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Buddhist Antiquities of Nubra Valley

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Item Code: UAE683
Author: R.C. Agrawal
Publisher: Sharada Publishing House, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9788188934898
Pages: 240 (Throughout Color and B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 1.30 kg
Book Description
About the Book
Nubra under the shadow of-gigantic snow peaks with lush green fields, delicious apricot orchards and glacier rivers is a mini paradise surrounded by tugged mountains. It is the biggest sub-division of Ladakh and played an important role in maintaining trade contacts with Chinese and Central Asian (mimics. Several monasteries, pillares and shortens built here Indicated that Buddhist’s flourished and maintained a link with Central Asian countries. The Buddhist monasticism and antiquities housed ill these structures are the incredible treasure which have been surveyed and documented for the first time. Further researches ma re many mow hidden aspects of Nubra Valley culture.

About the Author
Prof. R.C. Agrawal (h. 1947) obtained his Master's Degree in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology with merit from the Jiwaji University, Oval or in 1970 and Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology in 1971. In 1972, he joined the Archaeological Survey of India. He also participated in excavations at Purana Oila, Delhi; Mathura and conducted excavations at Hampi in Karnataka in the year 1977-80. During 1985-1990, he explored Buddhist sites in Ladakh region and carried out excavations at. Tisseru stupa. He also took up extensive conservation of the monuments of Kashmir valley and Jammu region. In 1992, he identified the Buddhist site of Satdhara for large scale conservation and excavation in Madhya Pradesh. Ile also initiated the conservation of number of monuments in Madhya Pradesh. He has been closely associated with many academic bodies and has published research papers on art, archaeology and paintings. In his career, he has served as Director (Monuments), joint Director-General, Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India; Member Secretary, Indian Council I historical Research, Ministry of I RD; Pro-vice Chancellor and Professor Musicology, National Museum Institute of History of Art, Courservation and Musicology (Deemed too he University); Principal-Director, Architecture Heritage Division, Indian National Trust for Art and Culture (INTACH). Presently, he is a visiting faculty to Architectural Conservation Department, School of' Planning and Architecture (SPA) and Inst it rte of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India.

During the year 1986 I had a chance to visit Ladakh valley twice. First during the month of June and then in the month of December on the occasion of the first visit of our late Prime Minister Shri Rajeev Gandhi to Leh. During the month of December due to constant cancellation of flights, I perforce remained at Leh for a couple of days and during these days of severe winter I was confined in a room where a burning bukhari was only a solace. To pass the time I started enquiring from our Ladakhi staff members about the ways of Ladakhi life and the social customs and during the course of conversation names of Zanskar and Nubra occurred. On my further query, I was briefed that Zanskar is a land which is full of snow and remains cut off from the world for a quite considerable time and Nubra is forbidden for visitors. I murmured if a land remains cut off for a major part of the year then how the people will be passing their days in such isolation and if the land is forbidden for the visitors how the inhabitants must be feeling in the high rising mountains.

On 19th December when I was boarding the plane, I met a soldier in the aircraft who was suffering with fever. I offered my shawl to him and he felt comfortable. I enquired from him from where he was coming and he said from Nubra. His sorrowful reply made me inquisitive and I further continued the conversation and in the meantime we landed at Srinagar airport. His expression that there is no road to go to Nubra made me further inquisitive about the people and their life in Nubra valley and since then I started working how to explore Zanskar-Nubra valleys. Since Zanskar remains cut off for a longer period, I decided first to explore and study the Zanskar valley and in the year 1988 Zanskar was explored. During the course of exploration a few monasteries were explored and art objects were photographed. In the year 1989- 90 and 1990-91 Nubra Valley was explored.

The main objective of this study was to examine architectural details of the structures and historical objects housed therein and also to identify and date them.

The extensive inventory is a corpus of information of Antiquarian remains.

The present study is largely the preliminary survey. It is hoped that further exploration may reveal many more details in future.

Ladakh, known in Tibetan La-tags land of many passes is a mountainous area and situated to the north of the country. It covers approximately an area of 1,00,000 sq. kames. and lies between two highest mountain ranges of the world - the Himalayan ranges in the south and the Karakoram range in the north.

It is bounded on the north by the Karakoram and Kuenlum ranges, on the east and south by the Chinese districts of R:udok and Chumurti, on the south by Lahul and Spiti valley and on the west by Khurmang, Chorbat and the areas of Askardu.

It is divided into five regions Leh, Nubra, Rupshu, Zanskar and lower Ladakh. Leh is the Administrative Headquarter of Ladakh and is situated in the big flat valley of the Indus river.

Nubra falls on the north-eastern side. The lower Ladakh lies along the road which joins Ladakh with the Kashmir valley.

The principal river of the region is Indus which flows from south-east to north- west through greater part of the region. A number of smaller tributaries also join it, amongst which Shyok on the north, Zanskar, Suru and Drass on the south are important.

One generally believes and reads in histories that Ladakh was a part of the Tibet.

This misleading statement became popular due to general vagueness. In a broad cultural sense, the term Tibet covers a far wider territory than was ever administered by Dalai-Lama in Lhasa.

Prior to 10th century CE the central and eastern Tibet was unified under the suzerainty of Mongols who having taken over China as well remained the imperial rulers until 1368 CE The unification of central and eastern Tibet under the authority compelled some of the descendents of old kingdom to migrate towards west and they carved small kingdoms for themselves in remote regions of the west.

This collapse of the old kingdom put an end to hope of any royal protection of the religion in central Tibet. The royal descendents who established themselves in small kingdoms took up the task. of extending protection in the western Tibet (Ladakh) and deputed groups of scholars and artisans to Kashmir and the surrounding areas in order to build up collections and translation of Buddhist literature and to import Buddhist cultic and artistic traditions which resulted largely into an Indian impact in the monasteries and temples. A large number of temples and monasteries which survive in Ladakh have Indian and Indo-Tibetan style in the monasteries of Lamayurn, Alchi and Sumda in Zanskar region and later Tibetan style in the monasteries built from 16th centuries onwards in and around Leh and Nubra valley. The monasteries built in the early phase are generally located on the plain land, mostly on the bank of the rivers, and subsequently, commissioned on the hill tops due to fear of the invaders.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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