The land of Bharat has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Much of it is documented or known, but volumes still are buried under sands of time or ignorance. I list below some such lost treasures, some cities of India which were destroyed, submerged, or abandoned, the ruins of which narrate yet another magnificent chapter of our glorious past.
Vaishali, also called the capital of powerful Republic of Lichhavis was an ancient prosperous metropolis in 6th Century BC This place is better known as the birth place of the 24th Jain Tirthankara, Lord Mahavira and closely associated with Buddhism. Lord Buddha visited Vaishali many times and announced here his impending death. During his period this city was largely populated and was rich and prosperous with 7,707 pleasure grounds and an equal number of lotus ponds surrounded by 3 walls with gates and watch towers.
POOMPUHAR, TAMIL NADU
Also known as the ancient port city of Kaveripoompattinam, Poompuhar was the capital of the early Chola kings for a few years. It is believed that the entire town was washed away by a powerful sea storm and successive erosion caused during 500 AD. In 2006, the submerged remains were revealed by underwater surveys done by the National Institute of Ocean Technology. Historians hold this place as an important part in our country’s glory because of the ancient wells near the sea shore, Buddha statues and roman coins. The Sangam-era epics of Tamil literature, Silapathikaram and Manimekalai, talk about the city and life of its people in detail.
Rakhigarhi is one of the oldest and largest settlements of the Indus Valley Civilisation, much older than most better known cities of the era, dating back to 6500BCE. Placed on the bed of River Saraswati, ASI has found volumes of artifacts that reveal a well planned city under the mounds with features such as wide roads, brick lines drains, sacrificial altars, pottery, terracotta statues, weights, bronze artifacts, comb, copper fish hooks, needles and terracotta seals A gold foundry with about 3000 unpolished semi-precious stones has been found. Many tools used for polishing these stones and a furnace were found there. A burial site has been found with 11 skeletons, with their heads in the north direction. Near the heads of these skeletons, utensils for everyday use were kept. The three female skeletons have shell bangles on their left wrists. Near one female skeleton, a gold armlet has been found. Hunting tools, toys for children, cotton cloth traces, stamps and jewellery are among other findings.
Popularly known as Hampi now and built around the religious center of the Virupaksha temple, this ancient city of Vijayanagar, was the capital of the famed Vijaynagar Empire from 1336 to 1565 and was considered one of the most beautiful cities of its time with around 500,000 inhabitants around 1500 AD. This city was later captured and destroyed by Muslim armies. The ruins of Hampi are now the listed under the UNESCO World Heritage sites which is spread to 25km.
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