Buddhist Relics of 3rd Century Unearthed

Express News Service, 8 January 2015

HYDERABAD, India -- Seventy three years since preliminary excavations were first carried out at the Phanigiri hillock in Nalgonda by the Archaeology department of the then Nizam government in 1941, the efforts of excavators have borne fruit on Tuesday with the most valuable discovery till date.

<< A Potin coin exacavated from the north-eastern corner of Mahastupa in Phanigiri of Nalgonda dist | neeraj murali

For the first time in Telangana, excavators unearthed a relic container from the Mahastupa containing belongings of the chief monk or an important person of Buddhism making it the most important Mahastupa in the region. On Wednesday, they found a dull redware earthen pot with a silver container consisting of 11 miniature beads, three silver and three thin flower petals from the north-eastern corner of the Mahastupa, at base of drum portion.

Following this discovery, it can be confidently assessed that this Mahastupa may be considered as Paribhogika stupa (containing the personal belongings of Buddhist monks) flourished right from the period of Ashoka to 4th century AD. Further, a Potin Coin (alloy of copper and lead-weight 1.3gms dia 1.5 cms) is also collected from the surface. On the coin, a bust of a male figure (King) and on the reverse a ship with a legend of 3rd century AD characters are depicted. Preliminarily, it is deciphered as Mahakshtrapa, said officials.

“The Buddhist findings are pertaining to 3rd century AD. First time we have a Buddhist cascade with material in it and this puts Phanigiri area as an important Buddhist heritage site,” said BP Acharya, principal secretary, Tourism, Telangana. According to him, it is the culmination of efforts since 1941. After the primary excavations conducted in 1941-44, further excavations were conducted in 1979 and 2002 when the Mahastupa and Chaityagrihas were exposed and a number of panels, articles, inscriptions, coins inscribed pillars, coins of Satavahanas, Romans, Ikshvakus, Kshatrapas etc were recovered.

With the ruins of congregation halls, viharas, apsidal chaityagruhas and sixteen pillar hall discovered, the department is eyeing at preservation and conservation of the site to transform it into a Buddhist heritage tourism place. “Excavation will continue and simultaneously restoration of the site will be taken up. Structures will be covered with lime mortar and in future, it will be one of the important tourist spot in the region,” said B Srinivas, director in-charge, Department of Archaeology and Museums.

The 16 acre site on the hillock of Phanigiri in Tirumalagir mandal of Nalgonda dates back between 3rd century BC and 3rd century AD. It is believed to be an important Buddhist learning centre with presence of Viharas and Chaityas. Only about 4 acres of the entire site has been explored till date.

“Usually we get only bodily remains of Buddha or of any important monks. The fact that gold, silver and beads were preserved here, indicates the importance of the personality,” explained J Vijayakumar, deputy director (excavations).

Three Types of Stupas

  • Sharirika means the ones with bodily relics of Buddha or important monks
  • Paribhogika means the ones with valuable belongings of an important monk
  • Udheshika means stupa at a place which was visited by Buddha or an important monk
  • Other Vital Buddhist Sites in telangana
  • Dhulikatta in Karimnagar
  • Nelakondapalli in Khammam
  • Tirumalagiri in Nalgonda
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv