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Orajhar, Penahiajhar, and Kharahuwanjhar


Orajhar is situated on the left bank of Khajua, a tributary of Rapti in district and tehsil Balrampur, U.P. It may be identified with the celebrated ‘Purvarama’ or Eastern monastery,built by Vishakha as seen by Fa-hien. Here, excavation has revealed a three-fold cultural sequence, starting from Kushan period (Ist cent. AD) followed by Gupta and medieval periods 11th-12th cent. AD). The Kushan period has revealed remains of a monastic complex with the usual plan. The Gupta period is witnessed in form of a plinth of a temple which is enclosed by a wall. The medieval period revealed a star-like structure at the top of the Gupta temple.

Very near to Orajhar and south of southern city-wall, there are two small mounds locally known as Penahiajhar and Kharahuwanjhar where excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India long back. In the former mound, the excavation revealed solid brick structure 16.20m in diameter. In its core was a relic-receptacle, yielding pieces of bone, some gold leaves, rock-crystal, circular laminae of silver and a punch-marked silver coin. The second structure was also circular, with a diameter of 31.50m, made of three concentric brick walls, the intervening spaces being filled with clay. It did not yield any relic-casket in its core.

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