The Buddha Behind the Throne

The person who did it and the exact date it was done are not quite certain. Ancient sites around Mathura were a happy hunting ground for amateur British archaeologists and antique collectors during the second half of the 19th century. What is clear is that their spades hit what looked like an almost lifesize statue. Further digging and brushing away of dust revealed that it was a statue of the Buddha. This was a cause for some delight to the diggers but when the face was cleaned the archaeologists were dumbstruck – it was the most serene and beautiful face they had ever seen. The statue was taken to Mathura town and housed at the back of the Engineer’s Bungalow along with other bits and pieces. But as word of the beautiful statue spread it is said that British travellers and officials on their way by train to Delhi on government business or Agra to see the Taj Mahal stopped off at Mathura just to see it.



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