'Available records on Buddhism not seriously explored'

Delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of one-day national conference on “Buddhism in coastal Karnataka” organised by Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty College, Shirva, and sponsored by University Grants Commission (UGC) here on Friday, he said that plenty of evidences were available for the popular existence of Buddhism in this part of area. The available records of sculptures, architecture and inscriptions have not been seriously explored and excavated. A systematic study of these Buddhist architecture and sculptures would further throw much light on existence of Buddhism in the coastal region, he said and stressed for the need of hard working good scholars to take up a systematic study of Buddhist architecture in coastal Karnataka as no much light had been thrown despite good evidences of Buddhist sites in Southern Karnataka, he added.

He also urged the scholars to take up the systematic study of Roman antiquities and its cultural contacts with Coastal Karnataka. It is another important aspect of the early Karnataka history which needs a proper study though some attempts have been made in these aspects in Southern Karnataka like Talakad, Chandravalli, Anuvanahalli and other places. After coastal areas of Pondicherry, Cochin and some other places, no serious work had been done in general and Karnataka in particular, he said.

Stating that the terminology which had been adopted from the British decades ago is needed to be revived, he said the confusion still exists. The similar terminologies of Buddhist ‘Stupa’ and ‘Chaitya’ is used for both constructions. ‘Stupa’ is built by using bricks and mortar and Chaitya is the rock-built Buddhist temple. The main excavations conducted in places like Sannati (Ramanandala), Chandravalli (in Chitradurga) and Banavasi have provided primary source materials like sculptures, structures supporting evidences of Buddhist art and culture, inscription and also good number of antiquities, he added.  The conference was inaugurated by Dr Tamil Selvi from Madras University, Chennai. V V Sangha (Shirva) Secretary V Subbhayya Hegde and Correspondent K Rajaram Shetty were present.

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