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Buddhism in Mathura: A Detailed Study of Buddhist Tradition, Archaeology and Art

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Item Code: UAN517
Publisher: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan
Author: Vinay Kumar Gupta
Language: English
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788180902413
Pages: 117
Cover: HARDCOVER
Other Details 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 740 gm
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Book Description
ABOUT THE BOOK
This book is a humble attempt by the author to present the holistic view of Buddhist Mathura. This book explores all the literary references available about Mathura and the nearby region in the ancient Buddhist literature. An attempt has been made. by the author to identify those sites mentioned in the literature with the archaeological sites found during explorations. The author has also delved in the accounts of Chinese pilgrims Fa-hian and Hiuen-Tsang related with Mathura and has tried to verify those accounts. A new light has been thrown on the visits of the Buddha to the land of Braj and the probable routes which the Master would have followed. Discovery of more than 30 new Buddhist sites in the region of Mathura is a totally new contribution of this book along with a detailed discussion of more than 45: find-spots of Buddhist sculptures in the region. A detailed survey of the Buddhist Art of Mathura has also been made, in which some new information would be of help to the students as well as scholars dealing with the Buddhist art and archaeology of Mathura.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vinay Kumar Gupta, born at Mathura on 24th November 1981 is doing research in the region of Mathura for many years. He has been a bright student throughout his carrier. always passing the examinations with first division. After obtaining his BSc degree from Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University (formerly Agra Univer sity), he completed his M. A. in Archaeology and Heritage Manage ment from Indraprastha University. Delhi in 2003, standing first in the order of merit. He then completed Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, N. Delhi where he stood first in the en trance examination. He also qualified U.G.C.-J.R.F/NET in archaeology in his first attempt. As a research scholar he is working on the topic "Braj: An Art and Archaeological Study" from National Museum Institute. He has made extensive exploratory surveys in the region of Braj for past many years and has gathered a lot of new informa tion related with art, archaeology and the settlement pattern of the region, along with more than 500 new archaeological sites. He has a number of research papers and articles pub lished to his credit. After the publica tion of his first book, it is expected that he would be able to carve a niche for himself in the scholarly world.

FOREWORD
The metropolis of Mathura, one of the seven sacred cities mentioned in Indian literature: had been an important centre of political and economic activity of ancient world. Many believe that of the field related work in the region of Mathura has already been undertaken by previous scholars, but the present work by one of my favourite students Vinay Kumar Gupta is going to be an eye-opener as it provides fresh information and newly explored data. I have the pleasure of being closely associ ated with the work from its inception and have shared the joy of new discoveries of the author especially archaeological and sculptural ones as the work proceeded to completion under my guid ance. Thus, it gives me a satisfaction and pleasure to accept Vinay's request to write the Foreword of this book.

The present work of Vinay is particularly related to Buddhism in the Braj region of Mathura that includes the nearby districts of Aligarh, Hathras and Agra in Uttar Pradesh and districts of old Gurgaon in Haryana and Bharatpur in Rajasthan, and some places still further away He has been successful in thoroughly delving into all the references related to Mathura region that have come in various ancient Buddhist texts. The identification of many of these sites mentioned in the texts with the sites which he found during his painful archaeological explorations is a welcome contribution of the work. He has discussed the information provided by the two Chinese pilgrims Faxian and Xuanzang in detail and has tried to correlate the facts with the region of Braj. He has also discussed the probable routes of these travellers for coming in and going out of the Braj region. He has also discussed in detail the possibilities of the Buddha's journey to the region of Braj as mentioned in the Pals and the Sanskrit avadana literature. An analysis of the five defects (patcha-adtnata) believed to have been told by the Buddha about Mathura in both the Pali and the Sanskrit literature have also been made by him along with the probable routes which the Buddha might have followed.

A very significant contribution of this work is the discovery of more than 30 new Buddhist sites. consisting of small monastic settlements and a few possible stupa sites by him. If all these discoveries are taken into account, then the overall number of the Buddhist sites in the vicinity of Mathura would exceed much further than the previous assumptions of the scholars. In a way these discoveries indicate towards the fact that the city of Mathura was not the only place where Buddhist sculptures were carved but at a number of small and large sites in the vicinity of Mathura and even in the greater Braj region sculptors were involved in the carving of Buddhist sculptures during the Kushan period. His discovery of a factory site near Narhauli village and a site situated near Triveni factory indicates it. In the greater Braj region, the already known sites of Lakhnu and Maho in district Hathras, here dis cussed by him in a proper context, also tend to suggest this postulation.

PREFACE
Mathura has been one of the most important art cemers of ancient India and has unracted the attention of a number of scholars. Various good writings are available on the art of Mathura including the Buddhist art. But somehow, there has been a lack of research related with the aspects of identifying various sites mentioned in Buddhist literature in respecs of Mathura The prime focus of the presen research is on identifying these sites along with an attempt to present a complete picture of Buddhist Mathura.

The first chapter of the book deals with all the literary references about Mathura as could be collected from the ancient Buddhist texts. The literary references have been divided in the following categories: the Pali Tripitaka and the Arghakathar, the Sanskrit Avaddnu literature, the Vinay texts of the Mola-Sarvästivädins and the travel accounts of Chinese pilgrims Fa-hian and Hiuen-Tang Many references deal with the visit of the Buddha to the region of Mathura and are an important source to determine the location of various ancient sites. The accounts of Chinese pilgrims present an important picture of the cultural and religious aspects of Gupta period Mathura.

The second chapter makes a critical analysis of the data found in the Buddhist literature and presents an innovative research as it deals with the identification of all those sites mentioned in Buddhist literature which are related with the Braj region. The name of places in the region of Braj. which finds mention in the Budhhist literature and have been attempted to identify are: Gunda vana Bhadrava, Ojala, Veranja, Vairambha, Akkosa, Kardama daha along Varana, Nalerunimba, Kimila Agga and Agrapuri.

The third chapter deals with the analysis of the data found in the Buddhist literature. It deals with the prospects of the visits of the Buddha to the region of Mathura and the probable routes of his journey. It also discusses the possibilities of the visits of two Chinese pilgrims, Fa-hian and Hiuen Tsang to the region, probable routes of their journey as well as an analysis of the data provided by them.

The chapter four gives a detailed account of more than thirty newly explored sites in the area of Mathura which might be identified as monasteries or stopa. These are a completely new addition to the existing information related with Buddhist sites in the Braj region. The chapter five provides a detailed list of all the already known Buddhist sites in the region of Mathura. Many of these have been included for the first time in such a study and provide all the information regarding their location, their present condition as well as the sculptural and epigraphic findings from there.

**Contents and Sample Pages**





















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