Built in 1st century BC, an ancient monument of great importance – stupa at Chaneti village – has become a victim of official neglect as officials of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) allegedly renovated the old structure without preserving its original shape.
During the reign of Mauryan emperor Ashoka, this place had become an important centre of Buddhism. This stupa was among the 10 stupas built in that period.Alleging neglect on the part of the ASI while carrying out construction activities, the Buddhist Forum has sought a probe from the Director-General of the ASI.
According to the archeological principle of preservation, the ASI has to preserve the ancient monuments without losing its original shape. The ancient monuments are to be preserved but not renovated completely. However, Chantei Stupa has been totally renovated by the ASI officials.
President of the Buddhist Forum Sidhartha said the forum had written a letter carrying all details of renovation of the stupa in violation of the ASI principle to the Director-General of the ASI for the probe. This stupa at Chaneti was one of the 10 stupas referred by Yuan Chwang. To construct this baked-brick stupa, concentric layers were put one over the other each time leaving some space on the underlying layer so that the whole structure should give a hemispherical look. “This stupa corresponds to the Shahpur and Dharmarajika stupas in Taxila,” he added.
This stupa was not only important for Buddhists, but also a centre of attraction for tourists. Therefore, the forum had demanded an immediate action so that no other monuments of historical importance could further be destroyed, he added.