Special Correspondent

Sannati Development Authority enters into pact with ASI

GULBARGA: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to restore the historic Buddhist stupa at Sannati in Chitapur taluk of the district to its former glory.

Special Officer of the Sannati Development Authority (SDA) S.M. Jaamdar said here on Thursday that the SDA had entered into an agreement with the ASI for transfer of six acres of land near the ancient Buddhist site, which the ASI is excavating. One of the conditions was that the ASI should restore the stupa to its original splendour, he said.

Dr. Jaamdar said that the stupa is 34 ft in height and 65 ft in diameter and the ASI had stumbled upon sculptures, and plaques containing rare scriptures. “One of the rare finds in the excavation site was the four major edicts of Ashoka, proving that the Mauryan empire extended up to Sannati in Karnataka,” he said.

Dr. Jaamdar said that the Buddhist site in Sannati was unique in many ways, and the only bust of Ashoka was recovered from the ruins, showing that he had visited Sannati. “All the sculptures recovered from the excavated site contained the name of the sculptor and the date on which it was completed.”

Dr. Jaamdar said that the State Government had sanctioned Rs. 5 crore to the SDA to develop Sannati as a major tourist attraction. The SDA proposed to construct a guesthouse, parks, a museum and a library.

He said that the SDA had acquired 48 acres of land for the purpose of providing infrastructure for tourists. Of this, six acres had been transferred to the ASI to take up excavation and development works.

He said that Gulbarga district had a special place in the history of the State and the country. Unfortunately, most of the historic monuments in the district were in a state of neglect. Efforts should be made to preserve the monuments, including the Malkhed Fort, he said.