How Gujarat spread Buddhism
Recently, Archaeologists found ancient, organic remains in silk at Devnimori and was believed that it may likely belong to Gautama Buddha and considered sacred.
Historical Significance of Devnimori
- Sacred Relics of Gautama Buddha: Devnimori, near Shamlaji in Gujarat, holds the sacred remains of Gautama Buddha, discovered in 1962. The relics, wrapped in silk, were found in an inscribed casket within a stupa.
- Cultural and Trade Connections: The site reveals cross-cultural connections, with evidence of economic and cultural ties to Gandhara. The convergence of artistic styles from Mathura and Gandhara suggests extensive trade networks during the 3rd-4th CE.
- Lost Antiquity and Its Importance: Devnimori's submersion during the construction of Meshvo dam highlights the need to preserve its archaeological richness.
The Rediscovery of Devnimori
- Archaeological Exploration: The archaeological exploration initiated in 1936 by P.A. Inamdar led to the acknowledgment of Devnimori's buried heritage.
- Comprehensive Excavation: The Department of Archaeology and Ancient History yielded significant structures, including a Mahastupa, Uddesha stupas, viharas, and a chaitya hall, offering a comprehensive view of the site's historical evolution.
- Inscriptions and Relics: The Mahastupa's discovery, along with the relic casket, provided invaluable insight into the history of the region.
Devnimori's Place in Buddhist Heritage
- Artistic Influence and Trade Routes: Devnimori's artifacts, including Buddha images and stupas, reflect the influence of Gandharan School of art.
- Cultural Loss and Development: Despite its cultural and religious significance, Devnimori was submerged for the construction of the Meshvo dam. This underscores the dilemma of preserving heritage amidst development needs.
- Preservation of ancient languages: Inscriptions in Sanskrit and Prakrit languages, as well as the presence of sacred relics, were key discoveries.