Archaeological Atlas of Bihar, the first in India, puts spotlight back on history
The ‘atlas’ covers 300 archaeological sites in the state, as many as 71 of them protected by the Archaeological Survey of India
As many as 800 photographs and 21 maps embellish the 400-page atlas. Published by the Bihar Heritage Society and priced at a steep Rs 2,000, the first of its kind atlas gives value for money.
Photographs of sculptures, potsherds or broken pieces of ceramic, artefacts, buildings, ruins and monuments add context to mythologies, historical accounts, travellers’ tales and dada-dadi stories, says Vivek Kumar Singh, the editor and a key writer. The publication, released on September 12, is said to be the first of its kind and took seven years of ground work with the technical team covering over 20,000 Kilometres on the ground.
The ‘atlas’ covers 300 archaeological sites in the state, as many as 71 of them protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
An “Archaeological Atlas of Bihar” was long overdue, says Singh, who is also the Development Commissioner of the state and chairman of ‘Bihar Virasat Samiti’ or Bihar Heritage Society. It is an attempt to decipher the supremely rich but complex cultural heritage of our state, based on the most updated and reliable archaeological and geographical database covering 5000 years of the state’s human history, he adds.
The atlas, published in both English and Hindi, is divided into three sections; while the first two covers sites protected by the Union government and the Bihar government, the third section covers the lesser-known sites. Maps detail time periods and factors that led to the evolution and development of the sites.
Designer, cartographer and publisher of the atlas, Ajeet Kumar of Study Today Publications Pvt Ltd points out that the maps are all certified by Survey of India. He also informs that the 800 photographs used in the atlas were selected from 25,000 photographs made available to him.
The Secretary, Union ministry of culture, Govind Mohan while releasing the atlas quipped that this ‘Bihar model’ deserved to be followed by other states.