From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Phanigiri Buddhist artefacts
Mains level : NA
- The Phanigiri artefacts belonging to 200 BCE-400 CE are on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Phanigiri, which means “hillock of snake hood,” is a small village located around 150 km from Hyderabad.
- A treasure trove of ancient Buddhist art was discovered in 1942, and it re-emerged into the world’s spotlight in 2003.
- Stupa-like architecture: The discoveries at Phanigiri, particularly the thoranas (archways), have rewritten the narrative of Buddhism in southern India.
- Presence of sects: These thoranas are among the earliest found south of Sanchi and provide evidence of both Mahayana and Hinayana schools of thought coexisting in Phanigiri.
- Deification of Buddha: Phanigiri reveals a crucial transition in the perception of Buddha, from a historical and spiritual figure to a deity. This transformation is etched in the artifacts discovered here.