Buddhist Remains from Haryana is based on the first-hand study of the Buddhist remains, mostly lying unnoticed at various places and in museums and private collections.
It has taken years of study and fieldwork to dig up the literary and archaeological data to prepare this monograph which brings to light many stupas, pillars, sculptures, terracottas and other antiquities from the region of Haryana showing clearly that Buddhism continued to live here even after it was wiped off from the mainland.
Buddhism is one of the well-known religions of the world and is being practiced by people from India to Japan and in South Asia. Like any other cultured people, the Buddhists also feel concerned about their heritage and are eager to know more and more about it.
Haryana occupies an intermediary position between Gandhara and Mathura, two very important centers of Buddhist art. There is growing evidence to indicate that the Mathura and Gandhara Schools did not live in isolation and had mutual influences. Punjab and Haryana being intermediary between the two must have played as their meeting ground hence the importance of the relics discovered from this area.
It is for the first time that all relevant literary and archaeological evidence regarding Buddhism in this region, known partially and piecemeal earlier, has been presented in book form. It is the result of sustained efforts and interest in the subject and includes some unpublished and little known remains. It is hoped that the monograph will help in understanding the story of the development and decline of Buddhism and Buddhist art in northern India and will evoke further research and discussion.
About the Author:
Shri Devendra Handa holds Post-Graduate degrees in Sanskrit, History and Education- all in First class and with top positions in the University. He obtained his Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology (ASI, New Delhi) in 1964 with Credit (Distinction). He is the recipient of Maulana Azad and Archaeological Centenary Commemoration Medals, Sir Mortimer Wheeler Prize and various other awards.
He is known to the indologists through more than three hundred research papers and the following books and monographs:
1 Osian: History, Archaeology, Art & Architecture, Delhi, 1984; 2 Studies in Indian Coins and Seals, Delhi, 1985; 3 Indological Studies: Essays in Memory of Shri S.P. Singhal, Delhi, 1987 (Ed.); 4 Ajaya-Sri: Recent Studies in Indology (Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri Felicitation Volume), 2 Vols., Delhi, 1989 (Ed.); 5 Praci-Prabha: Perspectives in Indololgy (Essays in honour of Prof. B.N. Mukherjee), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. D.C. Bhattacharyya); 6 Ratna-Chandrika: Panorama of Oriental Studies (Shri R.C. Agrawala Festschrift), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ashvini Agrawal); 7 Heritage of Haryana: Buddhist Remains, Chandigarh, 1989; 8 Vishvambhara: Probings in Orientology (Prof. V.S. Pathak Festschrift), 2 Vols. New Delhi, 1995 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri and C.S. Gupta); 9 Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-3 (1991-93), New Delhi (Ed.); 10 Oriental Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-2 (1994 & 1996), Delhi (Ed.).
He has attended numerous national and international conferences and delivered lectures in various institutions. In 1992, he got the Lowick Memorial Grant of the Royal Numismatic Society, London for studying the tribal coins of India. In 1993, he visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Numismatic Society. He was honoured for his contributions to the science of numismatics at Calcutta in 1994. After a teaching career of more than thirty years, he finally retired from the Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1999. Presently, he is a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.