Ancient Buddha Statues Found in Neglected State at Lumbini

Ancient statues of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, have been found in a neglected state. These statues are proof of Lumbini’s religious and cultural significance, offering a glimpse into the region’s religious heritage. The idols were discovered in a dusty and dirty condition inside the Lumbini museum during a search conducted by the Lumbini Development Trust.

A copper Buddha statue (about 45 cm tall) and a metal Buddha statue (50 cm tall) were found in the storeroom of the ancient Mayadevi temple’s museum. Similarly, a statue of Taradevi and another stone idol (62 cm tall) were found outside the temple.

A marble Buddha statue (49 cm tall) was also seen lying on the floor of the museum’s storeroom, along with other precious statues.

During excavation and restoration, the idol of Barahi Devi, recovered from the sanctum sanctorum and placed at the main door of the outer part of the ancient temple, was found in two pieces on the ground floor of the museum. Reports also indicate that a statue of the Lumbini goddess riding a tiger, along with other unauthenticated statues and stone artifacts, has been found.

Ram Bikash Chaudhary, a campaigner for the Right to Information, stated, “There is a danger that the statues of religious and archaeological importance may be damaged due to the negligence of the concerned bodies. The statues are in bad condition; some of the idols are broken, and many have not been found yet. Due to the lack of protection, the original appearance of the idols of religious importance is deteriorating.”

According to the records of the Lumbini Development Trust, many statues are still to be found.

Chaudhary emphasized that some statues of religious and archaeological importance, which are in a state of disrepair and missing from the museum store in Lumbini, should be restored in Lumbini. He said, “Those idols are symbols of Lumbini’s heritage and religious beliefs.” It is necessary to restore them in Lumbini itself and introduce them to the world.

Yogendranath Pandey, the former chief priest of Mayadevi Temple, said that due to the negligence of the Lumbini Development Trust and the Archaeology Department, the conservation work on the ancient idols could not proceed effectively. He said, “Many historical statues of Lumbini are still missing.” He demands that they should be established in the temple itself.

Campaigner Meghnath Acharya said that the ancient idols missing from Lumbini since the time of excavation should be put on the search list and a plan should be made for the preservation and promotion of the found idols.

Akramuddin Khan, the coordinator of the save lumbini campaign, said, “Regular monitoring, maintenance, and security measures are necessary for the religious heritage of Lumbini.” He emphasized that the protection and preservation of the religious and cultural heritage of Lumbini can be made effective with the cooperation and partnership of the locals.

“The statues of religious and archaeological importance of Lumbini are an integral part of the cultural heritage of Nepal. If they cannot be properly protected, there is a danger of losing this valuable heritage in the future,” said Himal Upreti, the head of the Lumbini Development Trust Archaeology Division. “It is important that all parties work together to protect the heritage.”

The Lumbini Development Trust has said that it is trying to solve the problem. The treasurer of the trust, Siddhicharan Bhattarai, said, “We are trying to complete all the necessary procedures for the management of the statues. There are obstacles in that work, but we are committed to solving all of them and managing the statues properly.”


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