Sitabinji Fresco Painting and Rock Inscription is a unique and important archaeological site located in the Kendujhar(Keonjhar) district of Odisha, India. It is situated on the banks of the holy Sita river, surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape. The site is home to a magnificent rock shelter called Ravan Chahaya, which features an ancient fresco painting depicting the legendary battle of Lord Rama and Ravana. In addition to the fresco, there are also a number of rock inscriptions at the site, which have not yet been fully deciphered.
The Fresco Painting
The fresco painting at Ravan Chahaya is believed to date back to the Gupta period (4th-6th centuries CE). It is a large and complex painting, measuring over 10 meters in length and 5 meters in height. The painting depicts a number of different scenes from the Ramayana, including the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana, the battle between Rama and Ravana, and the return of Sita to Rama.
The painting is executed in a variety of bright and vibrant colors, and the figures are depicted in a lively and dynamic style. The painting is also notable for its intricate details and its realistic portrayal of the natural world.
The Rock Inscriptions
The rock inscriptions at Sitabinji are written in a variety of different scripts, including Brahmi, Siddham, and Odia. The inscriptions date to a range of different periods, from the early medieval period to the modern era.
The inscriptions contain a variety of different information, including religious texts, historical records, and personal messages. Some of the inscriptions are also inscribed with the names of kings and rulers, which suggests that Sitabinji may have been an important pilgrimage site and administrative center in the past.
Significance of the Site
The Sitabinji Fresco Painting and Rock Inscription is a significant archaeological site for a number of reasons. First, the fresco painting is one of the finest examples of Gupta period art in India. It is also one of the few known examples of a fresco painting that depicts the Ramayana.
Second, the rock inscriptions at the site provide valuable information about the history and culture of Odisha. The inscriptions are still being deciphered, but they have already shed light on the region’s religious, political, and economic life.
Third, the Sitabinji site is a holy place for Hindus. The temple to Maa Sita Thakurani is a popular pilgrimage site, and the site is also associated with the Ramayana.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is responsible for the conservation and preservation of the Sitabinji Fresco Painting and Rock Inscription. The ASI has taken a number of steps to protect the site, including building a shelter over the fresco painting and constructing a fence around the site.
However, the site still faces a number of challenges, including the effects of erosion and vandalism. The ASI is working to address these challenges, and it is committed to preserving this important archaeological site for future generations.
The Sitabinji Fresco Painting and Rock Inscription is a unique and important archaeological site that offers a window into Odisha’s ancient past. The fresco painting is one of the finest examples of Gupta period art in India, and the rock inscriptions provide valuable information about the history and culture of Odisha. The site is also a holy place for Hindus, and it is a popular pilgrimage destination.
The ASI is working to conserve and preserve the Sitabinji site for future generations. However, the site still faces a number of challenges, including the effects of erosion and vandalism. It is important to raise awareness of this important archaeological site and to support the ASI’s efforts to preserve it.