Ancient site related to Buddha’s life faces ‘existential crisis’

KAPILVASTU: The ancient Sisahaniyakot, an archaeological site related to the life of Buddha in Kapilvastu, has been facing an ‘existential crisis’ due to encroachment as well as utter neglect. It has now turned into a grazing land.

The ancient site located in Baluhawa VDC in the district is in crisis due to the neglect of Lumbini Development Trust, the government body responsible to take care and develop the Lumbini area, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Locals have alleged that the Trust has not paid attention for its conservation.

The religious Sisahaniyakot is under the shadow due to the lack of awareness among locals and negligence of the Trust, local bodies and stakeholders. Sisahaniyakot is the birthplace of Kanakmuni Buddha, said historian Ram Nibas Pandeya. Likewise, some other academicians said that the site also boasted a Buddha monastery and an ancient fort.

Pandey said that Bratabandha ceremony of Gautam Buddha was conducted at the site. The Department of Archaeology has kept Sisahaniyakot under the responsibility of Trust along with Tilaurakot, Niglihawa, Sagarahawa, Gotihawa, Kudan and Dharmapaniya of the region.

Locals complained that the Trust so far has not carried out any work for the development, publicity and protection of the ancient site.