The combination of three stupas in one row could be explained either they are representing Dhamma, samgha and Buddha or they could be of Uddeshika stupa carved in the sacred memory of Lord Buddha (Central one) Sariputta (Northern side one) and Moha-Moggalana (southern side), the great personalities of Buddhism. It would not be out of place to mention here that from Sanchi also three relic caskets were discovered from three separate stupas with label in Ashokan Brahmi i.e. Buddhasa, Sariputasa and Moggolanasa respectively.
Just at the back side of the above stupas on two more fallen boulders, six smaller stupas are carved but presently in mutilated condition, In Nov. 1998 on more stupa came to light lying embedded within soil, about 15mt below the trio complex. On the same hill slop many more may still in and around the vicinity now under thick vegetation.
Just about 100mt. further south, where a spring is coming down wards, on the right bank of the spring on the same hill slope as many as eight more stupas large like that of the first group having a height of 1.50mt.
The slope is formed in a horseshoe shape and just close to the course of the spring towards further west on the higher region another big stupa was also carved which has now got little tilted due to water action of the spring. The other features are same as described above i.e. vedi (designed out of three circular rings), Medhi, Anda, Harmika.
The third stupa complex is existing two furlong further south(i.e. spring No.2) one power full spring is flowing through huge deposit of boulders, which have got piled up, partly due to century’s of water action and partly because of earthquakes. On the upper region on top of other boulders six more medium size stupas are carved, architecture of few of them are slightly differ from the earlier group and on stylistic ground could be date to 1st-2nd Century A.D. or even later as the Anda or dome is bit tapered upwards i.e. just below harmika and is not true hemispherical. On a higher altitude one more medium size elliptical stupa is also found existing within boulders deposits reminds us its origin in 1st B.C. or little later. It is important to note that in eastern India elliptical stupas are rare and those are reported datable to Sunga-Kushana period. Recently on further higher portion one more medium size stupa (1.40mt high) is found, part of which are engulfed by a banyan tree root.
Just about 1/2k.m. further south on way to the jain caves the fourth stupa complex is existing. In this complex a giant stupa is carved which is the largest monolithic rock cut stupa reported from Suryapahar or from N.E. Architecturally it remains all the characteristic features of early stupa with little exception, i.e. on the bottom part of vedi or base a double petalled Lotus is carved making it more gorgeous. The vedika or base consists of three broad projecting circular rings in receding order, over which the medhi or central cylindrical part of stupa is resting. Above medhi one more circular band is carved over which the Anda or hemispherical top part of the stupa is resting and as usual on its central part of harmika a huge socket exists which indicates the huge size of the chattra. The stupa might have been rolled downward from a higher region, which has resulted in chipping of its back portion from the main body of the stupa and thus deserve mending work. Height is 3.50mt.
On way to Jain cave one more spring is rolling downwards (spring No.3) where six nos. of couping stones are found lying, possibly belongs to some railing pillar, besides, during earth cutting works one dressed granite slab was also discovered having a stylistic chaitya window motif, which indicates they are detached pieces of an unknown Buddhist architecture. Further exploration and Excavation may provide more vestiges of the Buddhists remains of by gone days still lying underneath the earth deposits.
In 1998 Dr. B. Dey of Calcutta University found a terracotta object in Suryapahar having images of Buddha in earth touching pose in successive two rows having 4 on each row the terracotta piece might be dated to 10th C.A.D.
The discovery of an ancient potter’s kiln in 1999 in the village BaraBhita 5k.m. further west from Pancha Ratna or 2k.m. from Paglatek (Yielded gold coins) speaks that Mahayana Buddhism was prevalent in the lower Brahmaputra valley in 9-10th C.A.D. as within the kiln series of semi circular rings like terracotta pieces was discovered holding figures of Buddha in rows and at the bottom Buddhist creed deciphered as Ye-Dhamma hetu prabhava etc. The most noteworthy discovery from the said kiln is the image of Buddha in Dharma-Chakra Mudra. Seated on Bhadrasan pose is fine-workman ship on clay by the potter’s community in the 9th-10th C.A.D.
The discovery of the kiln has provided many new information’s such as, potters used to prepare them first on soft clay, got them sun dried and later burnt them inside kiln to make them strong enough for transport, handling before they reached to the appropriate customer or monastery where they were to be fitted, to form a full miniature stupa, an object of veneration vis-à-vis technique of firing, came to light in situ.
One such semicircular panel depicting a very stylistic chaitya window motif in one side speaks of the mastery on decorative design of the Buddhist. The owner of the land retains the said piece.
Various development works around the remains at Suryapahar was taken up laying road, construction of culvert, and stairs, R.C.C. shed constructed to save sculpture of Vishnu-Siva. Besides construction of a site Museum in Suryapahar to house hundreds of art object recently unearthed there is completed. Even 4 piece of terracotta rings was picked up from Bara-Bhita by Dr. Chauley, has been donated to the circle for their display in the Museum at Suryapahar which will add further grandeur to the Museum in general and to the scholars and researchers on Buddhism and Buddhist studies in particular. I am thankful to Dr. G.C. Chauley former S.A. Guwahati circle, who has opened a new vista in the region by under taking excavation in Suryapahar and partly at Village Bara Bhita, which has enriched our knowledge on Buddhism in lower Brahmaputra valley and especially on the lost glories of Suryapahar.