number of Buddhist as well as Brahmanical deities were discovered from this area.

During the eight years field work, the main concentration was shifted to the central shrine which was partially exposed earlier by the Patna University team. The remaining lower portion of the shrine on its four sides were exposed. We also opened the northern chamber of the shrine leaving the others untouched. In the ninth year's dig, the so called library-complex in the southern side was excavated. In the same season just outside the Main Gate towards eastern side, excavations yielded votive stupa-complex. A few trial-trenches were also laid on another mound located towards the northwestern corner of the Main Monastery at a distance of about 0.5 km known as Dharohara in Madhavarampur village. This area is also known as Jangaliasthan. The excavations resulted in the discovery of the remains of a medieval fort of about thirteenth century AD, which was partially exposed.

It will not be out of place to record here that inspite of all hardships including non-cooperation of a section of the villagers, whose lands were acquired and also due to non-availability of the technical staff, I could manage to execute the work of getting the site excavated in scheduled time and maintained the records of the excavations with the help of newly recruited Technical Assistants and Site Supervisors. The result of the excavations, no doubt, pin pointed the site as the actual remains of the once famous Vikramasila mahavihara.

The report of the excavations is delayed due to my promotion as Director. Subsequently my retirement in quick succession in the year 1984 is another reason for the delay. In December 1989, I was appointed Consultant in the Archaeological Survey of India for a period of 15 months to complete the report of the Antichak excavations. Under the scheme, I only prepared the draft copy of the report. Due to non-availability of the technical assistance the report remained incomplete, inspite of my best efforts to finish the report in time. I used to remind the concerned authority regarding the report, but my request was never entertained sincerely because in official records no pending report was marked against my name. But I was conscious on my part that the report of Antichak excavations was pending and I was feeling very much guilty because of non-completion of the report in time. It will be a sort of discredit to the excavator who did not bring out the report after exposing the site. Archaeological excavations if not properly documented and reported in time is equivalent to the destruction of the evidence regarding the history of the site. However, I was awaiting for an appropriate time which came to me at last with the posting of Shri S.C. Saran as Superintending Archaeologist in the Excavation Branch -III at Patna. Soon after he joined Patna, he paid a surprise visit to me and assured me to extend maximum facilities to me, in case I take up the work of completing the report of Antichak excavations. Shri Saran fulfilled his commitment and it is his efforts that I am now presenting the report of the Antichak excavations to the scholars who are interested in its archaeological discoveries.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











Antichak Excavations- 2 (1971-1981)

Item Code:
NAW952
Cover:
HARDCOVER
Edition:
2011
Language:
English
Size:
11.50 X 8.50 inch
Pages:
444 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 2.24 Kg
Price:
$75.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Look Inside the Book
Be the first to rate this product
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Antichak Excavations- 2 (1971-1981)
From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 176 times since 10th Aug, 2020
Foreword

In the early medieval period, Vikramasila mahavihara emerged as one of the most prominent Buddhist centres of learning along with three others in eastern India - Nalanda, Oddantapuri and Somapura. According to the Tibetan traditions, the extensive and magnificent establishment of Vikramasila was founded by the illustrious Pala ruler Dharmapala in the beginning of the ninth century but it was destroyed in the thirteenth century. The Tibetan sources furnish other descriptive details. It was located on a hill on the bank of the Ganga in Magadh. The central shrine was founded by a massive wall. Among the three contemporary mahaviharas in the eastern region of the country (Vikramasila, Oddantapuri and Somapura), it was the biggest and the most important.

Despite such literary references, the exact geographical location of the site of Vikramasila mahavihara has remained a matter of controversy among scholars. The probability of the site of Antichak - about fifty kilometers to the northeast of the Kahalgaon Railway Station in Bhagalpur district, of Bihar, was first considered by C. Oldham in 1930, while editing the report of Francis ti Buchanan.

Prof. B.P. Sinha of Patna University took up excavations at Antichak from 1960-69. The team partially exposed the central, brick-built cruciform shrine along with two circumambulatory passages decorated with terracotta plaques. Because of limited resources, the University team could not continue with the work. The excavations were then taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India.

From 1971-72 to 1980-81, Excavation Branch-III, of Patna of the Survey took up large scale excavations at Antichak under the direction of Dr. B.S. Verma, the then Superintending Archaeologist. It brought to light the largest excavated monastery complex in India (300 x 300 m), comprising a series of about 208 monastic cells and a few basement chambers. The complex faces north and has only one entrance (mahavihara) which is boldly articulated with a pillared-hall with flanking chambers, stepped-terraces and a spacious paved pathway leading to the shrine. The cruciform shrine situated in the centre of the monastic court has its arms meticulously aligned to the middle of the sides. Conceived as a gigantic fortified edifice, the monastic quadrangle is embellished with a massive circular tower at each corner and with four similar circular towers alternating with four square ones on each side. The towers are spaced out at regular intervals.

Some of the noteworthy artefacts recovered from the Antichak excavation include a large number of terracotta plaques depicting Buddhist and Brahmanical deities, animals, birds figurines; many beautiful stone sculptures of various gods and goddesses; a few small bronzes of Buddhist deities viz. the Buddha, Maitreya, Vajrapani, Avalokitesvara and Manjusri. Some coins and inscriptions were also retrieved.

The Antichak excavations have been extremely significant on at least two counts. First, they have revealed that in its plan and conception, the complex corresponds to the monastic scheme unearthed at Buddhist sites such as Paharpur and Mainamati in Bangladesh. The Paharpur complex, in particular, is very similar in both plan and grandeur. Second, the excavations have established a firm chronological bracket for the site, i.e., the period between the 10th and 12th centuries AD. The palaeography of inscribed artefacts (such as seals, sealings, stone images and legends on coins) coupled with stylistic analysis of sculptures have been crucial in determining the chronology.

But how far have the excavations helped in identifying the Antichak monastery with the Vikramasila mahavihara? The geographical and cultural evidence from the site as well as its chronology seems to strongly suggest such a correlation. The material remains of the Antichak monastery are located at a distance only about two kilometers from the Ganga. On the basis of the cultural evidence, it seems that a monastic complex of this magnitude would surely have figured among the three contemporary mahaviharas of the east, discussed in Tibetan accounts. Since Oddantapuri has been conclusively identified with a mound in Biharsharif town, near Nalanda and Somapura with the site of Paharpur, discussed above, therefore Antichak appears to have been the site of Vikramasila mahavihara. The traditional accounts recording Pala-period patronage of this mahavihara fits in comfortably with the chronology established for the site.

However, a neat correspondence between Vikramasila and Antichak or even between Vikramasila and the scattered archaeological remains in the area of Antichak-Pattharghatta is problematic. This is because the excavations have not yielded corroborative epigraphic evidence, i.e., inscribed seals, sealings or copper plates bearing the name of the monastery. The discovery of such inscribed material has proved to be the clinching evidence in the identification of several monastic sites in India. Therefore, in the light of available information, the identification remain tentative.

It gives me great pleasure to place before the scholars this detailed excavation report of Antichak. For seeing the book through the press, I must thank several people in the Publications team: Dr. P.K. Trivedi (Director), Dr. Arundhati Banerji (Superintending Archaeologist), Shri Hoshiar Singh (Production Officer), Dr. Piyush Bhatt, Ms. Tajinder Kaur and Dr. Vinay Kumar Gupta (Assistant Archaeologists). Ms. Sanjukta Datta provided very useful editorial assistance.

Preface

The mound in the village Antichak was first mentioned by Buchanan in AD 1811 who expressed his opinion that the mound might be the ruins of a royal house. But in AD 1930, Oldham identified the mound as a probable site of Vikramasila mahavihara. Since then, for long, the exact geographical location of the site of the Vikramasila mahavihara of the Pala period was a matter of controversy among the scholars of India and abroad. Dr. B.P. Sinha of the University of Patna, analyzing all the facts before him, arrived at the conclusion that the mound in the village Antichak, might be the most probable site of the Vikramasila mahavihara. On this presumption he started excavations on the highest mound and partially exposed a huge brick stupa. He continued his excavations for about nine sessions (1960-69).Continuous excavation of a huge mound and its elevated surrounding areas for a long time was, however, not possible for the University on the consideration of the fund and time involved therein. The shortage of technical personnel was another factor. Ultimately, he approached the Government of India to take over the work of exposing the entire area to settle the long controversy regarding the location of the Vikramasila mahavihara.

The Government of India, under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India, sanctioned the "Vikramasila Excavation Project" to excavate the area. The Project work started in the year 1971 under my supervision, and it continued till 1980. The excavations which commenced in1971-72 were spread over ten field seasons and these seasons covered the hottest months of these years. In the first season, a part of the mound in the north was exposed which yielded the remains of the Main Gate along with the pylons. In the next season, both the sides of the Main Gate including Postern Gate in the northern wing of the mahavihara were exposed. This gave the clue of the entire plan of the mahavihara and accordingly, in the subsequent years diggings, the complete monastery-complex was exposed. Simultaneously, a few trenches were laid in front of the main monastery upto a distance of about 150 m away towards north. These trenches also yielded many important structures of late phase.These structures were constructed of the building materials robbed from the main monastery when the vihara was plundered. A fairly good number of Buddhist as well as Brahmanical deities were discovered from this area.

During the eight years field work, the main concentration was shifted to the central shrine which was partially exposed earlier by the Patna University team. The remaining lower portion of the shrine on its four sides were exposed. We also opened the northern chamber of the shrine leaving the others untouched. In the ninth year's dig, the so called library-complex in the southern side was excavated. In the same season just outside the Main Gate towards eastern side, excavations yielded votive stupa-complex. A few trial-trenches were also laid on another mound located towards the northwestern corner of the Main Monastery at a distance of about 0.5 km known as Dharohara in Madhavarampur village. This area is also known as Jangaliasthan. The excavations resulted in the discovery of the remains of a medieval fort of about thirteenth century AD, which was partially exposed.

It will not be out of place to record here that inspite of all hardships including non-cooperation of a section of the villagers, whose lands were acquired and also due to non-availability of the technical staff, I could manage to execute the work of getting the site excavated in scheduled time and maintained the records of the excavations with the help of newly recruited Technical Assistants and Site Supervisors. The result of the excavations, no doubt, pin pointed the site as the actual remains of the once famous Vikramasila mahavihara.

The report of the excavations is delayed due to my promotion as Director. Subsequently my retirement in quick succession in the year 1984 is another reason for the delay. In December 1989, I was appointed Consultant in the Archaeological Survey of India for a period of 15 months to complete the report of the Antichak excavations. Under the scheme, I only prepared the draft copy of the report. Due to non-availability of the technical assistance the report remained incomplete, inspite of my best efforts to finish the report in time. I used to remind the concerned authority regarding the report, but my request was never entertained sincerely because in official records no pending report was marked against my name. But I was conscious on my part that the report of Antichak excavations was pending and I was feeling very much guilty because of non-completion of the report in time. It will be a sort of discredit to the excavator who did not bring out the report after exposing the site. Archaeological excavations if not properly documented and reported in time is equivalent to the destruction of the evidence regarding the history of the site. However, I was awaiting for an appropriate time which came to me at last with the posting of Shri S.C. Saran as Superintending Archaeologist in the Excavation Branch -III at Patna. Soon after he joined Patna, he paid a surprise visit to me and assured me to extend maximum facilities to me, in case I take up the work of completing the report of Antichak excavations. Shri Saran fulfilled his commitment and it is his efforts that I am now presenting the report of the Antichak excavations to the scholars who are interested in its archaeological discoveries.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











Post a Comment
 
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Antichak Excavations- 2 (1971-1981) (Art and Architecture | Books)

Excavations at Rajim
Item Code: NAR756
$85.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Further Excavations at Mansar
by A.K. Sharma
HARDCOVER (Edition: 2018)
B.R. Publishing Corporation
Item Code: NAR757
$72.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Excavations at Kanaganahalli (Sannati, Dist. Gulbarga, Karnataka)
by K. P. Poonacha
Hardcover (Edition: 2013)
Archaeological Survey of India
Item Code: NAM788
$65.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Excavations at Taxila (The Stupas and Monasteries at Jaulian)
Item Code: NAL625
$43.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Archaeological Remains and Excavations at Nagari
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: NAL839
$16.00$12.80
You save: $3.20 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology 2 vols.
Item Code: IAB79
$105.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Art and Architecture (Remain in The Western Terai Region of Nepal)
by Gitu Giri
Hardcover (Edition: 2003)
Adroit Publishers, Delhi
Item Code: NAM615
$43.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Ratnagiri (1958-61): Two Volumes (An Old Rare Book)
by Debala Mitra
Hardcover (Edition: 1981)
Archaeological Survey of India
Item Code: NAC296
$100.00
SOLD
Metal Technology of Sirpur
Item Code: NAN908
$67.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Nagda (1955-57)
Deal 20% Off
by N. R. Banerjee
Hardcover (Edition: 1986)
Archaeological Survey of India
Item Code: NAL670
$36.00$28.80
You save: $7.20 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Ceramic Traditions in Indian Archaeology
by J.S. Nigam
HARDCOVER (Edition: 2014)
Rishi Publication, Delhi
Item Code: NAU656
$100.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
I received the two books today from my order. The package was intact, and the books arrived in excellent condition. Thank you very much and hope you have a great day. Stay safe, stay healthy,
Smitha, USA
Over the years, I have purchased several statues, wooden, bronze and brass, from Exotic India. The artists have shown exquisite attention to details. These deities are truly awe-inspiring. I have been very pleased with the purchases.
Heramba, USA
The Green Tara that I ordered on 10/12 arrived today.  I am very pleased with it.
William USA
Excellent!!! Excellent!!!
Fotis, Greece
Amazing how fast your order arrived, beautifully packed, just as described.  Thank you very much !
Verena, UK
I just received my package. It was just on time. I truly appreciate all your work Exotic India. The packaging is excellent. I love all my 3 orders. Admire the craftsmanship in all 3 orders. Thanks so much.
Rajalakshmi, USA
Your books arrived in good order and I am very pleased.
Christine, the Netherlands
Thank you very much for the Shri Yantra with Navaratna which has arrived here safely. I noticed that you seem to have had some difficulty in posting it so thank you...Posting anything these days is difficult because the ordinary postal services are either closed or functioning weakly.   I wish the best to Exotic India which is an excellent company...
Mary, Australia
Love your website and the emails
John, USA
I love antique brass pieces and your site is the best. Not only can I browse through it but can purchase very easily.
Indira, USA
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2020 © Exotic India