Excavation begins at Kaushambi

by Rajiv Mani, TNN, Dec 15, 2008

ALLAHABAD, India -- The experts in ground penetration radar (GPR), ground positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) and the faculty members from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-K ) and Allahabad University started the ambitious project of resurveying and re-excavating the archeological site at Kaushambi.

The team, led by GK Rai, head of the department of ancient history, AU, other faculty members from the department and experts from the department of civil engineering, IIT-Kanpur , have joined hands to start the excavation work and present to the world the unsung glory of this ancient district dominated by Buddhist monasteries, especially the Ghositarama .

It is worth mentioning that the name of Ghositarama Monastery, frequently mentioned in early Buddhist literature, was build by one of the leading bankers of Kaushambi, Ghosita, who was the treasurer of king Udayana (sixth century BC). He invited Buddha to visit Kaushambi and build a monastery named Ghositarama.

During his frequent visits to Kaushambi, Buddha stayed at the monastery and numerous incidents are mentioned in the Tripitaka in connection with his visits. But the monastery was destroyed in the 5th century BC by Huna king Toramana.