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Silk Road Sites in India

Date of Submission: 20/01/2010
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Archaeological Survey of India
Ref.: 5492

The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party



Name of Property

State, Province or Region

Area (ha.)

Geographic (lat/long) or UTM Coordinates of approximate centre point


Ruins of Ancient Vaishali



2.77 (Vaishali)

7.30 (Kolhua)

25 59 N 85 6 E


Remains of Vikramshila Ancient University




25 19 N 87 17 E


Buddhist remains of Kushinagar

Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar

6.4 (Kushinagar)


26 45 N 83 55 E



Uttar Pradesh, Sravasti


27 31 N 82 02 E



Uttar Pradesh, Kaushambi


25  20 N 81 23 E



Ramnagar, tehsil Aonla, district Barreilly, Uttar Pradesh



Ancient Site and Buddhist Stupa (Sanghol)"

State- Punjab, Distt. Fatehgarh Sahib, Tehsil- Khamanu, Locality- Sanghol (Uncha Pind)


30 47N 76 23E


Arikamedu, Early Historic Site

Union Territory  0f Pondicherry

13.89 Hectares(34.33 acres)

11 55 N 79 50E


Excavated Remains of Kaveripattinam(Excavated remains of Buddhist vihara and temple at Pallavaneswaram-Melaiyur)

Nagapattinam district,Tamil Nadu

0.405 hec

(1.03 acres)

11 12 50 N

79  52 50 E


Ancient monastery and stupa together with adjacent land (Harwan)

Jammu & Kashmir, Kashmir Valley

74 kanals 06 Marla

34 9N 74   84E


Mound Locally

Known as Burud

Kot (Nalla

Sopara Stupa)




Locality- Nalla




19 25N 72 47E



NCT Delhi

19.010 approximate

28 34 N 77 12E

1. Name of individual Silk Roads component properties: Ruins of Ancient Vaishali

Brief description of the component property:

I.   Kolhua :- The Excavations conducted by Archaeological Survey of India have unearthed remains of Kutagarshala, Swastika-shaped monastry, a tank, cluster of votive stupas, miniature shrines, main stupa and the Ashokan Pillar.  The main components of structure and the antiquity belonged to the period ranging from Maurya ( 3rd Century B.C.) to post Gupta (7th Century A.D.).

The pillar locally known as "Lat" is 11.00 meters high monolithic polished sand stone column surmounted a seated lion capital. It is probably one of the earliest pillars of Ashoka ( Emperor of Mauryan Empire)  and does not bear the usual edict. But a few letters in shell characters of Gupta period are engraved on it.

The brick stupa was erected to commemorate the event of offering honey to Buddha by the monkey chief. It was originally built during Mauryan period (323 B.C. to 232 B.C.) and subsequently enlarged in Kushan period (1st - 2nd Century A.D.) by raising the height and providing brick paved circumambulatory path. Further brick encasing took place during Gupta and late Gupta periods.

The adjoining tank has been identified as 'Markat-Hrad', supposedly dug by the monkeys for Buddha. This brick lined seven tiered tank measuring approximately 65 x 35 metres in dimension having two bathing ghats (terrace) on southern and western wings.

Kutagarshala represents the spot where Buddha used to stay during the rainy seasons at Vaishali.  Excavations have exposed three phases of its construction. Originally it was a small Chaitya built during Sunga-Kushana period ( 2nd Century B.C. to 3rd  Century A.D.). Subsequently it was enlarged to a lofty temple in 2nd phase during Gupta period. And finally in third phase temple was converted into a monastery by providing a number of partition walls during post-Gupta times.

The other monastery which looks like a swastika («) on plan has twelve rooms, three on each arm attached to common verandah around an open central courtyard with the entrance towards east. The monastery has a toilet chamber attached to its southern wall. It was constructed during Gupta period probably for nuns.

Antiquities like beads of semi precious stone, terracotta figurines, seals and sealing, bricks embedded with semi precious stone, inscribed potsherd and an unique terracotta figure of crowned monkey found during the excavations of the site are kept on display for visitors in the local site museum run by ASI.

II.       Relic Stupa :- The stupa has been identified as one among the eight stupas containing the corporeal remains of Buddha. Excavation of this site carried out by K.P.Jayaswal Research Institute in 1957-58 revealed that originally it was a mud stupa in a smaller dimension erected by the Lichhavis over their share of relic of Buddha in circa 5th Century B.C. Ayakas noticed in southern and eastern side are probably the earliest example of its kind. A soap stone casket found in core of the Stupa contained ashy earth, a small conch, two glass beads, a small piece of gold leaf and a copper punch marked coin. In the Mauryan, Sunga and Kushana period the stupa got its enlargement and the diametre of the stupa increased to 17.1 metre.

Statement of authenticity and/or integrity of the individual component property:

 i.         It is still placed amidst a calm setting not much disturbed by the forces of urbanization, industrialization or modernization.

ii.         The site is well preserved and retains complete authenticity of ancient character and ambience.

iii.         Ever since it's coming into being, the site is protected by ASI and as such is preserved on archaeological principles and norms. Throughout the period, repairs have been carried out using original materials and integrity of site remains undisturbed.

Comparison of the Silk Roads component property with other similar properties, whether on the Silk Roads or not, and the reasons that make the property stand out:

Though there are relic stupas elsewhere also (like Piprahwa, Amaravati, Nagarjunkonda etc.), the relic stupa at Vaishali is so far accepted to be the earliest stupa.Similarly, Asokan pillar are there at many other places but the Vaishali pillar with a square abacus is regarded as the earliest and is the only one which is un-inscribed.

Though there are a good number of monasteries scattered all over the country, presence of a swastika shaped monastery meant for nuns has been found only at Vaishali. At no other monastic site we find such a large tank with a system of privacy at its bathing ghats.

2. Name of individual Silk Roads component properties: Remains of Vikramshila Ancient University

Brief description of the component property:

Meticulous excavation has revealed a huge square monastery with a cruciform stupa in its centre, a library building and cluster of votive stupas. To the north of monastery a number of scattered structures including a Tibetan and a Hindu temple have been found. The monastery or residence for the Buddhist monks is a huge square structure, each side measuring 330 metres having a series of 208 cells, 52 on each of the four side. The entire spread is over an area of more than hundred acres. On the walls are decorated with mouldings and terracotta plaques which testify the high excellence of terracotta art of flouring in the region during Pala period (8th-12th Century A.D.). Over the plaques are depicted many Buddhist, Brahminical deities and human figures and animal and birds are also depicted. A rectangular structure identified as library building was air conditioned by cooled water of the adjoining reservoir through a range of vents in the back wall.

History and development

Vikramshila was a famous seat of learning. It flourished from the last quarter of the 8th Century A.D. to the beginning of the 13th Century A.D. In the beginning it was a prime centre of science, philosophical and religious discussion and after sometimes. Vikramshila was developed into a university. The celebrated university was founded by Pala King Dharmapala in late 8th or early 9th Century A.D.  It prospered for about four centuries  before it collapsed in the beginning of 13th Century A.D. Vikramshila was one of the largest Buddhist University having more than one hundred teachers and about one thousand students. It produced eminent scholars who were of often invited by foreign countries to spread Buddhist learning, culture and religion and the most distinguished and eminent was Atisa Dipankara, the founder of Lamaism in Tibet in 11th Century A.D. Subjects like theology, philosophy, literature, medicine, yoga, astronomy, grammar, metaphysics, logic etc. were taught here but the most important branch of learning was tantras because Vikramshila flourished in the days of tantricism when accult science and magic became favourite subject of study both in Buddhism as well as Hinduism.The teaching was manned by eminent scholars and the administration was looked after by a Board. The board of Vikramshila also administered the University of Nalanda. The management of Nalanda and Vikramshila universities came into common hands because king Dharmapala was the King over the entire region and he was very favourably disposed towards Vikramshila. Academic administration was under the control of six dvara panditas. The students who wanted to take administration had to face a test, which was conducted by the dvara panditas. In 1203 A.D. the monastery was destroyed by the Muhammadans under the leadership of Bakhtiyar Khilji. He killed the monks who were present in the monastery. It was a tragic end of a great centre of education and learning.       

Statement of authenticity and/or integrity of the individual component property:

  1. Archaeological evidence (inscription on seal) has testified authenticity of the site.
  2. It is still placed amidst a calm setting not much disturbed by the forces of urbanization, industrialization or modernization.
  3. The site is well preserved and retains complete authenticity of ancient character and ambience.
  4. Ever since it's coming into being, the site is protected by ASI and as such is preserved on archaeological principles and norms. Throughout the period, repairs have been carried out using original materials and integrity of site remains undisturbed.

Comparison of the Silk Roads component property with other similar properties, whether on the Silk Roads or not, and the reasons that make the property stand out:

An identical plan of architectural of stupa as well as monastery is found in Somapur  Mahavihara at Paharpur in Bangla Desh where comparable terracotta plaque decorations are also found.  The stucco images are an extension of similar art tradition expressed at Nalanda and around.  The education pattern is comparable to the Nalanda University with almost similar range of subjects and managements system.

3. Name of individual Silk Roads component properties: Buddhist Remains of Kushinagar

Brief description of the component property:

The Monuments of Kushinagara are situated in three distinct groups viz., The main site, comprising the Main Stupa and Nirvana temple with the other surrounding monuments, the Shrine called Matha-Kuar to its south-west and the Cremation Stupa (Rambhar).

Main Site:

The Main Site comprising the Main Stupa which is a huge mass of brick work inclusive of its pinnacles may once have reached the height of nearly 45.72m.  The plinth on which the Stupa and the temple were erected was 2.74 mtr. higher than the ground level.  Above it stood the cylindrical neck of the Stupa to a height of 5.49m fringed along its top with the remnants of a row of decorative and miniature pilasters.  The Nirvana Temple stands on the same plinth as the stupa behind it.  A reclining Nirvana Statue lies inside the temple. The statue measures 6.1m in length and is executed out of one block of sandstone. This statue had originally been installed in the fifth century A.D.

The Western Group:- In this group around the Stupa and Nirvana temple are to be seen a number of structures which were raised from time to time as complements to the nucleolus formed by the most sacred monuments.  In this area some structures representing monasteries were built earlier than the fourth century to the west in front of the temple is seen a very large block of buildings covering a length of 109.73m of them, the one to the north measures 45.72m square extremely.  It represents the largest monastery so far discovered at the place and comprises in fact not one but two monasteries of different periods and structures had been constructed in about the eight century and deserted some time after A.D 900.

The Southern Group: - The monument in this group represents mostly small sized Stupas raised from time to time by devout pilgrims in token of their pious visits to the holy monuments.  All the monuments of this group including two Stupas stand out rather prominently because of the carved brick and ornamental pilasters and cornices of their basements.  Further there is an interesting oblong structure to the north of these.  The large structure on the eastern portion of this group belongs to the declining days of Buddhism at Kushinagara.

The Eastern Group: - The most important and interesting of the ruins in the eastern group is the large platform like brick structure a little obliquely oriented towards the main monument what sacred monument is represented by this quint building it is difficult to say but it may have been surmounted by a stupa of an uncommon type.  Along the eastern side of the plinth of the main monument are also to be seen a few small sized stupas partly concealed in the plinth.

The Northern Group: - Monuments of this group may be assigned to the Mauryan Age. In this group are seen a number of small stupas raised by pilgrims as in the southern group.

The Matha-Kuar Shrine: - It is located in south-west of the main side. At this site is installed a colossal statue of Buddha locally called Matha-Kuar, made of Blue stone with inscription. In this part of the site same brick structure has been found and one inscription was also noticed by Carlleyle. It has records of the construction of the monastery and the chapel attached to it in the reign of a local chief of the Kalchuri dynasty probably Bhimata II.

The cremation stupa (Ramabhar):-   It is situated at 1.61 km. east of Matha-Kuar site. There is a sheet of water, called Ramabhar Jhil or pond, close to it, which dries up in summer. This large stupa with a huge circular drum 31 m. in diameter rests on a circular plinth, consisting of two or more terraces, and 46 m. in diameter at the base. From the site during excavation so many Buddhist inscribed clay seals have been found. The other excavated ruins near by this represented the usual minor stupas raised by pilgrims from time to time.

Statement of authenticity and/or integrity of the individual component property:

  1. It is still placed amidst a calm setting not much disturbed by the forces of urbanization, industrialization or modernization.
  2. The site is well preserved and retains complete authenticity of ancient character and ambience.
  3. Ever since it's coming into being, the site is protected by ASI and as such is preserved on archaeological principles and norms. Throughout the period, repairs have been carried out using original materials and integrity of site remains undisturbed.

Comparison of the Silk Roads component property with other similar properties, whether on the Silk Roads or not, and the reasons that make the property stand out:

Though the contemporary brick stupas and monasteries are found elsewhere also, but the historic event attached to it (Buddha's Nirvana) gives it a sanctity not enjoyed by others.  Added to it the placement of a huge reclining Buddha image of stone makes it unique among the usual structural brick stupas. The Kushinagara can be compared with other Buddhist sites like Vaishali, Bodhgaya (Bihar), Kausambi, Piparahwa, Sankisa, Sarnath (U.P.) which were closely associated with the main events of the life of Lord Buddha.

4. Name of individual Silk Roads component properties: Sravasti

Brief description of the component property:

The ancient city of Sravasti, which is now represented by groups of remains known as Saheth-Maheth together with adjacent sites- Orajhar, Panahiajhar and Kharahuwanjhar is located in the newly created district of Sravasti while a portion of it falls in district Balrampur U.P. framed by Lat. 270 31' N. and Long. 8202' E. The earliest references of the city are available in Ramayana and Mahabharata as a prosperous city in the kingdom of Kosala. Panini in his Astadhyayi makes a mention of Kosala while Pali Budhist literature also makes numerous references to Kosala, its history and society. In the Puranas, it is described as the capital of North Kosala. It is said to have derived its name from a legendary king Srvasta of solar race who is stated to have founded the city. In later times, it was also known as 'Chandrikapuri' and 'Champakpuri'. It is referred to as 'Sravasti' by Kalidasa. Anguttara Nikaya mentions Kosala as one of the sixteen great Janapadas.

In the 6th century B.C., during the reign of Presenajit, the place rose to fame due to its association with Buddha and Mahavira and became one of the eight holy places of Buddhist pilgrimage. Buddha is said to have spent 24 rainy seasons here after his disciple Anathapindika built a monastery for him at Jetavana. Buddha is also said to have performed here 'Great Miracle' when with a challenge from other sects. Conversion of a robber Angulimala was also one of the stirring episodes of that period. Some of the well-known bhikshunis hailed from this place including Visakha, Sumana, etc.

King Asoka is said to have visited the place and erected two pillars on the eastern gate of Jetavana. Besides, he also built a stupa in the vicinity. During the time of Kushans, the Buddhism became popular religion with royal support. The place was also mentioned by Fa-hien and Hiuen Tsang in their travel accounts.

Hardly any reliable information exists regarding Sravasti in the centuries following the visit of Hien Tsang. Jimini-Bharata, a medieval work, mentions a king named Suhridhvaja who is supposed to have fought against Muslim invaders and is credited to have revived Jainism. In the middle of twelfth century, queen Kumardevi contributed to establishment of monasteries here.

The ruins of Sravasti remained forgotten until they were brought to light and identified by Sir Alexander Cunningham in 1863.


Ruins at Saheth, which are supposed to represent Jetavana, are spread within an irregular enclosure. Archaeological excavations conducted at regular intervals since 1863, have brought to light plinths and foundations of numerous Buddhist structures including stupas, monasteries and temples among which Gandha Kuti, Kosamba Kuti and recently exposed stupa-cum-tank complex in the north-western side are most significant. Most of the earliest structures, at the site date from Ist cent. A.D. i.e. Kushan period, many of them rebuilt or renovated in later times. The latest constructions with intact plan of a monastery are assignable to eleventh- twelfth centuries and attributed to queen Kumardevi of Kannauj. The earliest available relics consist of a few Kushan structures and images; an image of the Mathura workshop was set up on the promenade of Buddha for the teachers of the Sarvastivada sect in Kosamba-kuti by the Bhikshu Bala, who is known to have dedicated another image also at Sarnath in the reign of Kanishka.

Of the temples, the largest, Temple-2, is believed to stand on the site of the original Gandha-kuti erected by Anathapindika, though its lowest exposed part belongs only to the Gupta period. Located within an oblong enclosure-wall, 34.50m long and 26.70m wide, it consists of a sanctum and mandapa. Another structure around the shrine, probably the plinth of a temple, had a decorated exterior and has been ascribed to the Gupta period.

From the fact that Bala's image, mentioned above, was found near Temple-3 (built on the spot of an earlier temple), it is held to have been built on the site of the original Kosamba-kuti. The temple is now completely ruined, only the shells of the shrine and mandapa having survived. In front of the temple are two solid brick terraces, supposed to mark the site of Buddha's promenade.

Temple-1, situated within the courtyard of a large monastery of about the tenth century A.D., has the same plan of the sanctum and mandapa. Temple-11 and 12 have the unusual plan of three rooms in a row with a narrow verandah in front and a pradakshina-patha around the central chamber. Temple-12, with several projections, however, has a porch.

The monasteries of Jetavana have the normal plan of Buddhist monasteries. They are generally speaking, early mediaeval in date, an exception being monasteries-F and G, contiguous to and contemporaneous with each other, in the former of which was found a hoard of coins of the Kushan kings. Of the other early monasteries, only stray walls are met with below later structures.

Mention may be of Temple and Monastery -19, which had its origin in the Gupta period, as testified by a clay tablet with the Buddhist creed in Gupta characters. It was renovated in the tenth century, to which period belong several images, and finally reconstructed in the eleventh-twelfth century. An interesting find of the last period is a copper-plate charter, dated A.D 1130, of the Gahadavala ruler Govinda Chandra recording the grant of villages to the monks of the Jetavana- Mahavihara.

Stupa-17 and 18, adjacent to each other, deserve special mention, as their beginnings seem to go back to the Kushan age, though their original shapes were covered up by later structures. Enshrined in it, at a depth of 3.10 m, was an earthen pot with a bead of gold, two pieces of thin gold wire and a bead and a bezel, both of crystal.

About 1.52 m below the top of Stupa-18 was a relic-chamber with an earthen bowl bearing a short dedicatory inscription in Kushan characters and containing fragments of bone, a large number of beads of gold and semi-precious stones and large pearls.

Stupa-5 appears to be originally a stupa built on a terrace which was converted into a shrine and was finally made into a stupa again. Similarly Stupa-H was reconstructed several times. Stupa-8 had two periods of construction, the earlier with a circular plan and the later square having a moulded facing and a shallow projection. Inside the later stupa was found the lower portion of an image of Bodhisattva which had a Kushan inscription, recording its manufacture by a Mathura sculptor and dedication in Jetavana by two brothers. A second inscription- Buddhist creed in characters of the ninth or tenth century A.D. on this very image was added presumably at the time of its deposit inside the later phase. Stupa-9, medieval structure by the side of Stupa-8, yielded an image of Buddha. The inscription on its pedestal in late Kushan characters records its gift by one Sihadeva of Saketa.


Located on the back of the river Archiravati (Rapti), the city of Sravasti had a high earthen rampart with a brick wall on the running along a circuit of 5.23 Km and pierced by several gates distinguished by high bastions. Four main gates are known as Imli Darwaza, Rajgarh Darwaza, Naushahra Darwaza & Kand Bhari Darwaza situated respectively at the south-west, north-west, north-east and south-east corners. The remains within the city area include Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jaina structures and a few medieval tombs. The Most significant structures among them are Temple of Shobhnath, Pakki-kuti and Kachchi Kuti. Temple of Shobhnath located just near the entrance from western side, represents the remains of a Jaina temple, the domed edifice on the top being a superimposition in medieval period. The spot is hallowed as the birth-place of Sambhavnath, the third Jaina Tirthankara. Excavation in the nearby area has exposed remains of three temple complexes. The scientific clearance of the place has yielded a few sculptures of Jaina Tirthankaras in standing and seated posture datable to 10th-11th century, besides exposing the lower portions of the Jaina Temple.

Pakki Kuti is one of the two largest mounds inside the city area. Cunningham has proposed to identify it with the remains of the stupa of Angulimala seen by Chinese pilgrims, although, according to another view, it represents the ruins of the 'hall of the law' built by Presenajit in the honour of Buddha.

Kachchi Kuti, situated a few meters south-east of Pakki Kuti, is the most  imposing monuments in the area. Dating from Kushan period, it went through -various renovations in later periods. A group of scholars proposes to identify if with the stupa of Sudatta as seen by Chinese pilgrims, but according to another view, a large collection of T.C. plaques showing in high relief scenes from the Ramayana suggests its identification as Brahmanical temple. Recent excavations in the city area have brought to light town-planning of ancient city as could be studied through the structural remains of early historical period i.e.  house- complex, ancient street, temples, etc. Excavation has also exposed original gateway complex of early historical period near Kand bhari village.


Orajhar is situated on the left bank of Khajua, a tributary of Rapti in district and tehsil Balrampur, U.P. It may be identified with the celebrated 'Purvarama' or Eastern monastery, built by Vishakha as seen by Fa-hien. Here, excavation has revealed a three-fold cultural sequence, starting from Kushan period (Ist cent. AD) followed by Gupta and medieval periods. The Kushan period has revealed remains of a monastic complex with the usual plan. The Gupta period is witnessed in form of a plinth of a temple which is enclosed by a wall. The medieval period revealed a star-like structure at the top of the Gupta temple. Very near to Orajhar and south of southern city-wall, there are two small mounds locally know as Penahiajhar and Kharahuwanjhar where excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India long back. In the former mound, the excavation revealed solid brick structure 16.20 m in diameter. In its core was a relic-receptacle, yielding pieces of bone, some gold leaves, rock-crystal, circular laminae of silver and a punch-marked silver coin. The second structure was also circular, with a diameter of 31.50 m, made of three concentric brick walls, the intervening spaces being filled with clay. It did not yield any relic-casket in its core.

Statement of authenticity and/or integrity of the individual component property:

The structures, shrines and monuments at Sravasti have been exposed by archaeological excavations from time to time. The excavated site is a centrally protected monument under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India which is maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the monument with adequate legal provisions and conserving its original features with standardized measures. The excavated remains at the site are fully authentic as those are being conserved as per the original.

Comparison of the Silk Roads component property with other similar properties, whether on the Silk Roads or not, and the reasons that make the property stand out:

The Sravasti can be compared with other Buddhist sites likewise Vaishali & Bodhgaya (Bihar), Kaushambi, Piprahwa, Sankisa, Sarnath, Kushinagar, (UP) which were closely associated with the main events of the life of Lord Buddha.

5. Name of individual Silk Roads component properties: Kaushambi

Brief description of the component property:

Kaushambi, the capital of Vatsa, with Udayana as the king, was one of the six important cities of northern India in the time of Buddha. It was mainly through the efforts of the three leading bankers of the city- Ghoshita, Kukkuta and Pavarika- that the religion found a strong footing here. On one occasion when Buddha was staying at Jetavana, these three merchants went in a body to invite Buddha to their place. When Buddha agreed, each of them built a retreat to receive him with his following. Thus came into existence Ghoshitarama, Kukkutarama and Pavarikambavana (Pavarika's mango grove). A fourth lodging in or in the vicinity of Kaushambi was the Badarikarama, while a fifth, a vihara, was erected by Uttara, a wood-carver of Udayana.

The king, at first hostile towards the new religion, became later friendly towards Buddha at the instance of one of his queens, Samavati, a foster-daughter of Ghoshita and a lay devotee of Buddha. His son Bodhi was a firm believer in the faith.

Asoka is credited by Hiuen Tsang with the construction of a stūpa inside the Ghoshitarama and a second near the Dragon's cave in the neighbourhood of Kaushambi.

In the third year of the reign of Kanishka, Buddhamitrā, a nun and a disciple of the monk Bala, installed images of Bodhisattva of the Mathura workshop at this place.

The establishment continued to flourish under the aegis of the Maghas and later on the Guptas, till it suffered serious reverses at the hands of the Hunas under their anti Buddhist chief Toramana (circa A.D. 500-515). Fa-Hien found the Ghoshitarama tenanted by monks, mostly of the Hinayana tenets. At the time of Hiuen Tsang's visit there were more than ten Buddhist monasteries, but all in utter ruin; and the Brethren, who were above 300 in number, were adherents of the Hinayana system.'

He saw in the south-east corner of the city the ruins of the residence of Ghoshita, a Buddhist temple, a hair-and-nail relic stupa and Buddha's bath-house. Not far from this were situated the Ghoshitarama with an Asokan stupa, above 200 ft. high. By its side was a place with traces of the sitting and walking up and down of the Four Past Buddhas, and there was another Buddha Hair-and-nail relic tope. He also recorded the location of a two-storeyed structure, where Vasubandhu was believed to have resided and composed the Wei-shih-lun (Vidyamatra-siddhi), to the south-east of the Ghoshitarama. To the east of the latter he saw in a mango-grove the foundations only of the structure, which one housed Asanga. The pilgrim also recorded the curious tradition of a sandal-wood image of Buddha carved for Udayana and installed in a large temple within the old royal enclosure.

The name of Kaushambi survives in Kosam which together with the adjoining villages are sited on the extensive ruins of the ancient fortified town of Kaushambi. Located on the left bank of the Yamuna, the site is 32 miles west-south-west of Allahabad. The hill in which the Dragon's cave was located has been identified with the neighbouring Pabhosa hill. The excavations being conducted in four main areas: (1) the pillar area adjacent to the ASI excavation, (2) the defence complex, (3) the Ghositarama area and (4) the palace complex. In the pillar area, the first to be excavated, three Pds were distinguished. Pd I pre-dated the advent of the NBPW and Pds II and III respectively saw its appearance and disappearance, Pd II being separated from Pd I, marked by the presence of only a few sherds of the PGW by a thick sterile layer. There were no brick structures in the early levels of pd II, the NBPW appearing from its very start. Uninscribed cast coins made their appearance with the earliest brick structures and a road, assigned to c. 300 B.C., and shortly after that were coins of the lanky bull type typical of Kaushambi. In pd III, C. 175 B.C., to A.D. 325, were coins of the Mitra rulers such as Brahaspatimitra, Suramitra, Prajapatimitra and Rajanimitra, followed by those of the Kushans and the Maghas, the latter continuing to c. A.D. 250. In c. 350 A.D. appeared coins of Ganendra, indentified with Ganapatinaga, who was ousted by Samudragupta. The road which had its origin in Pd II continued up to C. 300. Habitation in this area ceased in C. 400.

Subsequent excavation, particularly in the defence area, has materially altered the picture, and the excavator has identified four Pds, respectively dated 1165 to 885 B.C., 885 to 605 B.C., 605 to 45 B.C., and 45 B.C to A.D. 580. In other words his former Pds I to III have to be regarded as Pds II to IV: Pd I pre-dated the PGW.

The ceramics of Pd I coming mainly from the earliest levels of the defences are extremely diminutive and fragmentary. The pottery of Pd II, from the later strata of the defences and the lowest levels of the palace area, consists of red, grey-to-buff, and black-and-red wares. The red ware is wheel-made, sturdy and of well-levigated clay. The shapes are the bowl, dish, bowl-cum-basin and dish-on-stand. Typological analysis of the pottery of this Pd shows, according to the excavator, similarity with that of a motley of sites like Navadatoli III, Rangpur II C, Lothal II, Mehgaon, Somnath, Motama Chiala, etc., and several sites in the Ganga valley. The excavator however significantly notes that whereas these are pre-Iron Age sites, at Kaushambi the corresponding pottery is associated with Iron, but the analogies show the early origin of Kaushambi and its contacts with the Chalcolithic cultures of central and west India and Harappa tradition.

The PGW is represented in Pds II and III, associated with which is the Black-slipped ware. The painted designs on the former comprise horizontal bands, groups of vertical and slanting strokes, loops, circles,  dots and circles of dots, in some cases in deep chocolate or yellow on brownish-red surface. Though comparable with the PGW of Hastinapur and Ropar, it admittedly belongs to a late stage. The NBPW appears in profusion in Pd III and has several shades- steel-grey, black, chocolate, orange and golden. The bowl and dish are the common shapes.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

General Justification of Outstanding Universal Value:

The Silk route was a major trading pathway through the first millennium B.C. It connected the kingdom of Kamboja; todays Afghanistan and Tajikistan, to ancient Pratishthana; Paithan on Godavari towards south, cities and cultural centers in north India upto Tamralipti or Tamluk on the eastern sea coast.

As regard the northern part of India, the northern highway known as Uttarapatha in Gangetic valley was connecting the great cities of ancient India, which were Taxila, Mathura, Ahichhatra, Sravasti, Saketa, Kausambi, Prayaga, Kasi, Kusinagara, Vaisali, Pataliputra, Rajgreha, Bodhagaya and Tamralipti etc. The importance of this sub-continental route in the Mauryan period is evident from the fact that Chandragupta Maurya from Magadh is supposed to have reached the Indus River where he met Seleucus the Greek envoy in 305 B.C.

Archaeological information bearing on the movement on this trade route with the distribution of Painted Grey Ware (PGW) settlements from the end of first millennium B.C. onwards clearly suggests the presence of a broadly common zone cutting across various sub-cultures of the northern section of the Indian sub continent. Among the most important indications the distribution of the deluxe ceramics called the North Black Polished Ware (NBPW) through the archaeological excavations also helps in amplifying the nature of movement along this route. For instance, lapis lazuli coming from central Asia and Afghanistan is found at the sites like- Taxila, Sravasti, Rajghat, Prahladpur Pandu- Rajar-dhibi etc. from the Gandhara- Kamboja region to Tamralipti. The Asokan inscription (3rd C.BC.) found in the northern India (specially Uttarapatha) also help in defining the trade route in Indo-Gangetic divide.

Simultaneously another great trade route of India was Dakshinapatha. The term Dakshinapatha occurs in the sense of a trade route to the south. Buddhist literatures also note a number of merchants going from Pataliputra and Kausambi to Pratishthana on the Godavari. The presence of PGW and other ceramic assemblage at a number of sites in the Morena, Ujjain, Malwa Plateau is indicative of cultural elements travelling from Northern India to this region.

Silk Road was not only a trade route which existed solely for the purpose of trading of silk but many other commodities were also traded which include gold, ivory, spices, exotic animals and plants. No single route was taken, crossing Central Asia, but several different branches developed passing through different settlements on the northern and southern routes of India.

Initially the route started from Changan, headed up the Gansu corridor and reached Dunhuang on the edge of Taklamakan. The northern route then passed through Yamen Guan, Kumul, Turfan, Kuka and finally arriving Kashgar at the foot of the Pamir. The southern route branched off at Dunhuang passing through Miran, Charkhlik, Cherchen, Niya, Khotan, Karghalik, Yarkand finally turning north again to meet the other route at Kashgar. Another route was branched from Yarkand and it runs through Sheghana, Balkh and onwards. Balkh was also well connected with the Samarkand by a trade route.

India was well connected with the Silk Road by three probable routes. First route was via Srinagar, Gilgit and Karakoram Range, another was via Purushapur and the last was via Hadda, Kapisa, Bamiyan which finally joins the Silk Road near Balkh. The above mentioned routes were used by the Indians as well as foreign travelers for trade and pilgrimage. Another important route connected to the Silk Road from Uttrapatha via Yunnan and Burma. This route was used for the trade with south-western China. This is evident by the incident of King Chiang Kein (c. 127 BC) who found bamboos and textiles from south western China which were sold in the market of Gandhara. On personal enquiry, he learnt that these goods were brought to eastern India (Bengal) through Yunnan, Burma and then carried all the way from eastern India to Bactria, across India and Afghanistan along the Uttarapatha.

This region was taken over by Alexander the Great of Macedon, who finally conquered the Iranian empire, and colonized the area in about 330 B.C., superimposing the culture of the Greeks. Although he only ruled the area until 325 B.C., the effect of the Greek invasion was quite considerable.

This 'crossroads' region, covering the area to the south of the Hindukush and Karakorum ranges, now Pakistan and Afghanistan, was overrun by a number of different peoples.

Close on the heels of the Parthians came the Yuezhi people from the Northern borders of the Taklamakan and settled in Northern India. Their descendents became the Kushan people, and in the first century A.D. they moved into this crossroads area, bringing their adopted Buddhist religion with them. The Kushan people were the first to show Buddha in human form. Pliny and other contemporary western historians have mentioned the trade commodities of both import and export in Indo-Roman trade besides referring to the trading stations in India.

Romans had first encountered silk in one of their campaigns against the Parthian in 53 B.C. They reputedly learnt that it came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they came to refer to as the silk people, 'Seres'. The Romans sent their own agents out to explore the route, and to try to obtain silk at a lower price than that set by the Parthians. This explored route is termed as Silk Road. The Indo- Romans trade flourished both through land and sea routes and the Kushans issued gold coins on the Roman standards. Roman coins are discovered in Indian sites.

The most significant commodity carried along this route was not silk, but religion. Buddhism came to China and central Asian countries from India this way, along the northern branch of the route. The first influences came as the passes over the Karakorum were first explored. This was considerably influenced by the Himalayan Massif, an effective barrier between China and India, and hence the Buddhism in China is effectively derived from the Gandhara culture by the bend in the Indus River, rather than directly from India. Buddhism reached the pastures of Tibet at a rather later period, not developing fully until the seventh century.

Notably, the Buddhist faith and the Greco-Buddhist culture started to travel eastward along the Silk Road, penetrating in China from around the 1st century BC. From the 4th century onward, Chinese pilgrims also started to travel to India, the origin of Buddhism, by themselves in order to get improved access to the original scriptures, with pilgrimage to India (395-414), and later Faxian's/ Xuanzang (629-644). The image of the Buddha, originating during the 1st century in northern India (areas of Gandhara and Mathura) was transmitted progressively through Central Asia and China until it reached Korea in the 4th century and Japan in the 6th century. The Buddhist faith gave birth to a number of different sects in Asia which are still flourishing in Japan.

General Justification of Outstanding Universal Value: Arikamedu, Early Historic Site

The criteria for justification are reflected in excavated remains of the site in its entirety:

  1. Identification of Arikamedu with Poduke emporium mentioned in the Periplus maris Erythraei is accepted by historians, as the excavation at Arikamedu yielded all the features of Port town. .The literary records also makes its clear that Indo-Roman trade remained brisk until long after the middle of the first century A.D through sea.
  2. Arikamedu is one of the biggest ancient Roman trade centers in India (appro-34 acres). Unlike many other Roman trade centers including those on India's Malabar coast, Arikamedu has been properly identified and is to a large extent, well-documented. The site of Arikamedu enjoys the distinction of being the first site in the whole of India to provide evidence, through archaeological digs, for the export of variety of Indian objects, viz Glass beads, Shell, Terracotta objects, besides Muslin cloths . Most of the other roman trade sites of India have been dated on the basis of the chronology of Arikamedu.
  3. Among all the Roman trade sites in India, Arikamedu has yielded the largest number of Mediterranean amphora jars,terra sigillata and Rouletted ware. Arikamedu is the only site in India that has yielded pottery with inscriptions in atleast four different languages-Prakrit, Tamil, Old Sinhalese and Latin.
  4. Besides,  remains of  building with an oblong shell, massively built and with rough foundation bricks and with a ramp or staircase on the northern side of this building is identified with ware house and the two tanks involving a constant inflow and out flow of water justify their identification as cisterns or Vats for dyeing Muslin. These two structures are outstanding example of a type of building and technological ensemble during 1st. cen. B.C. 

General Justification of Outstanding Universal Value: Kaveripattinam

  1. The town now existing at Kaveripattinam was once a busy trade and commerce centre from Pre-Sangam period to medieval times. The excavation revealed evidences of continuous levels from Pre-sangam period to Vijayangara period as evidenced from the structures which include Wharf at Kiliyur dated to 1st-2nd c.A.D, Inlet sluice at Vanagiri dated to 2nd-3rd c.A.D and Buddhist vihara and temple dated to 5th-6th c.A.D and antiquities like Buddhapadha of early historic period and the coins of Chola, Vijayanagar and Setupati dynasties.  This evidence exhibits an important development in the life cycle and culture of the port city, over a span of time human values, over a span of time, within a cultural area.
  2. The excavated structure of Buddha Vihara , temple site  at Pallavanesarm  and antiquities like bronze Buddha and lime Buddha pada are, confirm that Buddhism was prevailing during Early historic period in Kaveripattinam and it was also patronized by Kings. The discovery of a Buddhist monastery confirmed the literary evidence found in the Tamil epics - Silappatikaram and Manimekhalai which records that Kaveripattinam was a centre of Buddhist faith. The creation of structures of brick, stucco, tile and wood as a regular feature in the Sangam period finds an echo in the brick Buddhist temple found at Pallavanesvaram. The numerous terracotta of the Saiva and Vaishnava faith found at the Vellayaniruppu site show rise of worship of Saivism and Vaishnavism. This place was a reflection of the cultural and cult environment recorded in the twin epics - the Silappathikaram and Manimekhalai.
  3.  The excavated structures at Kaveripattinam reveal that the highest technology of construction adapted during Chola period.  This is evidenced from the rectangular or 'L' shaped as well as the small square voids in the foundation, together with the large central squarish void, at Buddhist Vihara which would seem to suggest that the structure stood in more than one storey height and perhaps the shrine was erected by a astylar corbelling principle with staircases suggested by 'L' shaped voids leading to the upper floor from all the three sides except the east. The construction of wharf with two stages and inlet sluice with an inlet drop into the depressed land, the sluice also had a discharge channel including widening curved mouth and a drip course of bricks to prevent erosion also are witness to the technological development of building activity of early period.
  4. The excavation confirmed this place as a full fledged port of the Cholas as  referred in Tamil as well as western literatures. It also represents an   outstanding example of traditional human settlement, use of land and seas and   human interaction with environment. It is thus for the first time that the continuous story of Tamil culture is documented on archaeological data, on the ground, from the 2nd -3rd century B.C. to the twelfth century A.D. making the limited excavations a truly outstanding archaeological exercise for the early history and culture of Tamil Nadu and more so because it is truly corroborated with literature.

General Justification of Outstanding Universal Value: Harwan

The archeological site of Harwan is situated 12 miles north - east of Srinagar. It was a thriving and a prosperous Buddhist settlement in the early centuries of Christian era. The complex of Harwan consists of a monastery for the monks, prayer hall or Chaitya, and a Stupa dated to fourth or fifth century A.D. The most important feature of the site of great archaeological value is the terracotta or baked clay titles, which embellished the Chaitya or Buddhist temple. It is an apsidal Chaitya or horseshoe arched temple in diaper pebble style with a tiled courtyard as circumambulatory passage. These Harwan terracotta floor covering have unique place in the plastic art of India represented beautifully in the Kashmir valley for the first time. The tiles in backed clay are 18'x12'' long and moulded with floral, geometrical, human and animal designs. They reflect a colourful and pulsating life style of the contemporary society. Some tiles have dancing girls, and musician beating the drums lovers chatting on the balconies a favorite theme depicted on them. There are rams and cocks fighting, geese running, ducks and pheasants within a floral pattern. The geometric design consists of wary lines, frets and fish bone patterns lotus and aquatic plants and various types of flowers adequately represented.

General Justification of outstanding Universal Value: Sopara or Shurparaka

Sopara or Shurparaka finds mention in the Mahabharata (1400 B.C.) as a very holy place that the Pandavas rested enroute from Gokarn in north Kanara to Prabha or  Verval in Kathiawad and was also an important and one of the oldest ports and ship building yards. It was also an important province and a cultural centre in the Satavahana period. One of the first Buddhist centers in western India, the remnants of its original antiquity survive over here in the form of Stupa which has yielded Buddhist relics in excavation and inscriptions belonging to Maurya period, and archival records mention a rich and architectural vibrant town with fine details. The most significant monuments of this region are the Buddhist stupa or relic mound about a quarter mile west of Sopara town.

It was an important holy city and trade point in Aparanta (Ancient name of Konkan) from 250 B.C. to 1500A.D.This is evidenced by the different religious Buddhist, Jain and Brahminical old literature classical literature of Greek and Rome and also by the epigraphical records. It was an important Buddhist centre on the west coast where Buddha himself is said to have visited. Sopara remained the place for cultural evolution of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism in different periods.

General Justification of out standing Universal Value: Indraprastha ( Old Fort)

Significantly, until the beginning of 12th century, the village named Indapat, obviously derived from Indraprastha of Mahabharata fame, lay within Purana Qila itself.  According to popular tradition, the present place - names Bagpat, Tilpat, Sonipat and Panipat are four of five pats or places demanded by Pandavas from the Kauravas and it is significant that all these places have yielded Painted Grey Ware associated with Mahabharata sites which have emerged after the excavations as Hastinapur in the 1950s. The site of Indraprastha ( Purana Qila or old Fort) was excavated from 1969 to 1973 and yielded continued cultural sequence from 4th century B.C. to late medieval period.

It is clear from the Buddhist tradition that even before the time of Buddha there were sixteen Great Kingdoms (Mahajanapadas) spanning almost the whole of northern India from Afghanistan to Bangladesh.  The region of present day Delhi formed part of the Kuru Rattha, one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas.  This kingdom was known to have had many towns and villages.  The most important of them was Indapatta.  This was the place from where king Dhananjay Korabya, who belonged to the Yuddhithila gotta (scion) ruled over his kingdom.  The town of Indapatta was seven leagues in extent.  It was noted as one of three chief cities of the contemporary Jambudipa (the geo-Cultural 'India' of Buddhist tradition).  Moreover, it was well connected by roads to other cities e.g. Banaras.  A township of Kuru Rattha, perhaps not far from Indapatta, was the Nigama (essentially market town or a trading centre) of Kammasadamma or Kamasadhamma, both varients of Nikays and referred to in the commentaries of Buddhaghosha in the fourth century A.D.  Buddha stayed there several times; and several important sermons were preached there.  According to one Jataka, there were two places of the same name; they were distinguished as the great Kamasadamma (Maha-Kamasadamma) and the little Kamsadamma (Culla Kamasadama). In Divya-Vadana, too, there is a reference to Varnsadamya, which was where the nuns  Nanduttara and Mithhakalika lived.  Yet, another town of the Kurus, mentioned in the Buddhist texts, is Therlla Kotthira.  It is interesting that Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas, does not receive as much notices as Indraprastha in Buddhist sources.

The most popular source of information is Mahabharata. According to Mahabharata, The capital of Kurus was Hastinapur on the Yamuna; and Indraprastha was built as their capital by the Pandavas on the Yamuna. After their victory in the Mahabharata war, Pandavas moved to Hastinapur and Indraprastha was handed over to the Yadavas.  The Pandavas ruled from Hastinapur until Nicakshu's reigned. Nicakshu, the fifth in succession from Parikshit transferred his capital to Kaushambi because Hastinapur had been washed away by flood waters of the Ganga.  The Yadava also later abandoned Indraprastha for Mathura, but it remained a city of importance in the Kuru Kingdom.

There is a vivid description of the founding of Indraprastha and its beauty in the Mahabharata.  In order to stop fight, Dhritrashtra and Bhishma gave half their kingdom to the Pandavas and asked them to go to the Khandava tract.  The Khandava tract was a forested area.  The tract had to be cleared with the help of Agni, the fire god.  It was in Khandavaprashta, that a new fortified city was built by Pandavas, which was named Indraprashtha.

Though the name Indraprastha survives in the later Purana Qila and Tantric works.  It's importance seems to have declined roughly about the Gupta period.  This is perhaps why we do not find mention of Indraprastha in the Travel Accounts of Chinese traveller Huen Tsang.  Even Harsha, who could have chosen Indraprastha for the capital preferred to move from Thaneshwar to Kannauj.  This is also perhaps why in the late Jaina Pattavalis and early medieval inscriptions instead of Indraprastha, we find Yognipura mentioned.  Yet, Indraprastha was still remembered in the seventeenth and eighteenth century text of the Savtisangam Tantras as one of the five divisions of India, from the Tantric point of view.   The  discovery of  inscription on an outcrop of the Aravallis to the south of Srinivasapuri almost  in alignment  with other ancient sites in the vicinity stretching  from Indraprastha (Purana Qila ) to Tilpat - all  of them situated on the banks of the Yamuna, suggests  the existence of a highway in the pre-Christian era.


Silk Route and Indraprastha (Purana Qila of Delhi):

Huns, Kushanas, Parthians, and Romans spanned the length and breadth of Eurasia and to serve their interest, extended commercial and strategic interest by opening, reviving, improving and expanding overland accessibility network to include India as a principal trade and commerce partner.  To exploit the resources of various cities and towns of India including their hinterland, these were linked through series of routes to West Asia and Europe, Central Asia and China, South- East Asia and China.

Overland Routes to Central Asia, South-east Asia and China 

The over land routes to Central Asia, and through it to China, were opened for regular trade and commerce purposes following the migrations of the Sakas and Yueh-chih to India and the Imperial Han efforts to establish diplomatic, commercial and cultural links with their western neighbours. Mathura, which was a major trade and commerce centre, located on the junction of Uttarapatha and Daksinapatha, was connected with Central Asia and China through a route which passed through Indraprastha (modern Delhi).  This route, infact, connected Indraprastha with Taxila, Puskalavati, Purusapura, Kapisa, and Bactria to the Tarim basin where they joined both the branches of the 'Silk-Route' traversing along its southern rim through Kashgar (Sailadesa), Yarkand (Chokkuka) and Khotan (Kustana/Godana, Khotamna) and northern edges through A-k'o-su (Wen-su/Pol-lu-chia, Skt. Bharuka), Ku-chih (Kuchi), Karashahr (Agnidesa).  These branches met at Yu-men-kuan or the Jade Gate near Tun-hueng before entering the mainland Chinese.  The easier and commercially more popular routes led from Bactria but the ones from Gandhar, Uddiyana, Abhisara and Kasmira, ascended the difficult passes of the Pamir to Tashkurghan on their way to either Kashgar or Yarkand.  However, these routes include (a) east through the Wakhan valley;(b) north across the Oxus at Termex either along the Alai valley to Darut Kurghan, "the Sone Tower" of the Silk-Route, and Irkishtam to Kashgar; or (c) continued further north to Merkanda/Carmakhandika (Samarkand) with branches via Ferghana to Kashgar or by a more northerly course via Tashkand and lake Issikkul to A-k'o-su.  Out of the routes discussed above, the Alai valley Silk-Route was least formidable.

As per the Chinese and Classical sources over land routes to China were in existence from Eastern India, especially from Pataliputra - one by way of Assam and Burma and the other via Sikkim and Tibet.

It is beyond any doubt that Indraprastha (modern Delhi) enjoyed strategic geographical position and network of movements,  situated on the western periphery of the Gangetic plain, almost on the cross-roads of the principal geo-political and cultural divisions of India. The township was located on the main communication artery leading to the gateway to the rich regions of Gangetic plain and central and southern India as well as to the western sea front.  The ethnic migrations from the north-west and their further movements to central, western and southern regions of India could be possible only through the main route on which Indraprastha was sitting.  It was well connected with Uttara-patha (northern or north-western highway) and the Dakshinapatha (southern highway): There is no point in going into detail that the invaders from the north-west, the Indo-Greeks, Sakas, and Kushanas infiltered deep unto eastern, central, western and southern regions of the country mainly through the land route which touched Indraprastha.  This route was also used by the traders, pilgrims and missionaries.

Justification for inclusion of Indraprastha in the World Heritage List under the category Heritage Routes as extension of main Silk-Route   

As per the guidelines for inscription of specific types of properties on the World Heritage List, Indraprastha and the route connecting it with Bactria in the north-west and other parts / regions of India having great commercial, cultural, political and religious importance as discussed above is worthy of consideration for inclusion in the World Heritage List of UNESCO as extension to Silk-Route.  There is no denying a fact that India enjoyed great reputation in being culturally, politically, economically and religiously important during the early historic and historical period later half of the first millennium B.C. and later.  The route which connected Indraprastha with the west, north-west, north and China contributed a great deal to the importance of Silk-Route because it was only through this route the resources of the various parts of the country were traded beyond its boundaries.  As far as the authenticity is concerned it is mentioned that it still retains the basic character as an ancient route because of its continuous use even to the present.  The divisions and partitions experienced in the past have not altered the basic character of the route on which Indraprastha is located.  The route is still the main artery of the country for connectivity with west, north and north-west on the one hand and eastern, central, western and southern on the other hand.  The mighty rulers during the medieval times recognized the value and importance of the route and did their best to strengthen it further.  Even during the British rule every care was taken to not only maintain it but also to strengthen it further since it provided connectivity to all parts of the country and neighborhood.  The nomination needs consideration under category I.5.(d).  The nomination meets the definition given for the heritage routes since it compasses -

i) It is rich and fertile, offering a privileged framework in which mutual understanding, a plural approach to history and a culture of peace can all operate.

ii) Composed of tangible elements of which the cultural significance comes from exchanges and a multi-dimensional dialogue across countries or regions, and that illustrate the interaction of movement, along the route, in space and time. The ancient trade route which connected Indraprastha with Silk-Route through various towns and cities of west, north and north-west passes via Bactria.

Arikamedu, Kaveripattinam:

Emerged as a trading colony where Romans settled to trade with the west through sea and introduced ceram9ic tradition of the Mediterranean which further evolved the pottery of similar nature in the Indian context. The settlement flourished with residential colonies , craft workshops and shopping centers which is visible after excavations. It bears a unique testimony to the trading settlement of the past during early historic period. The trade methodology is described into details in the early classical literature of Greece and Rome and corroborated by archaeological finds.

Purana Qila:

The excavations at the site have provided details of existence of the settlement and city for over two thousand years continuosly with examples of monumental architecture and town planning supported by literary works and tradition.


The site represents a Buddhist settlement which came up around the trading mart or maritime silk route. The cultural center developed on the sea coast at a safer and secured place where Buddhist relics were enshrined in a mahastupa.

Kaushambi, Sravasti, Ahichchhatra, Sanghol :

Represents one of the earliest fortified cities of the phase representing mainly the early historic period. It provides both archaeological and literary evidence of a flourishing city and a cultural center.


The site represents a unique tradition of Kashmir which was connected with the Silk Road in its architecture and art, particularly in the decorated patterns of terracotta tile-pavements in the apsidal stupa which became a symbol of the art of Kashmir.

Vaishali, Vikramshila and Kushinagar :

Represent both literary tradition of famous Buddhist settlements and archaeological evidence corroborating them. The places are connected with the history of Buddha and Buddhism where scholars cam efrom foreign countries to study and pay homage to Lord Buddha. These sites played a major role in the development of Buddhism.

Vaishali: Kingdom of Vajjis , visited frequently by Buddha having Stupa with relics and city site.

Kushinagar: The site of Buddha's passing away with Stupas and monasteries established at the city site.