Deor Kothar

DEOR KOTHAR

Deor Kothar is a location of archaeological importance in Madhya Pradesh, Central India. It is popular for its Buddhist stupas and was discovered in 1982.These stupas are credited to Mauryan emperor Ashoka the great. It is located about 5 km North West of the Katra village in Rewa district at a distance of 75 km from Rewa on Rewa - Allahabad Road. The stupa of Deor Kothar was established by the Mauryan king Asoka in the 3rd century BCE. In the ancient time the site was located on the Dakshinapatha running east west from Patalipurta to Pratishthana in Maharashtra through central part of India. This place, because of it is located near the place like Sagar, Sanchi, Sarnath and Kaushambi, used to be frequently visited by the monks. 


Discovery of Deor Kothar: This place was discovered by P.K. Mishra along with Ajit Singh in 1982 and in 1988 the place was declared as national importance by Government of India and is being preserved and conserved by Archaeological Survey of India, Bhopal. 


Architecture of Deor Kothar: The Deorkothar complex proudly houses four brick stupas, the most ever found at a site of this period. The bricks used are of varied sizes like twirling lotus, conical lotus bud, and a simple flower pot on a three-tiered pedestal-the carving of which foreshadows early Buddhist art, can be seen on the railing posts of the largest brick stupa, which rises to a height of nearly 30 feet. 


The stencil cut design of the friezes, along with their simple ornamentation and paucity of animal and human figures depict that they are attempt for stone railing art. This stupa was at Deorkothar was built much before the early free standing Sanchi Stupa. Apart from this the site of Deorkothar also comprises monasteries, an ancient pathway, a system for water channel, and 30 stone stupas, many of which contained sherds of high quality northern black polished ware, the pottery of everyday use between 700 and 300 B.C. The absence of such sherds from Sanchi proves the fact that Deorkothar predates that site. There are 63 rock shelters adorned with various types of arts dating back to first century BC which were used by monks for meditation. One of the paintings shows a tree and a stupa surrounded by a railing. Others show social or hunting scenes; men, women, and animals; weapons; and designs. 


Although the pillars bear resemblance with the typical Mauryan polish, it is not made of the Chunar sandstone features of the Ashoka Empire but of the local sandstone. Some of the other remains that have been found are that of stone pieces, pottery and bangles with beautiful polish and some exquisite copper fragments. Some of the other art form that are worthy of mention are the stone pieces of the Mauryan polished chattra (the multi-tiered "umbrella" at the top of a stupa) with evidence of radial ribs. To the west of the main stupa, a lump of iron ore, iron slag and white nodules of lime indicate the presence of an iron-smelting furnace nearby.

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