The Piprahwa Legacy
In India today, the Piprahwa Stupa is now firmly on the Buddhist tourist trail as a place where the Buddha's ashes were found and as Kapilvastu, the childhood home of the Buddha. (Click here to see a film of the Piprahwa Stupa and Kapilvastu archaeological sites as they are today).
Indeed, the relics held by India from the Piprahwa Stupa are believed by many Buddhists the world over to be those of the Buddha and of great historical and religious importance.
The bone relics of Piprahwa retained by India (and currently housed in the New Delhi Museum) went on tour to Sri Lanka in 1978 where an estimated 10 million people viewed them.
More recently, the relics went on tour to Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand in the 1990s.
In 2004 a Sunday Times article was written about my collection and my ancestors involvement in the excavation of the Piprahwa Stupa and finding the Buddhas' ashes.
(Above) Me in 2004 showing some of the families' share of the jewels (Sunday Times Supplement)
(Below) Śarīra from my collection of relics
In August of 2012 some the relics from Piprahwa were sent over from India to Sri Lanka where many thousands of people queued to see them. Click here to see: 1) Film of the Sri Lankan media coverage of the relics 2) Sri Lankan film of the history of the relics 3) Film of the thousands of Buddhists who queued to see them
(Below) The Relics from the Pripahwa Stupa arriving in Sri Lanka(2012) Photo from the Colombogazette, August 19th, 2012
Sadly, my fathers estate no longer exists and Birdpur House has been left to deteriorate and fall into disrepair.
(Below) Birdpur House as it is today