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Saturday, December 14, 2013

The oldest Buddhist temple found in Nepal

Archeologists have discovered what they call the world's oldest Buddhist temples. The temple, which was built in the sixth century BC, the approximate date of Buddha birth is also backed for 300 years, because he was allegedly He born during the third century BC.

They worked in the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal (an UNESCO World Heritage site) and has long been regarded as the birthplace of Buddha. An archaeologists team found wooden temple under a series of brick temple.
Archaeologist Robin Coningham (left) and Kosh Prasad Acharya led excavations at the Maya Devi Temple, which found a series of ancient Buddhist temples. (Picture from: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/)
"Very little has been known about the life of Buddha, except through textual sources and verbal traditions," said Robin Coningham, the lead investigator from the Department of Archeology at Durham University, UK.

"We want to return to archeology to try to answer some of the questions about his birth," he added.

"Now, for the first time, we have archaeological sequence in Lumbini which shows buildings dating from the 6th century BC."

Have the same design with brick temple on it, the wood structure has a central open space associated with the story of the birth of Buddha himself. In the Buddhist tradition notes that Queen Maya Devi, Buddha's mother gave birth while holding sticks in Lumbini. The researchers said that the open space in the middle of most of the ancient temple may have been planted with trees.

Lumbini is one of the important sites associated with the life of Buddha. The other is Bodh Gaya, where he became a Buddha or enlightened; Samath, where he first gave lectures, and Kushinagara, where he died.

Lumbini discovered in 1896 and identified as the birthplace of the Buddha because of the sandstone pillar from the 3rd century BC. The pillar, which still stands today, contains writings documenting a visit of Emperor Asoka, a key figure in the spread of Buddhist teachings, to the birthplace of Buddha, and the name of the site, Lumbini.

When Buddha died at the age of 80 years, he mentioned recommends Buddhists to visit Lumbini. The temple was still popular in the mid-first millennium AD, and was described by the Chinese pilgrim has a temple beside the tree.

An estimated half a billion people in the world are Buddhists, and in 2020, approximately 20 million Buddhist pilgrims expected to come from South Asia, and many of them come to Lumbini every year. The research is published in the international journal, Antiquity. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | ANTIQUITY]
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