Devnimori: A Sunken Buddhist Legacy

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Buried under the still and serene waters of the Shyam Sarovar near the town of Shyamlaji in Northern Gujarat lie the remains of the state’s oldest-known stupa and Buddhist vihara (monastery) complex. The archaeological site, known as Devnimori, has been submerged for more than half a century. Dated to the 4th century CE, at least, it was thankfully excavated before the waters of the Meshwo River flooded the plains and it yielded some staggering finds.
The mound was locally known as ‘Bhoja Raja no Tekdo’ or ‘The Mound of Raja Bhoja’, and according to Bhil tribals who lived in the area, this was where a local prince from Bhuj in the Kutch region of Gujarat had set up camp in the 17th century CE. It was after this event that the mound came to be known as Bhoja Raja no Tekdo.

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