In Nepalese Tarai, the area where the Buddha was born and grew up, several excavations were launched in the late nineteenth century. They have revealed sand stone pillars and stupas which were erected by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. The distribution of the pillars and stupas indicates that the sites where they were discovered – Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Mahavana, Kshemavati, Shobhavati and Ramagrama – were connected to the North Indian Silk Route. They were associated with the youth of Shakyamuni Buddha and other mortal Buddhas of the age of Bhadrakalpa.
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