DoA confirms column discovered in Panchkhal is ancient

Kavre, January 26

The Department of Archaeology has confirmed that a ‘column’ unearthed at Temalbesi of Panchkhal Municipality-13, was from an ancient period. The column was found in the course of archaeological exploration carried out some four months back.

According to DoA, the pillar could be part of the two pillars found in front of the main gate of the ancient temple built in Shikhara architectural style.

Archaeological Officer at DAO Prakash Khadka said various inscriptions and historical monuments discovered in the area proved that civilisation on the basin of the Sunkoshi River dated back to the ancient times. “The column looks like a part of the remnant of an ancient temple constructed in Shikhara style. Further research and excavation need to be done around the place to know more about the column,” he said.

A field study report prepared by Khadka stated that the column illustrated important temple architecture of the ancient period. “There was a route along the Sunkoshi River connecting Kusheshwor. At the midpoint of this ancient path near the present Temalbesi and on the Sunkoshi River banks was a temple.

The temple might have been washed away by the river current. The site where the temple was located is the banks of the Sunkoshi River, 200 metres northeast from a Peepal chautari,” read the report.

As stated in religious scriptures, Temalbesi is the same place at the confluence of the Sunkoshi River and Jhikukhola where the ancient sage Kushik is said to have meditated.

Panchkhal Valley Archaeological Study and Research Committee member Shreekrishna Dhimal said further study and excavation would be carried out with the help of archaeological experts from DoA as there was the possibility of discovering additional artefacts and monuments from the Kirant period at the site.

The locals of Panchkhal have called on the government to carry out further study and research of the historical place as well as its conservation as the Palanchowk Bhagawati temple, which was built during the reign of King Manadeva I (464–505 AD), is also located at Palanchowk, Panchkhal-9.

The DoA confirmed that the heritage materials, including pillars of an ancient palace and 22 centimetres of bricks, recovered during the excavation in Panchkhal area dated back to Lichhivi and medieval eras, according to a report by Bishnu Prasad Pathak and senior archaeologist Uddhav Acharya, who were a part of the excavation.

The mining had taken place in the farmlands of the locals at Malta of the then Hokse Village Development Committee-2.

“Investigation into the recovered materials is yet to start,” said Acharya, adding, “There is need to protect unexplored areas and stop illegal excavation.”

The unearthed items include stones and bricks of ancient walls, pieces of clay utensils, stone grinding machines, Shivalingas, stone spouts and some rectangular clay bricks.

The column could be a part of an ancient temple constructed in Shikhara style