Preliminary excavation at the site has led to the discovery of pottery and images belonging to Gupta period (5CE) to the later Pala period (9-10 CE).
“Digging has also revealed that a 34-metre-long floor lined by a number of cells. The vast floor is dotted with a number of platforms with images of Buddha installed on them,” says Atul K Verma, head of the ASI excavation team at Telhara.
Verma, an excavation and exploration officer in the Bihar state directorate of archaeology, told TOI that the excavation work at nearly 350-feet-high Bulandi mound at Telhara has revealed evidence of three-storyed concrete structure as mentioned by a Chinese travellor Xuan Zang in his travel account.
“A four-feet high blue basalt image of Buddha in ‘abhay mudra’ and another in ‘dharma chakra mudra’ have also been found in horizontal position on the floor. It appears to have been a prayer hall, mentioned by the Chinese travellor,” Verma said.
Evidence of prayer halls and residential cells for monks in the monastery have now been found in course of the recent diggings. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had launched the excavation work at Telhara on December 26 last year during his ‘Pravas Yatra’.