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Proposed excavations may rewrite NE history


2008-07-23 09:41:03

 Is Guwahati the site where the ancient kingdom of Kamrupa existed? This and many more questions, which are still mired in controversy, could be answered more vividly when the archeologists excavate the entire Bhaitbari-Tikrikilla area in Meghalaya's West Garo Hills district.


Hold your eyes as we take you to this remote archeological site that once shot into fame following excavation finding in 1992, but later on slipped into the back burner. 


 


Wadagokgre is the site of an ancient civilization; believe to be cast out of the mighty majesty Bramaputra River in the fourth century AD or even earlier. The site is located in a small remote hamlet in West Garo Hills of Meghalaya. The excavation so far have clearly demonstrated that this site was a sprawling township with Buddhism, Hinduism and amalgamation of the two being widely practiced in this area.




 


In 1992, AK Sharma of ASI, Nagpur excavated the site and unearthed the three temple sites with numerous Shiva lingas and a Buddhist Stupa.


But the prominent and the most impressive discovery of the site is this Octagonal Temple with eight miniature octagons, each having a Shiva Lings. The structure is of a more magnificient architecture, having eight square subsidiary shrines radiating from the eight arms of the main octagon. This is perhaps one of the unique discoveries during the excavation. The total plan of the temple is 13 m in width and .90 m in height.


"Further excavations are likely to reveal further remains of an earlier habitation, besides unravelling the historical antiquity of the plains-belt of the State of which very little is known from recorded history," Williamson Sangma Museum curator Dr. Julius Marak said.


The Township viewed to be well fortified, has a large number of tanks inside and on the other prestigious heights is located a number of burn bricks temple. This is another thrilling unexpected discovery, the site of a structure associated with Buddhism, which is commonly known as stupa. The stupa belongs to a category of stupa, which is structurally termed as mud stupa. However, nothing is definitely known at present about the history of the site including the era it flourished.


 






Scholars believe that nearly 20 temple sites which have been there might have been palatial complexes and habitational areas for the population of the town. "Government will tie up with ASI North East circle to carry out further excavations of the entire Bhaitbari site, which is about 20 sq km" Dr. Marak said.  


 The archaeological findings which have yet to be adequately unraveled and carbon-dated are reported to be of considerable antiquity. The finds are of artifacts, which reveal the existence of planned places of worship with exquisitely designed masonry oil lamps.


 


In Williamson Sangma museum, Shillong deities of Ganesh, Parvati, Kubera and Yaksha have been preserved. The terracotta tiles and their stylistic taste and the existence of the stupa in Bhaitbari has forced the scholars somehow to conclude that this ancient fortified city may be contemporaneous to the reign of Harsha Vardhana, i.e., to the first half of the 7th Centry A.D.


 


The sites still stand as a challenge for those historians and scholars who have the will and courage to dig out its historic truth for the knowledge of the present and the benefit of the future. The site has not been properly promoted hence very few devotees, tourist and scholars visit this area. It demands an immediate attention, recognition, publicity and research.


 


It is only after the excavation of the 'inhabited' or 'residential' area can anything concrete be said about the history of the place.


 





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