The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of Odisha’s Puri circle has stumbled upon a 1300-year-old Buddhist Stupa (monastery), dating back to Bhaumakara dynasty at a mining site in Jajpur district.
The gigantic Stupa of 4.5 metre height has been found at Khandolite mining site in Parabhadi in Sukhuapada hamlet in Jajpur district. ASI has initiated steps to preserve the monastery for posterity. However, it is disheartening to note that another Stupa smaller in size has been completely ravaged during to unauthorised mining operation, said Dibishada Brajasundar Garnayak, Superintending Archaeologist of ASI’s Puri circle.
The Khondalite stones from the site were mined out by the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for the beautification of surroundings of 12th Century Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme.
After a preliminary survey, the Stupa was found. The ASI had expressed concern over the mining activity at the site without the mandatory heritage assessment. Later, the Government stopped the mining operation. The OMC has also been instructed not to carry out mining in the area given the fact the famous Lalitgiri Buddhist monastery complex, an ASI-protected site, is located close to it, Garnayak said.