Bihar’s Kesaria Buddha stupa waterlogged
Prelim – History
- The world-famous Kesaria Buddha stupa in east Champaran district of Bihar is waterlogged following floods in some parts of the district after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of river Gandak in neighbouring Nepal.
- The first construction of the nationally protected stupa is dated to the 3rd century BCE.
- It is regarded as the largest Buddhist stupa in the world and has been drawing tourists from across several Buddhist countries.
- The stupa’s exploration had started in the early 19th century after its discovery led by Colonel Mackenzie in 1814. Later, it was excavated by General Cunningham in 1861-62 and in 1998 an ASI team led by archaeologist K.K. Muhammad had excavated the site properly.
- The original Kesaria stupa is said to date back to the time of emperor Ashoka (circa 250 BCE) as the remains of an Ashokan pillar was discovered there. The local people call the stupa “devalaya,” meaning “house of gods”.
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has declared it a protected monument.