Archaeologists Discover the Space of Buddha’s First Sermon

After the first excavation in the area since 1962, archaeologists are believed to have discovered the sacred space of Buddha’s first sermon.

Buddha, or also known as Gautama Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, and Shakyamuni, is the prominent sage whose teaching led to the creation of Buddhism. In the majority of Buddhist traditions, Gautama Buddha was known as the “Supreme Buddha,” one who has achieved enlightenment through his own thoughts and insight. His work forever changed various Eastern cultures and greatly influenced modern day society. (Just look and see how many of your friends are meditating.

Now some of the mystery surrounding the prominent teacher has been unveiled. In the first major archaeological dig in Nigrodharam since 1962, researchers believe to have found the post hole from the wooden structure from which Buddha preached his first post-enlightenment sermon.

From The Straights Times:

The “post hole” was discovered in an excavation at Nigrodharam in the southern Kapilvastu district by a team of archaeologists from Durham University, Unesco, Nepal’s Department of Archaeology, and Lumbini Development Trust, said the report.

Nigrodharam is a serene place, the ruins rich with history and Nepali foliage. Mango, kusum, and karma trees drape the ruins, creating a tranquil environment. For archaeologists, it’s always been a place of fascination.

The area was searched for potential post holes on two previous occasions, as archaeologists hoped that any discoveries would assist in further studies regarding the ruins’ history. In the 1960s, Indian archaeologists believed that the ruins were likely to be older than the seventh century, and current researchers can now confirm that the area’s history may stretch back even a hundred years more.

Now that the discovery has been made, archaeologists are eager to keep looking. From The Kathmandu Post:

The post hole, that was discovered in the southern part of the ancient ruins, was six inches in circumference and four inches deep. According to archaeologists, search is on to find other possible post holes in the area. 

A foreign expert involved said that the post hole has justified that the area belonged to the Buddha era as the wood and bamboo used in the structure were of that time. The finding shows that there was a well-managed settlement in the area. 

This hunt for “archaeological enlightenment” is just beginning. Fueled by motivation to learn more, the UN issued plans to continue the excavation. If they get what they’re looking for, archaeologists might be able to determine the first dates of the original construction of the temple complex. Such information will tell us all more about the Nigrodharam ruins, and provide valuable information regarding Buddha’s earliest teachings.


Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel.  She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at