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Thursday, January 2, 2014

BUDDHIST CHAITYA CAVES OF KHAMBHALIDA ..

Khambhalida Caves are located in Rajkot district of the Indian state of Gujarat near Gondal. The group has three caves containing chaitya and stupa. The chaitya gate includes figures of Bodhisattva Padmapani and Vajrapani on right and left respectively. 

Avalokiteśvara Padmapani (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर lit. "Lord who looks down") is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. Portrayed in different cultures as either male or female, Avalokiteśvara is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism, as well as unofficially in Theravada Buddhism.

In Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara is also referred to as Padmapāni ("Holder of the Lotus") or Lokeśvara ("Lord of the World"). In Tibetan, Avalokiteśvara is known as Chenrezig, སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ (Wylie: spyan ras gzigs) and is said to emanate as the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa and other high lamas.

Avalokiteśvara Vajrapāṇi (from Sanskrit vajra, "thunderbolt" or "diamond" and pāṇi, lit. "in the hand") is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of the Buddha, and rose to symbolize the Buddha's power.

Vajrapani is extensively represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the three protective deities surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjusri (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' wisdom), Avalokitesvara (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' compassion) and Vajrapani (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' power as well as the power of all 5 Tathagathas).

Discoverer : PP Pandya, a renowned archeologist and former director of archeology in Saurashtra state, had discovered the place along with remains of Harappan civilization near Srinathgadh village, around 30 km from Khambhalida. He was also appointed the first director of archeology in the newly formed Gujarat state in 1960.

Description : This group of caves consists of three caves, the central one being a chaitya' with a worn out stupa. The entrance of the chaitya' is flanked by two large sculptures of the Bodhisatvas-Padmapani on the right and Vajrapani on the left. Each Bodhisatva is surrounded by attendants. There are depictions of Buddhist railing and foliages.

The caves though claimed to be carved in 4th-5th century AD in the limestone rock , is suspected to be more than 2700 years old as per Optical dating methods underway . Originally, there were around 15-20 caves on both sides of the rivulet surrounded by hillocks. But, due to negligence, except three, all caves are ruined or have collapsed. This despite the state archeological department declaring it as a protected monument.


JEWELS  OF BHARATAM .....SERIES [TM]

BUDDHIST CHAITYA CAVES OF KHAMBHALIDA ..

Khambhalida Caves are located in Rajkot district of the Indian state of Gujarat near Gondal. The group has three caves containing chaitya and stupa. The chaitya gate includes figures of Bodhisattva Padmapani and Vajrapani on right and left respectively. 

Avalokiteśvara Padmapani (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर lit. "Lord who looks down") is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. Portrayed in different cultures as either male or female, Avalokiteśvara is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism, as well as unofficially in Theravada Buddhism.

In Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara is also referred to as Padmapāni ("Holder of the Lotus") or Lokeśvara ("Lord of the World"). In Tibetan, Avalokiteśvara is known as Chenrezig, སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ (Wylie: spyan ras gzigs) and is said to emanate as the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa and other high lamas.

Avalokiteśvara Vajrapāṇi (from Sanskrit vajra, "thunderbolt" or "diamond" and pāṇi, lit. "in the hand") is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of the Buddha, and rose to symbolize the Buddha's power.

Vajrapani is extensively represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the three protective deities surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjusri (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' wisdom), Avalokitesvara (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' compassion) and Vajrapani (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' power as well as the power of all 5 Tathagathas).

Discoverer : PP Pandya, a renowned archeologist and former director of archeology in Saurashtra state, had discovered the place along with remains of Harappan civilization near Srinathgadh village, around 30 km from Khambhalida. He was also appointed the first director of archeology in the newly formed Gujarat state in 1960.

Description :  This group of caves consists of three caves, the central one being a chaitya' with a worn out stupa. The entrance of the chaitya' is flanked by two large sculptures of the Bodhisatvas-Padmapani on the right and Vajrapani on the left. Each Bodhisatva is surrounded by attendants. There are depictions of Buddhist railing and foliages. 

The caves though claimed to be carved in 4th-5th century AD in the limestone rock , is suspected to be more than 2700 years old as per Optical dating methods underway . Originally, there were around 15-20 caves on both sides of the rivulet surrounded by hillocks. But, due to negligence, except three, all caves are ruined or have collapsed. This despite the state archeological department declaring it as a protected monument.

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