‘Sannati site deserves the status Sanchi enjoys’
Should be preserved as Buddhist world heritage site: expert
A Buddhist site excavated in and around Sannati, on the banks of the Bhima in Chittapur taluk of Kalaburagi district, should be preserved as an important Buddhist world heritage site, on a par with Sanchi, eminent scholar Monika Zin has said.
Prof. Zin, associate professor in Indian Art History in the Department of Asian Studies at the Institute of Indology and Tibetology of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany, said the Sannati site had many similarities with the Buddhist site at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, and the paintings in cave nos. 9 and 10 in Ajanta, Maharashtra.
Prof. Zin, who visited Kanaganalli (adjoining Sannati) and inspected the reliefs and artefacts recovered during the excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), said that both Kanaganalli and Sanchi settlements existed almost during the same period, in the early 12th century B.C. She said the site should also be developed on the Sanchi model by rebuilding the stupa and protecting all the artefacts and reliefs in a museum.
“The authorities should make capital out of this important Buddhist site and make it accessible to pilgrims from all over the world by providing all facilities. Sixty huge reliefs have been recovered during the excavation, beautiful artefacts of Buddha, and the only image of Emperor Ashoka carved on sandstone have been recovered at the Kanaganalli site,” she said.
Prof. Zin said there was also a need for further excavation at the site as there would have been a big human settlement in Sannati at that time with the Buddhist stupa on the outskirts at Kanaganalli. The evidences also suggest the Satavahana kings should have visited Sannati during that time.
Prof. Zin said the Buddhist site may have a Roman connection. “It is an established fact that the Satavahanas had Roman connections, and we can see some influence of Romans at Kanaganalli,” she said. “One of the reliefs recovered at Kanaganalli shows the head of the lion in the middle of a wheel of a chariot; Romans had used the replica of the head of the lion in the wheels of their chariots,” she said.