Buddhist artefacts dug out by J&K Archaeology Dept

Express India, May 11, 2005

Srinagar, India -- AFTER the discoveries in Pulwama last year and Anantnag district this February, the Jammu and Kashmir Archaeology Department has dug up yet another Buddhist treasure trove in the state, a senior official said today.

The findings, consisting of remnants of a Buddhist Stupa and images came to light during ongoing construction work at Baliyar near Marhama, 40 kms from here yesterday, Deputy Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums M S Zahid told here.

Besides artefacts and pottery objects, the most impressive discovery was the richly crowned and polished statue of a Buddhist deity which is yet to be properly identified.

The deity is shown seated on a lotus-shaped pedestal with the right leg placed on the base of the pedestal and the left curved to the right, the official said.

As its hands are missing, the attributes which a Buddhist usually holds are not visible, he said.

He said the excavation work led by engineer Ahsan-ul-Haqat the site was still on and he hoped to uncover a complete Buddhist Stupa when it is completed.

The department had discovered a Lethpora Buddhist site dated back to four ad in Pulwama district and at Qasbiyar in nearby Anantnag district last year.

A big copper coin hoard, weighing 21 kgs, was dug out by the experts of the department in February this year during excavation at Watnar in Anantnag district.