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The ancient remains of Krimila and the places related to Gautam Buddha have gradually surfacing out at Lakhisarai, otherwise known for the goons and the Maoists.
Krimila, an erstwhile administrative center in Eastern India was actually a Visaya (district headquarter) of Sri nagara Bhukti (Patliputra) during early medieval period. Krimila remained an important political center during the Pala ruler in India. However, except a few historians, no body has any idea about the rich heritages below the earths of Lakhisarai. Thanks to Bihar government, mainly Bihar Virasat Vikash Samity (BVVS) and Prof. Anil Kumar of Visva-Bharati University , Shantiniketan , Bengal which started excavation to dig out the ancient treasures of history from the beds of Lakhisarai.
Lakhiasai is situated between Nalanda and Vikramshila, the two religio-educational hubs of early medieval period in Bihar. Another important significant aspect of the place is that it also situated in between Patliputra- Tamralipti route via Champa.
However the excavation team from Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan almost reached to the point that finding at Jainagar Lali Pahari at Lakhisarai is the ancient remains of a large Buddhist monastery which earlier mentioned by noted British archeologist, Alexander Cunningham, in Lakhisarai township. Excavation which has started at the site, started finding many items including a broken replica of Buddha and other artifacts.
Excited team members said that that the discovery of such structural evidences below that earth could unfold the ancient history of this area where Gautama Buddha had spent three rainy seasons also mentioned in old Buddhist texts.
The team till now discovered 9 cells at the excavation site which are inter connected having floor made of lime –brick combinations. Besides, the frontal structure of portico with black stone also recovered. The platform mainly used by the monks to perform rituals behind the portico was found also. The cells are mainly for mediation and the recovery of the relic of Buddha and some potteries used in conducting rituals has further confirmed such claims. “Findings of the pottery generally used by Buddhist monks and the replica of Buddha suggested this place as a big monastery,” claimed Prof. Kumar.
Prof. Kumar, head of the department of archeology at Visva-Bharati who is guiding the excavation earlier published details about the place in Indian Historical Review under the title : Krimila : a forgotten Adhisthana of medieval eastern India.
“ In the outer part of the monastery, there was arrangements for security and there was drinking water facility for the monks with a tank which was connected through nearby river Kiul through canal,” Prof Kumar pointed out. The excavation works has been conducted far away from the main structure of the center serine of that monastery located on west direction but the findings so far been indicated the existence of that monastery, he claimed.
“The trees would be the main obstruction for the excavation towards the main portion of the monastery but we already applied to forest department for obtaining the permission for cutting of the trees there,” he added further.
According to Prof Kumar, Cunningham who earlier conducted some excavation works in Lakhisarai some times in 1870-71 also mentioned about such monastery here in his report. “He had mentioned about a Buddha Vihara here and on the other side of another hillock, adjacent to this monastery he mentioned about existence of a stupa at the height of thirty feet,” Prof. Kumar pointed out. Cunningham excavated some parts of the areas and discovered a relic casket and 2700 hundred coins amounting one lakh at that time .One inscription from nearby region suggested existence of a Nunnery here, he mentioned.
“Earlier in one my article published in international history journal, mentioned this stupa as Chaliya stupa which also has a reference in Angutta Nikaya where it is said that on a hillock located on the bank of river Krimikla here, Buddha spent three rainy seasons,” Prof Kumar said. There only at Velu Bana Buddha preached two Suttas of Abhidhammapitka, Kimmila and Kimbila Sutta.
“What we read early about the place in different old texts and history books giving the testimonies now here,” pointed out Siddharth Saha, a team member. While another team member, Sweata Singh said how local residents of Lakhisarai started cooperating and encouraging the excavation team for finding out the ancient chapters of this place. “Local residents recently came with cake to celebrate this great success in digging out the ancient remains,” she said.
Apart from excavation at Jainagar Lali Pahari, archeological survey of India’s (ASI) excavation branch –III, Patna also started another excavation at Uren, a few kilometer away from Lali Pahari in Lakhisarai. “The excavations are very important to change the fate of a sleepy district like Lakhisarai, tourism would certainly be boosted up there,” said Bijay Choudhary, president of BVVS.