Three caves found in Buddhist Caves Complex, Nasik | Daily Current Affairs 2021

Three caves found in Buddhist Caves Complex, Nasik

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 Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found three caves in Buddhist Caves Complex in Nasik, Maharashtra.

Highlights:

  • These new caves are being discovered about two centuries after the British military officer documented Tri-Rashmi Buddhist caves, which is also called Pandav Leni.
  • The antiquity of the caves is yet to be established.
  • The archaeologists studying them, however, believe they could be older than the Trirashmi caves.
  • These caves may have been dwellings of Buddhist monks.

About the discovered caves:

  • These caves were discovered on opposite side of the current complex. They are about 70-80 feet above the existing complex and have been carved out of a steep hill.
  • They look like monks’ dwellings and older than the current complex.
  • All the caves have verandahs and the characteristic square stone platform for monks.
  • There are special arrangements for monks to meditate, similar to the Kanheri and Wai caves.
  • Two of the caves have shared dwellings while third was perhaps occupied by one monk.
  • Caves also have images of Buddha & Bodhisattvas and sculptures with designs of Indo-Greek architecture.

Note: The Buddhist sculptures and caves (in Nashik) are a significant example of “Indian rock-cut architecture” which represents Hinayana tradition of Buddhism.

About Trirashmi caves:

  • Trirashmi or Pandav Leni caves caves were earlier called as ‘Trirashmi caves’.
  • These caves are a group of 25 caves, carved out of Tri-Rashmi Hill between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD.
  • Vihara and the Chaitya are the main caves among 25 caves.
  • Complex of the cave was documented in 1823 by Captain James Delamaine.
  • It is an ASI protected site and a famous tourist destination.

About The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):

  • The ASI is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture that is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.
  • ASI was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham- the first Director-General of ASI.
  • Alexander Cunningham is also known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology”.
  • It administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • Its activities include carrying out surveys of antiquarian remains, exploration and excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and maintenance of protected monuments etc.

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