The old city of Junagadh famous for forts also enjoys the ancient Buddhist
connection with its caves and Ashokan Edicts. Khapra Kodia Cave and Baba
Pyara Caves in comprise Junagadh cave complex. Belonging to 3rd-4th century,
the plainest caves of Khapra Kodia
were used as a monsoon shelter by
the monks. The group comprising rock cut Baba Pyara Caves consist of the
intricately carved gateways, apsidal Chaitya halls, sculptured pillars,
sanctums and spacious courts.
A classic example of old rock engraving, 14 Ashokan Edicts on the way to
Girnar Hills belong to 250 BC. Carved on a huge stone, these rock edicts
mention the morality and records of royal orders against slaughter, greed
and emphasized on the principles of purity of thought, kindness and
Ahmedabad - Institute of Indology
Established in 1956, Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad preserves a
repository of rare art, manuscripts and archaeological objects of India. The
museum was inaugurated in 1984 to commemorate the richness of the institute
in terms of rare artifacts, terracotta potteries and handwritten manuscripts
relevant to Buddhism.
Bhavnagar - Talaja Hill
is endowed with rich Buddhist heritage including 30
ancient rock cut Buddhist caves, and identifiable carvings of Boddhisattvas.
The imposing structure is Ebhala Mandapa, a large hall with four octagonal
pillars in the front of caves also forms the highlight of this site.
Mehsana - Vadnagar
The recent excavations of Vadnagar have brought into light an ancient
Buddhist Vihara dating back to 2nd- 7th century. The monastery had two
votive stupas, an open central courtyard around which initially had nine
cells. Apart from this, the site yielded the image of Bodhisattva belonging
to the ancient period of 3rd-4th century.
Around 20 km from away from Vadnagar, Taranga Hills
have a profound
Buddhist connection. Locally known as Jogida ni Gufa
, the recently
excavated caves trace the presence of rock cut monastery used by Buddhist
monks thousands of years ago.
Also, the hills have Buddhist sculptures carved in stone that resemble the
Bodhi Vriksha or Kalpavruksha and other Buddhist motifs. Broken terracotta
images of Buddha, four carved images of Dhyani Buddha on a stone plate,
stone and brick walls inside rock shelters, etc. were also excavated from
the treasure trove here.
Northwest Kutch - Siyot Caves
The east facing sanctum and ambulatory at Siyot
Caves also reveal
strong Buddhist link. The traces showcase that Siyot Caves were one of the
80 monastic sites for Chinese Pilgrims.
- Khambhalida Caves
hosts three ancient caves belonging to
4th-5th century. The central cave in the complex hosts an imposing Chaitya
with a worn out stupa, showcasing strong Buddhist links. The entrance to the
cave is bordered by two large sculptures of Bodhisatvas-Padmapani on the
right and Vajrapani on the left.
Shamlaji - Dev Ni Mori
Remains of a Buddhist monastery belonging to 3rd-4th century AD have been
unearthed from Devni Mori,
about two km from Shamlaji. The presence
of a stupa and monastery have reconfirmed that during the early centuries of
Christian era, there had been a strong presence of Buddhists in Vadnagar.
Excavating of the stupa brought to light an inscribed casket which contained
relics of Budhha. The inscription clearly mentions that the casket contains
bodily relics of Buddha.
Somnath - Sana Caves
The caves at Sana
reveal the relics of the Buddhist past in the
state. There are 60 Buddhist rock shelter caves carved between 1st century
BC and 1st century AD. Believed to be the earliest caves of Western India,
these rock shelters have ornate carvings and stupas, rock cut pillows,
benches, chaityas, dome and pillared hall.
Vadodara - Kadia Dungar Caves
Bharuchs Kadia Dungar Caves
showcase seven rock-cut caves and
monolithic lion pillars. Sources suggest that these caves also served as
important Buddhist monasteries. The Buddhist connection of these caves is
also clearly visible with the discovery of brick stupa in the foothills.
Department Of Archaeology - M.S. University
The ancient heritage of Buddhist relics found from the site of Dev Ni
is now well preserved in the Museum of M.S. University handled by
its Department of Archaeology.