ASI to start excavation at Rajgir’s Qila Maidan from Dec 15 - Hindustan Times
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ASI to start excavation at Rajgir’s Qila Maidan from Dec 15

By, Patna
Dec 08, 2023 09:45 PM IST

Exercise is to unearth the human settlements and structures from the time of ancient Magadh rulers Bimbisar and Ajatshatru.

Excavation work at the Quila Maidan at Rajgir in Nalanda district of Bihar, planned by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to unearth the human settlements and structures from the time of ancient Magadh rulers Bimbisar and Ajatshatru, is likely to begin from December 15, officials said.

CM Nitish Kumar in Rajgir. (HT file)
CM Nitish Kumar in Rajgir. (HT file)

Ground penetrating radar has already confirmed remains of ancient structures, they said.

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Excavations at the site have been carried out earlier also.

“In 1950, former director general of the ASI, A Ghosh, had carried out an excavation of the fortification wall at this site. In his report (Rajgir, 1950) he has explained that Magadh empire existed much before the Christ era. The report also stated the Magadh empire rulers like Bimbisar and Ajatshatru had good contacts with Lord Buddha and they had developed in this area a fort and a fort city with fortification walls around it,” Sujit Nayan, excavation branch head of the ASI, Patna Circle, said.

“In 1960-1962, another archaeologist, Raghuvir Singh, too got excavated the fortification wall developed by Magadh ruler Ajatshatru,” Nayan said.

“But the fort and the fort city within the fortification wall have never been excavated. We want to unearth those structures. The findings will reveal the lifestyle in this area in ancient times and we will also be able to understand the art and architecture and development level of that period,” the official said.

Nayan said the site was being cleared and cleaned for excavation works. “In fact, the site was being used as a dumping ground by the locals. The practice has been stopped,” he said.

He said nearly two dozen archaeologists have been roped in for the excavation work. “If all goes well, we will start excavations on December 15,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Reena has been a journalist for over two decades. She has the experience of covering wide range of issues, including art, culture, archaeology, tourism, forest and women issues. She has also authored a book and is a recipient of the ‘Ramdhari Singh Dinkar Award’, given by the government of Bihar.

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