Islamabad Museum puts rare statue of Lord Buddha's head on display

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 01-12-2019 13:14 IST | Created: 01-12-2019 12:58 IST
Islamabad Museum puts rare statue of Lord Buddha's head on display
Representative Picture. Image Credit: Pixabay

The Islamabad Museum has put on display a rare statue of Lord Buddha's head after retrieving it from its reserves where it was locked for decades, according to a media report on Sunday. The sculpture from the period between the 3rd and the 4th century AD was discovered by the first Italian archaeological mission in Pakistan that was led by Giuseppe Tucci in the Swat Valley area, the Dawn reported.

The artifact was excavated in the 60s and it was last displayed in a museum in 1997. "It is extremely rare to find Lord Buddha's statues made of stucco from Swat. The Swat Valley is predominantly home to stone sculptures," Islamabad Museum Director Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Lone said.

He said stucco sculptures of Lord Buddha are frequently found in Taxila and Afghanistan. What also makes the Lord Buddha head sculpture unique is its sharp, feminine features, with long hair brushed back and wrapped over and around a halo and slanted, feline eyes.

Lone said Lord Buddha is commonly seen wearing his hair in a bun, with straight eyes. Belonging to the Kushan period, the extraordinary sculpture was discovered from one of the earliest Buddhist Stupa Buddhkara I from the 3rd century BC, a contemporary of the World Heritage Site Dharma Rajika in Taxila.

Another three terracotta heads of Buddha have also been pulled out of the museum's reserves and put on display. The three rare artifacts are from the 2nd to 3rd century AD. They were excavated by British archaeologist Sir John Marshal.

Special attention was given to sculpting the heads of Buddha compared to the rest of the body, and finer material was used as well. "When the White Huns burnt down Buddhist monasteries and stupas, heads were buried and preserved under the collapsed roofs. The bodies, which were not given much attention, deteriorated and were destroyed over the centuries. This is why the heads of the Buddha have survived to this date," Lone said.

The White Huns were a race of largely nomadic peoples who were a part of the Hunnic tribes of Central Asia. They ruled over an expansive area stretching from the Central Asian lands all the way to the Western Indian Subcontinent during the 5th to 8th centuries. The Italian archaeologists also excavated a schist stone panel from the Swat Valley.

Lone said the grey panel from the 2nd century AD "depicts a temple on fire, while Buddha is seen seated inside and the Kasyapa brothers are trying to put out the flames". The art piece symbolizes Buddha's triumph over the fire snake, he explained.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

China: A savior for emerging markets or a poison pill?

... ...

Future of Urban Planning: Artificial Intelligence guiding the way

Advances in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help us understand our cities better and derive useful insights from real-time data collected through automated models....

Videos

Latest News

FACTBOX-Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Death toll from COVID-19 in the Americas crossed one million, the Pan American Health Organization said, while nations tightened curbs and closed international borders to combat the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.DEATHS AND INFEC...

In 2020 India showed ability to meet all challenges, be it from coronavirus or at borders: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that India last year showed it is capable of taking all steps to meet challenges, be it from coronavirus or at its borders.We have to strengthen the emotion with which we dealt with big challeng...

Headfone raises Rs 22 cr in funding from Hashed, others

Social audio platform Headfone has raised Rs 22 crore in funding, led by South Korean venture capital firm Hashed and Seung Yoon Lee, founder of Radish Fiction. The series-A round also saw participation from existing investors Axilor Ventur...

IDBI Bank Q3 net profit at Rs 378 cr

IDBI Bank on Thursday reported a standalone net profit of Rs 378 crore for December quarter of the current fiscal year as bad loans shrank.The bank had posted a net loss of Rs 5,763 crore for the year-ago period.Total income, however, fell ...

Give Feedback