Buddhist heritage sites lie in a state of neglect : The Tribune

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The ancient Buddhist heritage sites in the state are left in a dilapidated condition. No efforts had been taken in order to maintain these archaeological sites. These sites are left untouched in order to restore its original outlook.

As per the information gathered under the RTI, it had been revealed that the Haryana State Archaeological Department, had not spent even a single penny either to maintain or restore these sites. These sites hold historical and religious value for the practioners of Buddhism in India and even abroad.

President of the Buddhist Forum, Sidhartha Gauri, said the concerned authorities were of a view that the site was well maintained. But, the sites were in a shambles.” As per the recorded history, Buddha made his sojourn in Haryana around 2,500 years ago.

Gauri said the monuments on the top of the sites were being lost day-by-day. Pilferage at the sites had almost left it bereft of the ancient bricks and artifacts like coins, beads, idols and terracotta.

Convener of the INTACH’s Yamaunagar chapter, Major RS Bhatti, said, “There was no fencing around the ancient site, leaving it vulnerable to plundering by the locals. A proper security was also missing.”

Gauri said the only ancient stupa, now left in north India, was built by Emperor Ashoka in Chaneti village, Jagadhari, was not renovated properly.

“The forum had sent a letter to the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), to bring to their notice the violation of the norms in renovating the Chenati Stupa, but failed to invoke any response from the officials,” he added.

The district also has another 2,000 years-old site in Adi Badri, which was under jurisdiction of ASI, Chandigarh circle. Gauri said no security had been provided at this site as well. The site was under total isolation and the terracotta idol of Buddha was in a poor condition.

Another ancient mound which was called Jarsandh Ka Tila, in Sandhya village, Yamuanagar, was under constant threat from encroachers and local farmers. The site had not been taken over neither by the Haryana Archaeological Department nor the ASI.

Gauri said the forum had been repeatedly taking up these matters with the concerned authorities but of no avail. 

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