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Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar today air dashed to Guaridih, a most sleepy territory located on the bank of river Kosi in Bhagalpur district to witness the remains of ancient archaeological evidences.
The archaeologists from Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU) and a group of historians earlier claimed to have the substantial evidence that at the heart of Anga an rural civilization was enriching dating back 1000 BC which claimed to be pioneer of the urban civilization of Champa, the erstwhile kingdom of Anga Pradesh.
“I could consider that such evidences are from ancient past and now it is to be verified by the expert concerned. But it’s under the threat of river Kosi, so we should the priority to conserve it. The river should be diverted to its old channel so that such archaeological sites could be protected. Expert concerned are told for the conservational drive at this place,”Nitish Kumar told scribes.
The chief minister instructed the concerned state’s higher officials who were accompanying him at the site for immediate restoration of conservation works.
Bijoy Kumar Choudhary, executive director, Bihar Heritage Development Society, the department of state’s art and culture who today also guided and explained the importance of the site to the chief minister, said that further archaeological expedition is scheduled at this site. He also said that the government of Bihar would soon notify such areas like Guaridih as protected site. “It’s very important conservation and protection of such sites,” he mentioned.
The experts claimed that the forgotten civilization on the bank of river Kosi at a place named Guaridih in Jairampur and Hario Panchyats falling under Bihpur block of Naugachia sub-division of Bhagalpur, some 230 km east from Patna, transformed the urban civilization of Champa. Villagers early January-February first time recovered broken utensils and other items related to daily life while digging the soil for construction works. Gradually villagers in the adjourning areas started getting such items which allured the team from TMBU to conduct inquiry on the recovered items.
“Located beside turbulent river Kosi the mount of Gauaridih has been always remained mystery for many. The items were recovered recently from the place. But unfortunately, massive erosion caused by Kosi for last several year has almost engulfed over sixty percent of the total areas which we suspect the original place of the rural civilization,” pointed out Beheri Lal Choudhuary, head of post graduate department of ancient Indian history culture and archaeology, TMBU. He further added that Guaridih is unique in its kind. “ Till now such early civilizations could be found in the banks of rivers like Saraswati (now disappeared), Ganga etc. But such evolution of urban culture of early period at the bank of river Kosi is really an instant,” he added further.
Preliminary findings found that the materials are from dated back 1000 BC’s BRW culture (black and red ware culture) to second urbanization’s NPBW culture ( the northern black polished ware culture), Choudhary said. “ The other findings like Terracotta sculptures, broken utensils, broken substances made of copper, other broken utensils and bricks (16.1X2X 2101X11/2 Inch) are mostly from Kushan period of 1 st century BC to 12 th century,” Choudhary explained.
Raman Sinha, in-charge principal of SM College, Bhaglpur, who also was accompanied the team to guide chief minister, put emphasis on the periods of the objects recovered which indicates that the civilization at the areas of Guaridih was much older than that of the urban civilization of Champa. “Guaridih must have influenced Champa to flourish which continued till 12 th century BC,” Sinha marked.
Former deputy director at PRD, Bihar government and historian, Shiv Shanker Singh Parijat said that that Champa might have emerged as most decorative Mahanagar during 6 th century BC but it was ex temporarily transformed into a Mahajanpad among the 16 Mahajanpad of northern India till 12 th century BC, and it was a gradually evolved. “But we have no point to say that Guaraidih was the pioneer of the civilization of Champa,” Singh who also in the team today, confirmed.
The team members claimed that the findings of materials of BRW culture period at Guaridih clearly indicates towards the early stage of urban settlement. And the rise of Champa was done on the background of systematic yield of agricultural products from 6th century BC soon after the invention of iron made equipment. “Extensive research should be done immediately to know more facts about the place Guaridih which should be accompanied by excavation of the entire areas,” Choudhary pointed out.
“There was a unique old temple with an ancient deity at Guaridih which lost forever into the river bed earlier. Appropriate measures should be taken immediately just to save the testimony of ancient time,” villagers complained before Nitish Kumar while showing the rapid erosion caused by river Kosi. Nitish also instructed the state’s water resources minister, Bijoy Choudhary and his team of officials to respond appropriately to counter the intensity of Kosi’s erosion.
“Anga always have its importance in term of enrich culture and traditions, education and academic skills and above all due to the ancient settlement of urban civilization. But Magadh emerged as most powerful region mainly due to Buddha who maximum spent his time at Magadh and secondly due to political events. Unfortunately, nothing has done so far at Anga Pradesh, mainly at Champa for the sake of the learners of history and archaeology,” Singh said.
“Place like Vikramshila has been ignored. So with Champa, however the state government now has awaken from the slumber. Chief minister’s recent visits to places like Guaridih could boost up marketing in terms of tourism which has become a prosperous income generating source of governments in other countries. The land has historical and archaeological significance and the government would have to do just one thing, ie conservation and developing infrastructures at such places at Anga Pradesh, there will be a boom in tourism,” Singh pointed out.
“Guaridih findings are very important and there should be proper measures to protect such rare instances of history. We will try for the best with our limited resources but hope for government’s patronage properly to project not only Guaridih but entire Anga Pradesh on the world’s tourism map,” Choudhary pointed out.