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AGRA: In an interesting discovery following excavations carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India recently, remains of a summer palace, presumably a baradari, a pavilion designed to allow free flow of air - have been reportedly found at the centuries-old Mughal-era garden Mehtab Bagh located opposite the Taj Mahal.

The garden was reputedly Shah Jahan’s favourite spot which he used to visit to get a view of the Taj at night, hence it’s name (Mehtab means moonlight in Urdu).

"The remains of the baradari-like structure have been found just opposite the Taj Mahal which strengthens our belief that the Mughal emperor must have built this place to enjoy the view of the Taj sitting near the bank of river. Read more.

Encouraged by the initial findings during trial trenches in the Fort area at Pulicat, north of the city, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has planned a detailed excavation in other parts of the mound, hoping to unravel the antiquarian origins of the site.

The ASI has written to the Tamil Nadu government for acquiring 11 acres on lease as no archaeological excavation has so far been done in this area. “The aim is to study the cultural sequence of the site and identify the layout of Fort Geldira and its remains. We will team up with the Geological Department of Anna University for GPS mapping,” said G. Maheswari, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai Circle. Read more.

Repudiating the earlier assumption that Kondapur in Andhra Pradesh was a Buddhist site, new archaeological evidence indicates that the Satavahana kings, the rulers of the region between 3rd century BCE and 3rd century CE, practised Tantric worship.

“Even though Satavahana kings were under the control of King Ashoka, who embraced Buddhism, they have also patronised Vedic religion,” said G. Maheswari, the Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chennai Circle.

The presence of silver and gold-plated coins and terracotta dollars bearing images with close resemblance to Roman Emperor Tiberius also confirmed their trade with the Romans, she said. Read more.

Thanks to the efforts of a vigilant retired professor, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has managed to salvage a part of India’s numismatic history dating back to the 8 Century A.D. from the seemingly all-consuming sweep of urbanization.

Last month, the ASI excavated remains of a rectangular structure considered to be a mint of 8 Century vintage after a brief exploratory survey yielded 31 pieces of terracotta coin moulds for casting coins of King Mihira Bhoja, the ruler of the Pratihara dynasty between 836 and 885 A.D.

The exploratory survey was carried out after a retired professor of Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Manmohan Kumar, informed ASI about ancient mounds at Bohar Majra village in the district running the risk of being levelled as part of the building of new colonies in the area by the Haryana Urban Development Authority. Read more.

HUBLI: Why wait for someone else to salvage your heritage? That was the idea about 40 college students set out with last week while trying to clean up the mess caused by years of neglect and abuse at historical monuments in Devagiri village in Haveri district.

Devagiri’s history is primarily tied to the ancient Kadamba dynasty, among others. It boasts of several inscriptions, temples and other monuments on Karnataka’s royal lineage. It has four ancient temples, monuments with more than 20 inscriptions, three copper plate and Jain Tirthankara inscriptions. But they have been neglected over the years. Read more.

Concrete floors and walls that likely belong to a temple of the ancient Gupta Period – known as the Golden Age of India – have been discovered in north Bihar’s Vaishali district.

State archaeology officials confirmed that ongoing excavations at Chechar village had unearthed the relics, apparently dating back to the 5th Century AD. The Gupta age lasted roughly from the 4th to the 6th Century AD.

"At no other site have the remains of the Gupta age settlements been discovered hardly six feet below the ground," said archaeologist Arun Kumar.

"A whole concrete floor has been discovered and there is evidence of piling below it. The wall over it must have been above the ground, which no longer exists. It must have been part of a huge temple." Read more.

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The huge stone vessel, weighing nearly 400 kilograms (880 pounds), is currently displayed at the National Museum of Afghanistan and is regarded as important in the Buddhist religion.

The experts will examine the piece after demands in the national parliament last year for the return of the bowl which the state-run Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) believes belongs to India.

"We will be sending two experts to Kabul to examine the bowl. We are very much in favour of bringing it back to India," ASI additional director general B. R. Mani told AFP late Monday.

"They will examine if the raw material has been sourced locally from one of the Afghan cities. If not, it will strengthen our claim that it belongs to us," Mani said. Read more.

LUCKNOW: The Unnao gold hunt has led to illegal digging at forts and temples rumored to have hidden treasures in Uttar Pradesh.

Shobhan Sarkar, the seer who had ‘dreamt’ about 1,000 tonne gold buried under Unnao’s Daundia Khera fort, had said the precious metal was hidden in Fatehpur’s Adampur area as well.

As the news spread, some people dug up the platform of an ancient Shiva temple near the Ganga’s main ghat in Fatehpur.

Reports said about two dozen places in ruins have been dug up. It was also rumoured that the diggers had fled with some gold. Read more.