Wed, 21 Mar 2012 10:50:25 GMT

ASI examining bowl in Afghan museum linked to Lord Buddha

New Delhi, Mar 21 (PTI) The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is examining a stone bowl kept at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul to ascertain if it was the ''Bhikshapatra'' of Lord Buddha.

This was stated by Minister of State in the External Affairs ministry Preneet Kaur today, in response to a question by Raghuvansh Prasad Singh in Lok Sabha.

Singh wanted to know if the ''Bhikshapatra'' given by Lord Buddha to Vaishali had been kept in Kabul.

"A large stone bowl, approximately 1 metre in height, 1 metre in diameter, with a thickness of about 18 cms at the top, and weighing around 200-300 kgs with verses from the Quran running horizontally along its rim in Arabic and Persian, is presently located at the entrance of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul," Kaur said in her reply.

"It was originally located in Kandahar from where it was moved to Kabul during the regime of former Afghan President Dr. Najibullah. The bowl is purported to be the Bhikshapatra of Lord Buddha," Kaur further said.

Kaur also told the house that the ASI had conveyed that it was getting the photograph of the bowl examined by experts.

"They (ASI) have further conveyed that from preliminary observation, the object does not appear to be Lord Buddha''s begging bowl," Kaur said.

Kaur also said that the Embassy of India was also making further enquiries in the matter so as to ascertain the provenance of the bowl from the Afghan authorities.

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