Chapter Second focuses light upon
the strata and structures revealed by the
excavations. Chapter Third is the
comprehensive study of varied types of
potteries among which the finding of
N.B.P. (Northern Black Polished Ware) of
different shades, Coarse Black Ware,
Lustrous Red-slipped Ware, Roman
Sprinklers and the sherds engraved with
the names of its owners etc. Chapter
Fourth deals with the findings of the
terra cotta objects in detail. Chapter Fifth
is devoted to deal with the ornaments
made of the metals and other objects
discovered from the site.
The evidence substantiate that the
site was once a flourishing Buddhist
Centre for the most important findings
of the Buddhist Creed on a terra cotta seal,
broken component parts of the Asokan
pillar, i.e., its lotus capital and the statue
of the crowning animal elephant are
Thus, this Buddhist site enlightened
us that, once it might have played
important role in the history and culture
of Ujjain region and India as a whole.
Dr. Rahman Ali, Professor and Head,
School of Studies in Ancient Indian
History, Culture and Archaeology,
Vikram University, Ujjain (M.P), has
excavated the site of Sodanga (Dist.
Ujjain) in 1989.
Dr. Ali has worked with Padma
Bhushan (Late) Prof. H.D. Sankalia, Pune
and has excavated jointly /independently
various sites of M.P. and Maharashtra.
Dr. Ashok Trivedi, Senior Reader in the
department had been actively planning
and directing the archaeological
excavations and explorations work for
the last 20 years. He has produced half-
a-dozen Ph.D. students on various
branches of archaeology. His rare
research work on the Cultural History of
Anupa Janapada is significant. He has
published more than three dozens of
research papers in various journals of
National and International repute.
Dr. Dhirendra Solanki, Excavation-in-
charge in the department, has done P.G.
Diploma in Museology from Barakatullah
University, Bhopal and Ph. D. in
Archaeology from Vikram University,
Ujjain. For last 15 years he had been
looking after the work of excavations/
explorations conducted by the department. He has published more than two
dozens of research papers and two books
on different aspects of archaeology and
The excavations at Sodafiga have yielded astonishing results in
bringing out the remains of the Buddhist stupa and other architectural
remains like that of the Ashokan pillar-capital, the statue of the Mauryan
elephant and other .important antiquities belonging to a long period of
cultural activities at the site ranging from circa 600 B.C, to circa 700 A.D.
A unique terracotta seal bearing the legend of Buddhist creed and the
inscribed sherds of Northern Black Polished ware as well as a, good
number / varieties of Roman sprinklers besides the Sungan terracottas
etc. have proved that Sodafiga was a flourishing Buddhist center in
ancient period which was, probably, destroyed by fierce fire as proved
by the excavations.
Under the table direction of Prof. R. Ali and his young colleagues
Dr. Ashok Trivedi, Reader and Dr. Dhirendra Solanki, Excavation-in-
charge, have done a commendable work of excavations and writing of
its detail report for which they deserve my laurels.
I hope much worth-while will be done by these colleagues of mine in
Inspired by these evidences the authorities of Archaeological Survey
of India conducted an archaeological excavation at famous Gadhkalika
mound of Ujjayini near the river Kshipra in 1955. The result of excavations
was fascinating throwing the flood of light upon the glorious past of
Ujjayini. To add more we selected an unnoticed Buddhist site at village
Sodafiga (Dist. Ujjain). It is situated at a distance of about eight kms.
from modern town of Ujjain on Ujjain-Unhel road.
Originally, it was a Buddhist establishment with a large stupa,
monasteries and baolis etc. for the remains of which were traced and
found during the course of excavations and explorations. Now the
stupa is. occupied by the modern huts, but half of it is open which
was partly excavated by us. Prior to our excavation it was noticed by late
vs. Wakankar and Dr. S.S. Nigam of Ujjain.
The discovery of two component parts of the stone pillars viz. the
elephant and lotus capital with Mauryan polish confirmed that probably
the Mauryan king Ashoka erected the stone pillar over here looking to
its importance but the shaft of the pillar is still missing.
However, excavations of the stupa revealed four phases of activities
at the mound as follows:-
Firstly, the activities were started during the pre-Maury an period
which continued up to circa 200 B.C. We picked up the plain pottery
with red wash and some sherds of the Northern Black Polished ware
(N.B.P.); besides these the red ware and the Mauryan bricks were also
collected. Further, the foundation of the stone wall was traced over red-
In the second phase, ascribed to circa 200 B.C. to 75 A.D., the Sungan
terracotta figurines, N.B.P. and Red-ware were found. It was the period
of the Sunga, Kanva and the Satavahanas in this region as confirmed by
The most flourishing phase of the activities was the third phase i.e.
ascribed to circa 76 A.D. to circa 300 A.D. During this period, the rulers
of the region were the Kshatrapas and Satavahanas. It was during this
period when w~' picked-up the sherds bearing the letters of Brahmi scripts.
The Red-ware of this phase are highly polished and thus they show the
great affinity With the Roman-Samian wares. The Red-Polished spouted
vessels of different varieties, punch-marked coins, seals, beads, inscribed
seals, iron objects etc. are found in abundance. Obviously, the site had its
glorious period as confirmed by these evidences.
The fourth phase has been ascribed to circa 300 A.D. to circa 600 A.D.
when the Gupta, Aulikaras and lastly the Hunas had influence over the
activities. The red-polished ware, N.B.P. sherds, iron objects, shell objects
have been found. Beside these findings, a thick lay r f ash f b It 0
centimeters was traced in two trenches confirming the site to be destroyed
by severe fire.
Thus, five trenches measuring 5 x 5 meters were laid down on the
southern part of the stupa. To begin with Trench SDG. I which was laid
on the top of the mound, we noticed that the stupa was built by converting
the hillock and the hemispherical shape of the stupa was made by box-
heads and a wall was created in the middle of the hillock. The wall was
build with the boulders, dressed stones, brick-bats etc. paved in the red
murram with 01 meter foundation and more than 1 meter in height
around the stupa like girdle.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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