Thursday, May 5, 2011

The shrine of Bhusu vihar and vihar

The main shrine of this Buddhist complex lay in the southeastern part of the mound, about 320' to the south of monastery 2 and about 100' to the southeast o f monastery -1. It was a semi cruciform shrine with terraced ambulatory passages, measuring as a whole 125' north –south and 87’ 6" east –west .It was entered from the north, the assembly hall or the mandapa was in the center of the shrine. There were 3 ambulatory passages at three heights. The width of these passages was not uniform, varying between 4 and 6 in the highest terrace. In the lower terraces it was wider and more irregular, St the level of the lowermost terrace the outer facade of the shrine was decorated with bas-reliefs made of terracotta plaques. The utter wall at the ground level shows a combination of projections , recessions and offsets and was decorated with a series recessed panels made of mounded or carved bricks.bronze images, terracotta plaques, decorated bricks and inscribed terracotta sealing constitute the major antiquities found at the site , apart from the usual range of minor antiquities including pottery, The discussion on pottery is not accompanied illustrations and does not go much beyond the classification of the material in two groups- gray ware pottery and pink ware pottery . More than 60 bronze images have been recovered, mostly from inside the cells, although belonging to the late occupational level of the site, some of them could have been fashioned earlier and preserved in the monastery , All the images fund have been reported to have had back slabs and high pedestals, they represent the Buddha or Dhyani Buddha, Bodhisattva and Bodhisaktis . The images of akshobhya are said to be more numerous among the Dhyani Buddha figures. In the range of the Bodhisattava figures, Avaokitesvare is supposedly more common and the images of the different varieties of Tara dominate the range female figure .No large, life-like bronze images has been found , but a large and inscribed pedestal suggests that such figures existed . Some images are inscribed and all of them have one of two inscribe sealing attracted to the back of the back slap. It has been observed that ‘their elongated slim body, thin waist, broad chest and graceful developed features recalling the classical pala art ether standing or seated on elevated padmasana with or without any separate pedestal, are somewhat different from those of Mainamati which are characterized by more squat body , simple to crude style and more elaborate and prominent back slab and pedestals with foliage and there ornamental devices below the seat. The terracotta plaques are of two general sizes and belong to two essentially typological groups which have been somewhat inaptly described as early figures ,animals and birds and various geometric and floral compositions , The in influence of the Gupta classical art these terracotta’s and adds :In whatever aspect they are considered these terracotta’s and adds  in whatever aspect they are considered ,these terracotta have apparently made a significant contribution to the art tradition of Bangladesh ,There is a descriptive catalogue of 27 terracotta plaques .A large number of ornamental bricks which were used to decorate the outer wall of the shrine along with terracotta plaques have been obtained. The common designs are the lotus petal, stepped pyramid , dental edge , wavy lines floral and chain motifs ;the lotus petal and stepped pyramid designs are the most common designs on ornamental bricks not bricks at Vhasu vihar but also at Mainamati , Paharpur and there Buddhist sites .more than 250 inscribed terracotta sealing out of which more than a hundred are decipherable have been obtained in the Bhasu Vihar excavations .These have been divided into four groups : sealing with two lines of inscriptions below the traditional dharmachakra symbol flanked by two deer ;the inscription could not be satisfactorily read. sealing inscribed only with personal names such as Junaraksita , Dharmadeva, etc.; these constitute the vast majority of the excavated sealing . sealing bearing the formula of the Buddhist creed.a small number of sealing bearing only floral and geometric symbols .The fact that the inscribed material from Bhasu Vihar has not been properly read and published has to be regretted . It may be noted that we still do not have a idea of the inscription on the large bronze pedestal of many smaller inscriptions of the bronze images.