Phanigiri artefacts

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The Phanigiri artefacts belonging to 200 BCE-400 CE and discovered in 1942, are on display at New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

About Phanigiri artefacts:

  • The Phanigiri Buddhist site is considered one of the most important finds in Buddhist iconography in this millennium.
  • Phanigiri (meaning hillock of snake hood) is a small village in the state of Telangana.
  • Key findings
    • The thoranas discovered at Phanigiri are very important as they are among the first found south of Sanchi.
    • The same thorana has a panel that shows both Mahayana and Hinayana school of thought. 
    • There is evidence from Phanigiri that shows the deification of Buddha, and we can date this change. From a historical and spiritual identity there is a transition to canonisation and ritual.
    • The monograph of the event has the image of the Buddha, wearing what looks like a Roman toga with folds, carved in limestone.


Q1) What are toranas?

It is a decorative and symbolic gateway or archway that is often found at the entrance to Buddhist stupas, temples, monasteries, or important religious sites. Thoranas are common in various Buddhist traditions.

Source: A New York spotlight for Buddhist artefacts from Telangana’s Phanigiri