SHYAMSUNDAR TILA- JOLAIBARI


SOUTH TRIPURA, TRIPURA
JOLAIBARI (Lat 23° N; Long. 91° 36’ E)
Airport: Agartala; Railway Station: Kumarghat; Bus Station: Udaipur.

Situated in the southern part of Jolaibhari District of South Tripura, the brick built stupa is famous for its ancient Buddhist remains. It is situated at a distance of about 105 km from Agartala and around 61km from Udaipur. It may be presumed that the extensive plains of Tripura were under the control of several dynasties who ruled in Eastern Bengal and Samatata in ancient period. Some of them were Buddhists and the others were Hindus. The complete plan of brick built stupa was exposed after four seasons of excavation during 1984-85, 1998-1999, 1999-00 and 2000-01. The stupa is cruciform in plan with pancharathaorder, although the super-structure had been badly damaged. The central shrine is attached with square plan of four small cells, on four cardinal directions. Moulded terracotta plaque was fixed in the outer basement wall of the recesses and adorns the wall. They are decorated beautifully with the motifs comprising human, animal, birds and mythological figures. Among the other motifs, Buddha in dhyana mudra, other Buddhist deities, Brahmanical figures including Ganesa&Kartikeya and Kirtimukha are noteworthy. Human beings are shown as dancers, musicians, archers, warriors etc. Animals include snake, fish, makara, horse, elephant, tiger, lion, deer, bull, buffalo, monkey, goat etc; and birds include ducks, peacocks, parrots, eagle etc. Beside this, there is 3.60 m wide pradakshina-path, i.e, the circumambulatory pathrunning all around the shrine. During the excavation, sculpture of Buddhist deity is found. Among the notable sculptures an image of Avalokitesvara (1.70 m height) flanked by Hayagriva and Tara deserves mention. Besides the sculptures, a large number of terracotta plaques decorated with different motifs have been recovered. On the basis of stylistic features the site could be dated to circa 9th – 10th century AD.

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