Does Indraprastha, the capital of Pandavas as mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, exist around Purana Qila (Old Fort) in Delhi?

Posted on 2018-03-09 04:13:29 in Ancient History of India

Summary

The exact location of Indraprastha is uncertain but Delhi is thought by some to be located at the site of the legendary city of Indraprastha. Historians and archaeologists have long believed that Indraprastha, the capital of the kingdom of Pandavas, as mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, exist around what we today known as Purana Qila ( Old Fort) in Delhi.

According to Mahabharata, Indraprastha was the capital of the kingdom led by the Pandava. The Demon Maya, built the city and the palace of Indraprastha for the Pandavas. The area for the palace was created by clearing the forests of Khandava by Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Pandavas also built other cities like Swarnaprastha (modern-day Sonipat) and Panaprastha (Panipat) in their province. 


The exact location of Indraprastha is uncertain but Delhi is thought by some to be located at the site of the legendary city of Indraprastha. Historians and archaeologists have long believed that Indraprastha, the capital of the kingdom of Pandavas, as mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, exist around what we today known as Purana Qila ( Old Fort) in Delhi.

Now, an excavation that is underway at the site can possibly bring out the truth and shed light on that era. The ongoing excavation at the Purana Quila site might lead to discovery of concrete evidence that will help in studying the culture and art patronised by the Pandavas.

Earlier, there have been indications that this site was related to the era of Mahabharata.

So there is a possibility that once we excavate further will find some evidence," said Vasant Swarnkar, superintending archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India ASI), Delhi circle.

The clue that ASI members are looking for to establish the link is painted grey ware PGW). " PGW is a pottery type that archeologists associate with the Mahabharata period. It is grey pottery painted with geometric patterns in black.

In the first excavation in 1954, mounted under the supervision of renowned archaeologist B.B. Lal, who retired as ASI Director General, painted grey wares were discovered.

 

“However, the wares were not found in stratified deposit. If they were found in stratified deposit, we could support that there were traces of the Mahabharat period,” said Vasant Swarnkar, superintending archaeologist of ASI’s Delhi Circle.

Though the earlier excavations at Purana Qila had failed find any link to Indraprastha, this time the ASI is hopeful of making a breakthrough.

In the excavation at site began in mid- January 2014, ASI team had found a rare 12th century sculpture of Vishnu, a seal in terracotta from the Gupta period, pottery typical of the Kushan and Gupta periods, terracotta human figurines, ivory pendants, human figurines, a Gajalakshmi tablet and structures from the Mauryan period and copper coins.

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Report by Times of India

 

A Report by NDTV

 



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