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Cricket ground inside protected Vikramshila excavated site!

Village boys’ cricket ground inside the protected campus of Vikramshila


December 27th, 2019

Our Bureau/

Village youngsters from the nearby localities of the half-excavated ruins of ancient Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihara now have their ideal place for playing cricket, with a makeshift pitch inside the campus of the ancient site of learning. This internationally acclaimed heritage site is a prohibited place as declared by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Ancient bricks uprooted from the structure for using as wickets.

Recently News5pm published how the apathy and mismanagement has started casting its negative impact on the Terracotta plaques that are engraved on the walls of the ancient world University. News5pm’s team when visited the site of Vikramshila, teenaged boys from nearby hamlets were busy playing cricket inside the campus of the ancient world varsity. Makeshift pitch was prepared at  southern part, some 250 meter from the main monastery. Teenaged cricket players were busy playing the game while making makeshift wickets by ancient bricks from the walls which is connected with the rectangular big cell, the ancient  library building of the Mahavihara.

The place where cricket was going on while uprooting the bricks from the ancient structures, was very important part of the Mahavihara. It is south of the main monastery, towards west where there is rectangular structure. This structure is connected with the main monastery by a narrow covered passage flanked by walls. Attached with the northern wall , the rectangular hall contains four small cells and one rectangular bigger cell.

Ancient structures under threats!

The extreme southern wall contains thirteen sloping channel-like vents that once merged with the level of water of the reservoir constructed just at the foot of the south wall. “The exact function of this structure could not be determined but it is presumed that it might be the library hall of the Mahavihara,” mentioned V S Verma, former Superintending Archaeologist in his excavation report.

“It’s subject of research about the structure as it has the similarity with Paharpur Buddhist monastery commonly known as Sompura Mahavihara in Bangladesh. More or less this is very import place for knowing many more aspects of that era,” said Swadhin Sen, a senior faculty of Jahangirnagar University of Bangladesh who visited Vikramshila some three year ago.

Unprotected ruins of Vikramshila!

“Just imagine how ASI is serious about protecting the place?”, asked Pawan Kumar Singh, a senior teacher of Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University. Singh who resides Kahalgaon township which is located near the half-excavated site of Vikramshila alleged that such gross negligence by parts of ASI at Vikramshila might herm the old heritages. “Terracotta plaques were already damaged and we lost valuable thing. Similarly, if proper attention would not be given, we would have to witness great losses in terms of history and archaeology,” he wrote on his face book Blog.

Villagers residing surrounding the half-excavated Vikramshila cordially accepted their safe and easy trespassing into the campus, the protected areas of ASI. “The southern part is more safe for the nearby villagers, grass is available in plenty  for their cattle , many collect fire woods from the mango orchard and playing ground for the children,” admitted Rajiv Kumar, a villager from nearby Antichak. Many villagers accepted that earlier people used to lift bricks and other stone made items for constructing their houses.

Interestingly,   ASI has its base camp at the site  and the staffs mainly guarding the main entrance as well as the library which displays the collects of antics found during excavation of the site. When asked about the security inside the campus, they preferred silence. “We are in few numbers and could not resist the villagers in many occasions, “ said one of them on condition of anonymity.

Easy trespassing causing much damage to the site.

“Apart from yearlong apathy from government which virtually blocked the paths of converting the place into an ideal tourist spot while connecting Vikramshila into Buddha Circuit and delay of establishing a central varsity as proposed by central government, such negligence would certainly destroy all the archaeological evidences which somehow excavated below the soil here earlier,” observed Shiv Shankar Singh Parijat, author of the biography of Dipanker Srighyan Atisha.

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