Excavations At Bairat

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Item Code: UAD520
Publisher: Publication Scheme, Jaipur
Author: Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni
Language: English
Edition: 1999
ISBN: 8186782370
Pages: 90 (Througout B/W Plates with Map)
Other Details 11.50 X 9.00 inch
Weight 600 gm
Book Description
About The Book

This book is a reprint of the report by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni, Director of Archaeology and Historical Research, Jaipur State. The report deals with the excavations at Bairat during the year 1935-36 A.D. It is a laudable work which will continue to enrich the scholars and aspirant students of archaeology alike.

This report was the first one in the State which dealt with the archaeological work. Besides giving a vivid account of the excavations at Bairat, it also embodies an introduction which gives a brief sketch of the researches carried out among the ancient remnants of the Jaipur State on account of the efforts made by Sir A. Cunningham, Mr. A.C.L. Carlleyle and Dr. D.R. Bhandarkar.

Bairat, also known as Viratpura in the ancient days is situated at a distance of about 52 miles from Jaipur, on the Jaipur-Delhi route. This place was first of all visited by Cunningham and later by Carlleyle and Bhandarkar. They have left vivid accounts with respect to what they saw at. Bairat, which stands in the midst of a valley and surrounded by ranges of hills.

Bairat was a flourishing site during' the Mauryan period. The availability of cores and chert flakes in a valley to the south of the Bijak-Ki-Pahari at Bairat prove the historicity of the site to prehistoric period. The significant structures at the site include a circular temple, monastery and numerous remnants of Ashokan pillars. The circular temple is on a lower platform and has a circumambulatory path. It is made of fire-baked bricks and believed to be contemporaneous with Ashokan pillars. The monastery, accompanied with cells being large enough to accommodate just a single monk; is situated on the upper platform. The significant antiquities collected from the monastery include pottery jars of varied shapes and adorned with various patterns, iron nails, oval-shaped amulets of schist. Besides this, 36 silver coins were also found from the outer wall of one of the cells. These coins were found in a small pottery jar. Out of these, 8 coins were punch-marked and were found wrapped in a piece of cloth while the remaining 28 coins being Greek and Indo-Greek lay loose in the same jar. The report gives a detailed and systematic tabulation of these coins.

and chert flakes in a valley The pottery found at the site dates back to 3rd cent. B.C. The excavation has revealed very few complete specimens. The pottery in general, is wheel-made, quite plain, coarse and devoid of any kind of slip or wash. The ornamentation on these wares includes vertical or horizontal lines on the shoulder of the vessels. The common types of ware are large storage jars with round bases, dishes with broad flat bases, tumblers or beakers with flat bases, varied modern lotas, spouted jars, incense burners with handles and lamps. Only the alms bowls made of fine fabric have highly polished slip.

Bairat is a very significant place from archaeological point of view. What is more interesting above all is that all the monuments which adorned this place were made out of fire-baked bricks despite abundant availability of stone in the form of several hill-ranges in the viscinity.


The Archaeological Survey of India has, during its existence since 1861, rendered valuable service in the matter of preservation of ancient buildings of great artistic and historical interest throughout the country, in the exploration of numerous buried sites of ancient cities and of religious establishments, and in the discovery and publication of epigraphical material of great value. Some of the Indian States have followed this noble example of the Supreme Government and have maintained separate archaeological offices of their own. These are Hyderabad, Mysore, Baroda, Travancore, Gwalior etc. The rulers of the Jaipur state have for centuries patronized art and science and the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singhji have won the admiration of visitors from far and near. The antiquities of the State had, however, unfortunately received little attention. The state authorities are, therefore, to be congratulated on their decision to start a small archaeological office of their own as a temporary measure in the first instance and it may be hoped that the results achieved during the last ten months will be considered a sufficient justification for the continuance of this office for at least a few years during which period it is expected that not only sufficient material will have been brought together for a first rate Museum of Archaeology at Jaipur but valuable light will also have been thrown on the ancient past of this interesting territory. The excavations at Bairat which form the subject of this brochure were undertaken at the express suggestion of the Finance Member, Rai Bahadur Pandit Amarnath Atal, to whom I am deeply indebted for much enlightened interest in these and other tasks undertaken by me.

I have considered it advisable to preface this my first report on archaeological work in the State with an introduction embodying a very brief resume of the researches carried out among the ancient remains of the Jaipur State by Sir A. Cunningham, the first Director General of Archaeology in India, in 1864-65;1 by his assistant Mr. A.C.L. Carlleyle during the cold weather of 1871-722 and by Dr. D.R. Bhandarkar, a former Superintendent of Archaeology in the Western Circle, during the year 1909-10.3 These notes also include such further information as I have myself been able to collect about the monuments in other places than Bairat.

The possibilities of archaeological research in the Jaipur State are very great indeed. In his monumental work, Mohenjodaro and the Indus Civilization Sir John Marshall in drawing attention to the pre-historic antiquities found in certain mounds in Kathiawad, expresses the hope that when a systematic search is instituted the chalcolithic culture of the Indus valley will, probably, be found to extend as Rajputana and down the valleys of the Jumna and the Ganges. A survey of this kind in the Jaipur State is one of the aims I have in view. Here it is interesting to observe that already the numerous portable objects found in the course of my excavations at Bairat include two flakes and fragments of several cores of chert similar to those found at Harappa and Mohenjodaro which augur well for future discovers of such material. The number of sites of the historical period, i.e. those dating from about the 3rd century B.C., that await exploration, is very considerable. The few places about which information is available from the researches referred to above are noticed here.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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