Excavated site at Chirand, Saran in Bihar. (HT photo)
Excavated site at Chirand, Saran in Bihar. (HT photo)

Famous archaeological site in Bihar faces threat of erosion

Chirand, an archaeological site located on the banks of the river Ganga in Bihar’s Saran district, is once again under the threat of erosion and losing its existence as the water level in the river is rising due to heavy rains, officials said
UPDATED ON JUN 27, 2021 07:21 PM IST

Chirand, an archaeological site located on the banks of the river Ganga in Bihar’s Saran district, is once again under the threat of erosion and losing its existence as the water level in the river is rising due to heavy rains, officials said.

Concerned with the loss of the rare archaeological site, Chirand Vikas Parishad, a group of heritage enthusiasts, wrote to the state archaeology department on Saturday and requested to take measures to prevent the erosion.

“A big chunk of the archaeological site has already been eroded and devoured by the Ganga in the past few days. And during a visit to the site on Ganga Dussehra on June 21, we found that it’s under the threat again. River Ganga is swelling up and might inundate riverbanks any day,” said Sriram Tiwari, secretary of the Chirand Vikas Parishad.

“We have written a letter today to the state archaeology department to take action. We are expecting some response in a few days.”

Chirand site is considered rare among the archaeological sites across the country because of the rare pieces of evidence related to the growth of human civilisation there. The mound located at the site contains archaeological evidence of a step-by-step evolution of civilisation from the Neolithic age to the Pala age.

“During the excavations conducted there in the 1960s, settlements and buildings of Kushan age were unearthed. However, these days, the buildings and walls are covered with thick grass and bushes. Bricks are coming out of walls while the ancient age pots, which can still be seen intact in walls, are being trampled by cattle and human beings,” Tiwari said.

State archaeology director Karuna Kumari could not be contacted despite repeated efforts.

Another state archaeology official, based on anonymity, said two monument attendants have been deputed at the Chirand site to take care of the maintenance work. “But they never send the status report of the site and monument,” he said.

CP Sinha, former KP Jaiswal Research Institute director, said Chirand need immediate conservation works. “It’s the only site in the state where we can witness the gradual growth of civilisation consecutively. One can see there the crops cultivated by Neolithic people and the kind of huts they used to build,” he said. The site had also yielded evidence of the copper and iron age.

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