The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered the remains of a 1500-year-old Gupta period temple in Bilsarh village of Uttar Pradesh's Etah.
The writings on the remains of the temple were identified during a routine scrubbing of the protected sites. This structure was protected since 1928.
"Breakthrough discovery by @ASIGoI 's Agra Circle – Stairs leading to Gupta period temple were found through scientific cleaning at the protected site of Bilsarh, Etah”, posted the ASI on Twitter.
It added “An inscription in Shankh lipi on one of the steps, datable to 5th century CE, Gupta period, possibly reading "Sri Mahendraditya”, identified as Kumargupta of the Gupta dynasty has been unearthed.”
The Shankh lipi is an ancient script and was used from the 4th to 8th centuries CE for names and signatures.
“Before this, only two structural temples were found — Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh and Bhitargaon Temple in Kanpur Dehat. The Etah pillars are well-sculpted, better than the earlier examples in which only the lower sections were carved. The decorative pillars and staircase are a bit more advanced than the earlier ones,” The Times of India quoted History Professor Manvendra Pundhir of the Aligarh Muslim University.
He added, “The Guptas were the first to build structural temples for Brahminical, Buddhist and Jain followers. Prior to that, only rock-cut temples were built.”