Posts containing several images of Buddhist artifacts and Buddha statues have become viral on social media. The claims are that these statues and artifacts have been found in Ayodhya.
The caption along with the images are in Tamil that state, “அயோத்தியில் தோண்ட தோண்ட கிடைக்கும் புத்தர் சிலைகள் ராமன் வரலாறு அல்ல புனையப்பட்ட கதை”. This translates to, “the statues of Buddha were found in Ayodhya , the story of Rama is not history but just a fiction story”.
A Facebook Profile named Kumari Vinsar Dmk posted two of such images claiming that the Buddha Statues were discovered in Ayodhya. He received around 570 shares for the post.
Similarly, another Facebook profile named Manikandan Mani added another picture to the two pictures and made similar claims.
"அயோத்தியில் தோண்ட தோண்ட கிடைக்கும் புத்தர் சிலைகள்ராமன் வரலாறு அல்ல புனையப்பட்ட கதை❤️
A Twitter user named பா.பிரபாகரன் பாஸ்கரன் tweeted the images with a similar claim and received around 1.8 thousand likes and 660 retweets.
"அயோத்தியில் தோண்ட தோண்ட கிடைக்கும் புத்தர் சிலைகள்
ராமன் வரலாறு அல்ல புனையப்பட்ட கதை❤️ pic.twitter.com/r1B0dil4D5
— பா.பிரபாகரன் பாஸ்கரன் (@vKNfD3Haa0xIRdM) May 29, 2020
The claim is False.
The first image can be found in an article published by Ancient Pages, a website in July 23 2016. The article contained the viral image in it and the caption below the article stated that the image was of ruins in a Buddhist Monastery in Jaulian, Taxila which is in Pakistan.
The image was also found in the website of Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri, a Historian in which it was captioned, “Ruins in a Buddhist Monastery, Jaulian.”
The second image can be seen in a website called Popular Archaeology that contained the image and captioned it stating, “New ancient Buddha discovered in September, 2014, at Mes Aynak”. Mes Aynak is in Afghanistan and the image has been credited to Brent E Huffman, a director, producer, cinematographer and editor of documentary called ‘Saving Mes Aynak.’
Also, the image was seen in a Huffpost article titled, “The Fight to Save an Ancient Buddhist City in Afghanistan”, which was published in 2015.
The third image had a watermark of The Indian Express in it. The news-website had the viral image in an article dated January 23 2019 and has a headline that stated, “After Nalanda and Vikramshila, Bihar unearths Telhara university”. The caption below the image states, “Other history books too talk of Tiladhak monastery, on the western side of Nalanda, as having four big halls and three staircases. It is said the mahavihara or university was built by one of the descendents of Magadha ruler Bimbisara. The monastery was decorated with copper and also had small copper bells that gently chimed in the breeze”.
Therefore it can be clearly stated that these Buddhist ruins have not been found in Ayodhya but in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bihar.