Indus Discoveries to install memorial stone at Mohand Marg on 14 September, 2017 

Sir Aurel Stein (1862–1943) is one of the most important archeologists of the 20th century. His expeditions along the Silk Road discovered the “Caves of the Thousand Buddhas” at Dunhuang in China, as well as the lost oasis towns in the Tarim Basin. The objects he excavated and collected are divided between the National Museum, New Delhi; the British Museum, London; and Srinagar Museum.

But for more than 50 summers, Stein retreated to the meadows of Kashmir to recuperate from his travels and to write up his expedition reports. Inspired by the work of scholar S.N.Pandita on this little-discussed aspect of Stein’s life, Yasin M. Zargar of Indus Discoveries will erect a new memorial stone at Mohand Marg to commemorate Stein’s exceptional achievements.

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The memorial stone, a triangular based column has been inscribed in English, Urdu, and Sanskrit, and displays the following text:

MOHAND MARG
ON THIS MARG SIR AUREL STEIN
FIRST PITCHED HIS CAMP IN THE SUMMER
OF 1895 WHEN EDITING THE RAJATARANGINI.
HE RETURNED HERE IN MANY SUBSEQUENT
SUMMERS WHEN WRITING HIS ACCOUNTS
OF HIS GREAT JOURNEYS…
HE LEFT HERE IN SEPTEMBER 1943
TO GO TO AFGHANISTAN…
… HE DIED IN KABUL ON 26 OCTOBER 1943
IN HIS EIGHTY FIRST YEAR…

The new stone, which has taken five years to plan and carve, replaces an older, damaged memorial stone laid at Mohand Marg shortly after Stein’s death.

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The installation of the new stone marks the start of a series of celebrations of Stein’s life and works. A major conference in his honour will be held at Kashmir University on 20 and 21 September, 2017, with the participation of the Centre for Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University, Department of Tourism  Kashmir and INTACH — Kashmir chapter.

For more information about the Sir Aurel Stein visit http://www.siraurelstein.org.uk/