Kauwa Dol | An Ancient Site on Gaya-Jehanabad Border

I visited the site of Kauwa Dol in July, 2005 during my stay at Gaya. About 16 miles to the north of Gaya in Bihar, near Belaganj, there are several groups of granite hills, called Kauwa Dol, Barabar, Nagarjuni and Dharawat. All of these possess several remains of the ancient times. The Kauwa-Dol is a detached Hill separate from the main group of Hills and is quite inaccessible as is formed entirely of huge masses of granite piled precipitously above one another, and crowned with a single lofty block that commands over the plains below. It is said that this pinnacle was in earlier times topped by another block which was so delicately balanced that it used to swing even when a crow alighted upon it. It was from this peculiar block that the Hill acquired its name. The block is now untraced. At the northern foot of the Kauwa-Dol there has formerly been a temple of hewn granite. A large village must also have existed on the north and east sides of the hill, as the foot of the hill, which is considerably raised above the fields, is strewn with broken bricks, hewn stones and fragments of pottery. Several Muhammadan tombs were observed on this mound by Cunningham, built chiefly of pillars and other squared and ornamental stones of some earlier temple. I could see several pillars lying on the fields, some exposed to the vagaries of nature, while others covered under earth. On the rocks of the northern face of the hill, numerous figures have been sculpted. One of these is a figure of Ganesha, beside a lingam. Several of them represent Gauri Shankar; but the most common of these sculptures is the favorite figure of Mahishasur Mardini Durga. There are also figures of Buddha. In a recess on the east side of the hill there is a colossal figure of the Buddha, as he appeared while meditating under the Bodhi tree in the Bhumi Sparsha Mudra. This image is now protected under a crude enclosure constructed below a Peepal Tree, which has spoilt the ambiance of the whole place but does protect the image in some way from stray cattle. The site lies on a detour from the road leading to the Barabar Caves from the Patna-Gaya Road near Bela. It is sad to see that important sculptures have not been properly documented and the site has been almost neglected. Several beautiful and some unfinished sculptures can be found lying in the fields totally neglected, in a walk around the nearby village. The place seems to have been extremely important as a religious site in ancient history. Nothing is known of the group of men who sculpted such beautiful images on granite. A lot of research is required as Hiuen Tsang is silent about these works as he is about the famous nearby caves of Barabar, whose importance has been retraced from the inscriptions.

Check out the pictures of Kauwa Dol below:

 

Buddha in the Bhumi Sparsha Mudra

Works of some Unknown Sculptors

The meditating Buddha

Pillars lying unattended

The article was first posted at Silent Pages.

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IPS, IITIAN, An ordinary Indian, interested in the History of India and in contributing to the Future of India.

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