The Mahanirvana Temple and Stupa


Excavations under the supervision of A.C.L. Carlleyle in 1876-77 yielded the remains of the main Mahanirvana Stupa and the statue of the reclining Buddha. The main stupa as well as the shrine in front are built on a single platform which measures 2.74m in height. The statue of the reclining Buddha recovered from this site measures 6.1m in length. It is a monolithic sculpture carved out of a single block of sandstone. The image of reclining Buddha is found resting on his right side with his face towards the west probably indicating the sunset of his life. The right hand is placed under his head possibly as a cushion. The image is mounted on a pedestal with three human figures embedded on the western side of the pedestal. An inscription recovered from the site ascribes the statue as a religious gift from Haribal. The image of reclining Buddha is enshrined in the Mahanirvana Temple. The main stupa that stands next to the Mahanirvana Temple was also excavated by Carlleyle in 1876 CE. Further excavations in 1910 revealed copper coins of Jai Gupta and a copper vessel with a copper plate. There was another vessel containing silver coins of Kumar Gupta. The mains stupa is raised on a circular base and crowned with a dome on the top. The stupa measures 19.81m in height. The temple and the stupa assumed their present form in 1956 during the 2500th anniversary of Buddha Jayanti.