Gupta Period Temple in UP: Evidence of 1500 years old Gupta temple found in village of UP
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found the remains of a 1500-year-old temple in a village in Etah district of UP. This temple of the fifth century is said to be of Gupta period. This ancient temple has been unearthed during the routine cleaning of ASI in Bilsadh village of Etah.
Mention of Shri Mahendraditya in the numerology
The remains of the temple found in the excavation last month have the use of numerology. The ASI has confirmed that the name Sri Mahendraditya refers to the Gupta ruler Kumaragupta I. Kumaragupta I ruled for 40 years during the fifth century. His territory was the area of present-day North Central India.
The Gupta site has been preserved since 1928.
Since 1928, this area of Bilsad comes under the protected area. It is recognized as an important Gupta site. Vasant Swarnakar, superintendent of archeology, ASI Agra circle, says, ‘Two carved pillars have been found from there, which are located around each other. A miniature human statue has already been found here. To understand their importance, we did more excavations, after which the stairs were found there.
Use of numerology in the 4th to 8th centuries
Swarnakar further said, ‘We found something written on them in numerology. It mentions Sri Mahendraditya, who was the name of Kumaragupta I, the ruler of the Gupta dynasty. Sankhyalipi is an allegorical and ancient style of writing, used for names and signatures between the 4th and 8th centuries.
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The ruins of the temple were discovered during the routine cleaning. ASI gets its protected monuments and sites cleaned around every monsoon. Swarnakar tells that this time he was supervising the cleanliness and he thought that this place should be excavated. Meanwhile, the ASI team reached the remains of the ancient temple through the stairs.
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Horse statue found in Lakhimpur Kheri
Similar remains of the inscriptions found at Etah were also found in a horse sculpture found at Lakhimpur Kheri. It is now kept in the State Museum in Lucknow. But the goldsmiths were not satisfied with this. He sent the picture of the remains to famous epigraphic specialist Dr Devendra Handa. Meanwhile, ASI officials visited Lucknow to see the horse sculpture inscription. Confirmed from both sides that it is indeed numerology. Since Kumaragupta I was written on the inscription, the remains are believed to be of his reign.
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Only the third temple of the Gupta period was found
The antiquities unearthed in Etah is only the third temple of the Gupta period found so far. “The Gupta rulers were the first to build structural temples for Brahmins, Buddhists and Jain followers,” says Professor Manvendra Pundir, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University. Earlier temples were built only by cutting rocks.
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The architectural style of the temple of Etah is more developed than before
Professor Pundir adds, ‘Earlier only two Gupta structural temples were discovered – the Dashavatar temple in Deogarh and the Bhitargaon temple in Kanpur countryside. The architectural style of the temple pillars found in Etah is better than before. They have carvings only in the lower part. Along with the decorative pillars, the stairs are also more developed than the remains found earlier.
ASI is now preserving these Gupta relics. A shed has been erected here, along with a signboard informing the importance of the place for the visitors.
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