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Study of herbal medicine being revived in Birpur

byPRANAVA K CHAUDHARY, TIMES NEWS NETWORK, NOVEMBER 11, 2004

PATNA, India -- Birpur, an important archaeological site in Begusarai district, was one of the few sites in the country for preparing the herbal medicine during the Ist and 2nd century AD.

"We have found two to three varieties of leaves scattered around the region. There is a site in the South East corner of Birpur namely Mahendri where people used to to prepare herbal medicine", said Phuleshwar Singh former HoD ancient Indian history and archaeology, G D college Begusarai in a seminar held here at the Patna museum on Wednesday.

Singh and Shailesh K Sinha (both from Begusarai) had conducted excavation at Birpur (14 km away from Begusarai) early this year. The department of art, culture and youth programme sponsored the seminar. The secretary, department of art and culture Sunil K Singh in his inaugural address expressed satisfaction over the consciousness of NGOs in preserving the cultural heritage of Bihar.

Singh said that Naulagarh and Birpur were famous for the "Vaidyas" in ancient times and a variety of Ayurvedic medicine were prepared here. The antiquity unearthed at Birpur approves the story regarding Mahendri that in subsequent period techniques of preparing Ayurvedic medicines were shifted from Birpur to Mahendri, hardly one and half km from Birpur, he added.

Birpur, according to Singh, was also appeared to be a ceramic industry site, having a variety of pots from kitchen to storage jar during early Gupta period.

D P Sinha, convenor of an NGO- "Bihar Virasat" presented his research paper:" Explorations of archaeological sites in Begusarai, Samastipur, Khagaria, Saharsa and Supaul districts in which he stressed the need for intensive exploration of these ancient sites in order to provide a fresh look at the regional history of Bihar.

Sinha also felt the necessity to survey the antiquity in Saharsa and adjoining districts known as "Anguttarap" (Northern part of ancient Anga) as mentioned in Buddhist texts.

Several scholars including R S Sharma, P Gupta, O P Jaiswal, Prakash Charan Prasad and Vijay K Thakur lauded the efforts of the department of art and culture for organising such academic seminars. The director of the K P Jayaswal Research Institute Vijay K Chaudhary in his welcome address introduced the topic of the seminar.


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