Razen Manandhar

Taulihawa, Kapilvastu, January 14. The remains of the exact location of the eastern gateway of the 2500-year-old royal palace of King Suddhoddhana, from where Prince Siddhartha renounced in quest of Sambodhi, the awakening, is being uncovered.


The team of archaeology experts, working under the umbrella of Department of Aarchaeology, Lumbini Development Trust and Durham University have claimed that they have found the key to open the door to the amazing history of 5th century BC.


The excavation programme, being carried for the last four consecutive years is very hopeful to come up with some thing concrete this year.


Talking to the Bodhi Television, Prof. Robin Coningham of Durham University, UK, said that it is amazing to find some brick structures at the place where it was pointed by the experts as the eastern gate of the palace of King Suddhodana, the father of the would-be Lord Buddha.


He said, “This is the place, described by the Chinese travellers of around 4th or 8th century as the location of King Suddhodhan’s palace. And this is the place where archaeologist PC Mukherjee indicated as the palace area. And our suvey has also has shown some indications that there must be brick walls. It’s amazing.”


He is presently working to dig out the possible remains of the eastern gate of the King Suddhodan’s palace, which is said to be the gate Prince Siddhartha chose to made the Great Renunciation (Mahavinishkraman).


He added that they are using archaeology as well as science to understand the history of the site also to understand how the city is laid out.


The location was found by the end of the 1890s as a walled area but what inside was very little understood. The team conducted a geo-physical survey two years ago and now they use magnetometer, with the help of which, they can figure out if there is a brick structure inside the surface of the earth. They have done survey of whole of the city.


The result shows that this is a well grid-planned city and the planning is quite exceptional. What is interesting is that the planning is very similar to the planning you have for Arthasashtra Manasara. It suggests that the city has a very very clear grip land.


According to him, Tilaurakot, which is the recently given name to the ancient city of Kapilvastu, is older than the Buddha’s days, which dates back to as early as 8th century BC.


Similarly, Dr Chiristoher Davis from the same university is also hopeful that this year’s excavation will give something concrete to the world.


The archaeological site, located some 3 km north of today’s Taulihawa was chosen for extensive excavation that started in 2014. They say one of the major cutting-edge techniques they have used is archaeological geophysics. This technique evaluates potential subsurface archaeological remains over large areas fairly rapidly. They have also used the resultant geophysics to target the placing of exploratory excavation trenches.


The team believes that the result of this interdisciplinary approach will help answer their research questions as well as uncovering exciting new discoveries.

“Tilaurakot, which is the recently given name to the ancient city of Kapilvastu, is older than the Buddha’s days, which dates back to as early as 8th century BC”

Kosh Prasad Acharya, the former director general of Department of Archaeology and presently a consultant to the excavation team, says that the international team and support is doing great to draw international recognition of the site and the findings.


After a long research PC Mukherjee in 1899 pointed out that this very site could be the palace of King Suddhodana and in 1962 another Indian archaeologist Devala Mitra found some ancient cultural objects from the site.