Jetvan-Monastery

Jetvan-Monastery

Jetvan-Monastery

Location In Sahet area of Sravasti township at walkable distance from SH -26 in the district of the same name, U.P., India
Ideal time to visitOctober-March, Specially during Buddha Purnima Fair (April-May),
Attractions Religious, Historical & Archaeological
Entry Fee Entry Fee Rs. 5 for Indians, SAARC & BIMSTEC Countries,Rs 100 for others, Children below 15 Year- Free
How to reach Hired Taxies/Buses, no local transport is available

Jetvan Monastery rose to prominence and saw a sudden spurt of tourism when excavation work revealed that ruins at Sahet were the original site of once magnanimous Jetvan Monastery. The place is well spread within an irregular enclosure, covering an area of about 32 acres. Jetvan Monastery, an important religious site where a large monastery was erected in the garden of Prince Jeta, son of Prasenjit for the reception of Lord Buddha outside the wall of the city. The monastery was presented to Buddha by Sudatta, a wealthy merchant of Sravasti who was later known as Anathpindika. Later, several Shrines and other monasteries came up at this spot.
Archeological excavations, conducted at regular intervals since 1863, have brought to light plinth and foundations of numerous Buddhist structures including stupas, monasteries and temples among which Gandha Kuti, Kosamba Kuti and recently exposed stupa cum tank complex in the north western side are most significant. Stupa's mostly belong to Kushana Period, while the temples are in Gupta's style. The remains date from Mauryan Era (3rd century BC) to 12th Century AD. A colossal statue of Buddha was also found here which is now preserved in Indian Museum, Kolkata. Following Structures are located inside the Jetvan Monastery-
1. Temple 1- Situated within the courtyard of a large monastery, has sanctum and Mandapa and was built around 10th century AD.
2. Temple 2 (Gandha Kuti) - It is the largest temple structure. The lowest exposed part of the temple belongs to Gupta Period. It is believed to stand on the original site of the Gandha Kuti, built by Anathpinidika. It consists of sanctum and mandapa and is enclosed by 34.5mts x 26.70mts wide walls.
3. Temple 3- Has been built on the original site of the Koshamba Kuti. The temple is now completely ruined, only the shells of the shrine and mandapa have survived. In front of the temple are two solid brick terraces, which are supposed to mark the sight of Buddha promenade.
4. Temple 11 & 12- These two temples are identical and have unusual plan of three rooms in a row with a narrow verandah in front and a Pradakshina Path (Ambulatory Passage) around the central chamber indicating that it must have housed an image. Its layout plan is different than other temples in the vicinity. Temple 12 has several projections with a porch and these were built during Gupta Period.

5. Group of Eight Stupa- These eight stupas were erected in different periods. One of them yielded an inscribed seal containing the name of Buddhadeva in the characters of the fifth century.
6. Stupa 5- Initially this site was a stupa on which a temple was erected but again the site was converted into a stupa. The earlier stupa was assigned to the Kushana Period. On the top portion a large number of inscribed sealing of 8th to 10th AD were found.
7. The Double Stupa & Bodhi Tree- Bodhi tree is believed to mark the spot where Anathpindak had planted a Bodhi sapling. The Sinhalese Chronicle Pujavaliya describes the story of this pious act. A double stupa now visible as the two rectangular rooms lies to the east of Bodhi tree platform. They are of usual cruciform and possess relic chambers.

To the east of these stupas is a juxtaposed building, which probably represents Goldsmith's workshop. The presumption is based on the discovery of lump of pure gold in a clay crucible and of ash heaps within the buildings. The walls are 1.5 mts. high and are constructed of finely jointed bricks of large size.
Jetvan has the normal plan as that of Buddhist Monastery and has gone through renovation several times in later period. Many stupa's have been erected in the Jetvan compound worth mentioning are Stupa 18, Stupa H, Stupa 8 & 9.

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