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In Nashik’s Buddhist caves complex, a chance new find

ALMOST two centuries after a British army officer documented the Trirashmi Buddhist caves — often known as Pandav Leni — in a hill in Nashik, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered three extra caves in the identical space.

The antiquity of the caves — which can have been dwellings of Buddhist monks — is but to be established; archaeologists learning them, nonetheless, consider they could possibly be older than the Trirashmi caves.

The Trirashmi or Pandav Leni caves are a bunch of 25 caves that have been carved out of Trirashmi Hill between the 2nd century BC and sixth century AD. The caves complicated was documented in 1823 by one Captain James Delamaine; it’s now an ASI protected web site and a vacationer vacation spot.

Salim Patel, a ‘multi-tasking staffer’ on the ASI’s Nashik division, stumbled upon two of the caves on Might 22. Following the possibility discovering, a wider search of the world by Senior Conservation Assistant Rakesh Shende, who heads ASI Nashik, led to the invention of the third cave.

ASI officers stated the primary two caves have been found through the annual pre-monsoon cleansing of a drainage line on the hill. Patel was on the lookout for a spot to dump the soil, dry grass and dry wooden that had been eliminated, when he noticed a cavity.

“I went nearer and eliminated the tree branches protecting the cavity. I noticed two cave-like constructions that had been carved out of the rock. I instantly knowledgeable my seniors, together with Shende sir, who have been on the spot,” Patel stated.

“I used to be thrilled. That is the primary time one thing like this has occurred to me in 25 years of my service,” he instructed The Indian The Press Reporter.

Shende stated instantly after the invention, the location was cleaned and secured. “We can be documenting the three caves, and ship the small print to our head workplace for notification within the gazette. The general public can’t attain the caves now, since there are not any pathways or security railings. We are going to make the required preparations as soon as the caves are notified,” Shende stated.

Atul Bhosekar, director of the Mumbai-based Trirashmi Analysis Institute of Buddhism, Indic Language and Scripts, who has been learning the caves for almost three many years, stated he had visited the location of the brand new discovery. The third cave, situated near the primary two, was found when he was there with the ASI workforce, Bhosekar stated.

“These caves are on the alternative aspect of the present complicated, and 70-80 toes above the prevailing complicated. The caves have been carved out of a steep hill, and searching on the type of carving, it seems to be like these have been monks’ dwellings, older than the present complicated,” Bhosekar stated.

Two of the caves, he stated, seem to have been shared dwellings; the third was maybe occupied by only one monk. “All of the caves have verandahs and the attribute sq. stone platform for monks. There are particular preparations for monks to meditate, just like the Kanheri and Wai caves,” Bhosekar stated.

“The Buddhist sculptures and caves (in Nashik) are a big early instance of Indian rock-cut structure representing the Hinayana custom of Buddhism,” he stated. “The caves have photos of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, and sculptures with designs of Indo-Greek structure.”

Bhosekar’s daughter Maitreyee Bhosekar, a Nashik-based skilled archaeologist who’s documenting the newly found caves, stated: “Wanting on the structure and structure of those caves, it’s doable that they have been carved earlier than the prevailing caves; nonetheless, their exact age could be ascertained solely after correct research and comparability with the prevailing caves.”

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