Unrelated Images Used to Claim Buddha Statues Found in Ayodhya
While one image is from Bihar, the others are from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
After Congress leader Udit Raj claimed that artefacts found during the land levelling work at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya proved that it was a Buddha Sthal, several social media users are sharing a set of images showing Buddhist relics allegedly found in Ayodhya.
However, The Quint’s WebQoof found out that none of these images are from Ayodhya. While one is from Bihar, the others are from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Let’s try and debunk the images one by one:
On carefully analysing the image we found a watermark of The Indian Express. The news organisation had carried the image in an article published on 23 January 2019. The article is titled as ‘After Nalanda and Vikramshila, Bihar unearths Telhara university’.
The photo has been credited to Express photographer Ravi S Sahani and is from Telhara village in Bihar’s Nalanda district.
A Google reverse image search led us to an article published by Popular Archaeology magazine that carried the image and mentioned that the image was taken in September 2014 at Mes Aynak in Afghanistan. The image has been credited to Brent E Huffman, who is a director, producer, cinematographer and editor of documentary called ‘Saving Mes Aynak.’
The documentary is on Afghan archeologist Qadir Temori as he tries to save the Mes Aynak site from imminent demolition by China Metallurgical Group Corporation.
Further, a Huffpost article written by Huffman titled ‘The Fight to Save an Ancient Buddhist City in Afghanistan.’ which was published in 2015, carried the same viral image.
A Google reverse image search led us to an article published by a website called Ancient Pages in July 2016 which carried the viral image and mentioned that the image is from Jaulian in Taxila in Pakistan.
We also found that the same image was uploaded on the website of Historian Dr S Srikanta Sastri with the caption: “Ruins in a Buddhist Monastery, Jaulian.”
Evidently, unrelated images are being circulated to claim that they were found in Ayodhya.
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