Asurgarh: History Untold

Since the Chalcolithic period, forts were being strategically constructed for protection of life and properties of the inhabitants. There is mention about fortification in the ancient texts like Arthshastra and Manasara . Many sites like Harappa & Mahenjodaro also had implemented fortification. As per Rig veda, “Durga” means a fort or a strong hold. There are innumerable references about forts and techniques of fortification in early Indian texts. Few of them also mention the forts as “Garh” which refer to human settlements having fortified townships.

Asurgarh is one such fortified townships believed to be an early urban center of ancient Odisha, during 4th century BC to 5th century AD. Literally meaning “Fort of Demons”, Asurgarh has resemblances to that of Sisupalgarh which is in modern-day Bhubaneswar. Forts being names Asurgarh are found in different parts of Western Odisha like Barpali, Rampur, Manamunda and Adgaon. Excavation was conducted only at Asurgarh near Manamunda in Sonepur district and near Narla in Kalahandi disctrict. 

Asurgarh of Kalahandi

The Asurgarh fort is located at about 20 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi. The nearest railway station is Rupra road on the Sambalpur-Vizag raliway route. Limited excavation was undertaken by Department of History, Sambalpur University and Department of Culture, Govt of Odisha in 1973. The excavation of the fort throws significant light on the history and culture of South Kosala and Mahakantara region.

Asurgarh fort was constructed as per the Kautilyan principle of Durgavidhana and ancient Indian geometrical formula. The fort is rectangular in shape and surrounded by massive defensive walls of about four meters in width and 15 to 50 meters in height. The walls are made of rubbles and mud with bricks. After the wall, a wide and deep mote girdles the fort on North, South and East sides. On the west side, river Sandol flows to close to the western rampart towards north to meet the river Utei (a tributary of Tel river) and thereby providing a natural boundary. On each side of the fort, there is an entrance. There is a shrine present near each gate: Goddess Ganga in east, Budharaja in North, Vaishnavi in South and Kalapata in West. The shrine of Goddess Dokari is present inside the fort. There is elevated ground in the central part of the fort as this is present in the ancient times at the time of palace foundation. Wide and deep mote girdles the fort on North, South and East side. On the Western side, River Sandul flows to the north to meet the river Utei which is a tributary of the river Tel and there by providing a natural boundary.

Close to the eastern ditch, there is a huge reservoir measuring 200 acres of land which is popularly known as Asursagar. It was so arranged that when the enemies surrounded the fort, a secret sluice might be opened so that the whole inside and outside of the fort would be flooded with water and consequently the hostile army washed away by the water currents. The fort would remain as an island if such a flood were created, because the fort was situated on a high level. It is presumed that the palace was constructed at the center of the fort. During 2nd half of the 19th century, Raja Udit Pratap Dev renovated the lake for agricultural purpose. The lake at present is known as Udit Sagar according to the name of Raja Udit Pratap Dev. There is a small tank on the southwest corner of the fort known as Radhasagar. The Habitation zone of the inhabitants is documented towards the south and north of the fort immediately after the fortified wall which is further superimposed by another mud wall within 100 hectares radius at each settlement zone. The mud wall has a single gate in the middle.

Historical Significance

From the 1st to 3rd century AD, Ancient Atavika land (comprised roughly the present districts of Koraput and Kalahandi in Orissa and Bastar of Madhya Pradesh) had commercial and socio-cultural relationship with the Chedi of Kalinga and Kushan Empire of the northwest. In the Amaravati stupa inscription the land is designated as Mahavana. The Asokan edicts also has mention about the Atavika people who were considered to be part of the Kalingan army which fought the battle of Kalinga in 261 BC. It was an important recruiting ground for the veteran army of Kalinga even as early as the time of the Mahabharata war. Asurgarh seems to be an important center of the Atavika territory. It was one of the ancient metropolis between 500 BC and 500 AD, contemporary to Sisupalgarh. Asurgarh – Narla served as the political – cultural and commercial hub of the Titilaka Janapada & Atavikas. The discovery of antiquities like Punch-marked coins, a piece of Chunar sandstone, Red, Black Slipped ware, Beads, etc., date back to Mauryan period. 539 silver coins belonging to the king of Kalahandi, were discovered from the site out of which 69 were from pre-Mauryan period, 272 were from Mauryan period and 198 were from the post-Mauryan rule to the Guptas. Such large group of Punch marked coins indicate that perhaps there was a Mint industry in Asurgarh. These finds indicate that Kalahandi region was civilized and prosperous in the days of Ashoka and the Atavika, who were regarded as forest dwellers, were not uncultured and had developed a high standard of civilization. There is similarity of some of the punched mark coins with those of Bijnor and Palia near Kausambi. Also there is similarity of texture and fabric of some pottery types with those found at Ahichhatra. This indicates that there was trade interaction of Asurgarh with prosperous towns like Kausambi and Ahichhatra in northern India during the days of the Maurya. The findings of red glazed Kushana pottery along with highly polished black wares, also indicate that there was cultural and commercial interaction between Kalahandi region and the Kushana Empire during the 1st- 2nd century A.D. Beads from Asurgarh must have played an important role in the trade network, because this region happens to be a rich gemstone deposit belt and it lies on a major trade route of ancient times connecting the eastern Indian site of Tosali with Kosala. Perhaps there was a bead manufacturing industry at Asurgarh. The most common materials are Carnelian, agate, crystal, glass, jasper, sapphire, quartz, ruby, garnet, stone and terrocota. Findings from the pre-historic Stone Age and Copper-Bronze Age have been found from Asurgarh. 

In 4th century A.D., the fort of Asurgarh appeared to have belonged to king Vyaghraraja of Mahakantara, to whom Samudragupta claimed to have defeated in course of his Southern campaign. The next important king known to have held sway over Asurgarh was Maharaja Tustikara, the donor of Terasingha copperplate grant. However the excavation indicates that the fort area was deserted in 5th-6th century A.D. and it is presumed that Tustikara was the last ruler of Asurgarh region. In 7th century A.D., Chinese pilgrim Yuan-chwang travelled through this area but has not mentioned about Mahakantara, so it is presumed that at this area had lost it’s importance by 7th century A.D. The discovery of charcoal, coal, bone and ashes indicate that the residence of the last dweller of this fort were destroyed due to the natural calamities or fire.

Asurgarh region flourished from 3 rd century B.C. to 6 t h century A.D. with such important features like: – fortified settlements, structural features (both religious and secular), a rich ceramic industry, terracotta, bead and mint industries. Thus the fort of Asurgarh bears testimony to the antiquity of an early urban center of ancient orissa.

Water Management System

People of ancient India had realised the importance of water (Jala) and they used the synonym Jivana (life) for it. The rise and fall of many civilisations rested on the proper management of water resources. As per the ancient literatures, those who had effective control over their water resources, did enjoy considerable social, economic and political powers. People used to dig dams, pond and reservoirs to preserve water for multiple purposes. Small and big ponds are invariably noticed in early historic towns and metropolises of Odisha. Two huge tanks have been identified in Western Odisha, one at Maraguda urban complex in Nuapara district and the other at Asurgarh urban center in Kalahandi district. Asursagar also known as Udit Sagar, covers an area of more than 200 acres of land. Its alignment is from east to west exactly corroborating the cardinal directions of tank as outlined by Varahamihira (6th century A.D.). The water of this tank had multiple utilization. In case of external aggession, the water could be channeled to fill up the encircling moat. Also in case of scanty rainfalls, the water preserved water could be utilized for agricultural purpose during scanty rainfall.

In close proximity to the Southern rampart and ditch of Asurgarh, a small pond was excavated, which is now a shallow land, yet the site still retains its original name known as Radhasagar. The excavation in this site revealed nude terracotta figurines (female fertility deities) and square plinth of the brick structure (identified as shrine). Besides domestic utility, small tanks had their religious bearing in ancient India. It was also known as Puskara (lotus pond) in Sanskrit. In the beginning such ponds were dug independently. Later on, however, temple structure was added or vice versa adjacent to the pond. Small pond was also needed for the consumption of the king and priest. Ancient Indian texts also speak about pond associated with the fertility rite. In Orissan context, finding of nude terracotta figures and temple structure in Asurgarh lend us to belief that ponds were imperative for fertility rites.

Asurgarh: Political-Commercial Site

Asurgarh was an important political and commercial center situated on the high road joining South Kosala and Mahakantra with Kalinga. According to late scholar Paramananda Acharya, it was situated on a short route through which salt and other commodities were transported from Mahamagiri to Dakshina Kosala. The discovery of terracotta ornaments, glass bangles, gems stones suggest the habitation of royal and aristocratic people during 4th and 5th century A.D.. The discovery of Terasingha copper plate of Maharaja Tustikara near the site is datable to 5th century A.D. The place of issue of the charter, Parvatadvaraka, which literally means “the gateway of the hill” represented the site under consideration. It served as a royal residence with proper fortification; free from external danger from the western side of Mahakantara region. The iron artifacts portray urban trend culture based on agricultural patterns.

Important Shakta center of ancient Odisha

There is legend about Asurgarh that there were 64 deities. The villagers worshiped a deity named Dokry as the guardian deity, which was inside the fort. Among the 64 deities, Goddess Ganga was in the East, Kalapata in the west, Vaishnavi in the North and Budharaja in the south. The third excavated site, which has been pointed out as a mound in a topographical map, is perhaps there was a temple. The important discovery is a spherical shaped sculpture made of brick. Late Dr. N. K. Sahu has identified a circled brick wall as a ruin of a Yogini temple; which may be compared with Yogini temple of Ranipur Jharial. Among the terracotta objects, includes animal figurines, goddess, a silver ambulate seal, silver ring and a large quantities of bones and skeletons. It may be possible that human sacrifice was prevailed during this period.

The discovery of Terasingha copper plate grant of Maharaja Tustikara (5th century A.D.) near Asurgarh indicates that Tustikara was perhaps the last ruler of Asurgarh region who was a great devotee of goddess Stambhesvari, who was responsible for the spread of Stambhesvari cult.

Tourist Information

By Air: Raipur (260km) in Chhatisgarh is the nearest airport. Other airports are Bhubaneswar (420km) and Vishakhapatnam (350km) respectively. Buses and private vehicles are available to reach Asurgarh.

By Train: Kesinga railway station connects Kalahandi with major cities of India. Buses and private vehicles are available to reach Asurgarh.

By Road: Bhawanipatna is the nearest major bus station which is connected by road with the railway station as well as the nearest airports. 

Acknowledgements:

  1. OHRJ, Vol. XLVII, No. 3 ASURGARH – AN EARLY URBAN CENTRE OF ORISSA by Prabhas Kumar Singh

  2. http://www.indiamapped.com/monuments-in-india/asurgarh-fort/
  3. http://www.nationalpubliclibrary.org/articles/eng/Asurgarh#History

 

 

Kharavela: The Legend

Kharavela: The Legend

Aira Maharaja Mahameghavahana Kharavela (193 BC – 170 BC) was one of the greatest kings of ancient India. The main source of information about this great ruler is his seventeen line rock cut at Hati Gumpha cave in the Udaygiri hills near Bhubaneswar, Odisha. According to the inscriptions, Kharavela belonged to the Chedi clan. He possessed many auspicious signs on his body, was gifted with many qualities and was handsome in appearance. He was the first great historical monarch of ancient Kalinga who belonged to the soil.

Early life

For first fifteen years of his life, Kharavela was groomed through for his future role. The princely education system of ancient India is depicted in the inscriptions of Hati Gumpha. The future kings in their early life were obliged to pass through a system of education and learning, in order to dispense their royal duty effectively. They were required to be proficient in five main subjects:

Lekha (Writing): Mode of state correspondence, necessary for administration.

Rupa (Coinage): Science of currency or money.

Ganana (Arithmetic): Subject of absolute need, specially for administrators.

Vyavahara (Law): Knowledge of judicial system as well as of the established Law of the land.

Vidhi (Procedure): wide subject which included the usages and customs, various established rules relating to Niyama or Samstha or Dharmasastra. 

Similar subjects of education have some other ancient works like Kautilya’s Arthashastra.

Apart from these five subjects, Kharavela also earned knowledge in various other arts.

Crown Prince Kharavela

At the age of 15, Kharavela became the Yuvaraja (Crown Prince), to assume his royal responsibilities. With a sound educational background, he as the Crown Prince acquired practical experience of administration while learning more and more of the above branches of knowledge.

At the age of 24 years, Kharavela was crowned as the king of Kalinga and began his glorious rule. He belonged to the third generation of the Mahameghvahana dynasty (250BC – 400 AD).

Kharavela: The King

Kharavela
Aira Maharaja Mahameghavahana Kharavela

1st year of reign

By the time Kharavela took to the thrones, his capital city Kalinganagari was earlier devastated by a mighty storm.  Thus it became his priority to fortify the city by going for major repairs and reconstructions. He repaired the gates, ramparts and structures of Kalingnagari. The condition of tanks and gardens also were improved for the beautification of the city. The cost of such work as per Hati Gumpha inscriptions was Thirty five hundred thousand and the entire expense was disbursed from the royal treasury, without passing on the taxes to the people. His subjects were pleased by the king’s works of public welfare.

2nd year of reign

Having strengthened the capital city, Kharavela enlarged his army which was already strong and big under the earlier Mahameghavana kings. As per Hati Gumpha inscriptions,  Kharavela launched a military attack on the powerful King Satakarni-I of the Satavahana dynasty of South. The Mahameghavahanas of Kalinga and the Satavahanas of the south were contemporary rivals. The Satavahana king Satakarni-I was ruling over the Krishna Godavari region as well as the Maharashtra region next towards the river Krishna. Kharavela proved the might of the Kalingan forces by an invasion, with a large army consisting of horses, elephants, infantry and chariots. The army struck terror in the city of Asika or Asikanagara which was probably situated between the rivers Krishna and Godavari. The expedition of the Kalingan army in western and southern directions proved that Kharavela was powerful enough to challenge the Satavahana supremacy in the Deccan.

3rd year of reign

After the successful show of strength outside his own territory, Kharavela focussed on patronising ancient musical traditions of India during the third year of his reign. Himself being well versed in the Gandarva Veda (Arts & science of Music), he arranged festivals and performances like dancing, singing and playing of vocal and instrumental music in the capital city of Kalingnagari. Large scale feast were organised to please the population of his capital.

4th year of reign

In the fourth year of his reign, Kharavela consolidated his position in a territory named Vidyadhara. According to the inscription, Vidyadhara was established by the earlier kings of Kalinga but had never been crushed before. The consolidation might mean that a turbulent area within the kingdom or on its borders was crushed and subdued. The same year, Kharavela also launched his second invasion of the Satavahana kingdom. His first invasion perhaps was inconclusive, so a more determined effort was launched to conquer the Western and Southern regions of India. This campaign resulted in great victory for the Kalingan forces. The Hati Gumpha Inscriptions describe the victory as: “The Rashtrika and Bhojaka Chiefs with their crown cast off, their umbrella and royal insignia thrown aside, and their jewellery and wealth confiscated, were made to pay obeisance at the feet (of Kharavela).” The Rashtrikas and the Bhojakas were ancient races who lived in the Berar and Maharashtra regions, guarding two sides of the Satavahana territory. The defeat of the chiefs was a blow to the Satavahana power. Kharavela’s victory over them brought a large part of the Deccan within the Kalinga Empire.

5th year of reign

In the fifth year of his reign, Kharavela once again turned his attention to the development of his capital. A canal which had been dug by Nadaraja ti-vasa-sata ago, was extended to flow into Kalinganagari through Tanasuli. Tanasuli most probably was Tosali and Kharavela might have extended the canal to his expanding capital by way of the old city of Tosali.

6th year of reign

The sixth year of Kharavela’s rule saw his great charitable activities and benevolent measures which were meant for both the urban and rural populations of the empire. He remitted all taxes and cesses to the extent of many hundred thousands of coins. It was like a display of the wealth of the king which was meant for the happiness of the people.

7th year of reign

In the seventh year, Kharavela’s chief queen, named as the ‘Queen of Vajiraghara’ gave birth to a son.

8th year of reign

Kharavela began his military campaigns in the North during the eighth year of his reign. His armies marched towards the ancient city of Rajagriha. The fort of Gorathagiri, which stood to protect Rajagriha, was stormed and destroyed. The fort of Gorathagiri, identified with the modern Barabar hill, was like a military fortification to protect the capital of Magadha, Pataliputra. When that strong fortification was demolished and the city of Rajagriha was brought under the control of the Kalinga army, the people of Pataliputra were struck with fear and terror.

At that very time something happened which will highlight the strength of Kharavela’s character. After victory over Rajagriha, when the victorious Kalingan army of Kharavela was advancing towards the capital of Magadha, the Indo-Greek invaders under their king were also advancing towards Magadha. Having occupied Mathura, the Yavana King thought of invading Pataliputra. Unfortunately the identity of the Yavana king could not be established due to the damage in the inscriptions of Hati Gumpha. It is known, however, from the inscription that when the Yavana King heard of Kharavela’s advance towards Pataliputra, in fear and panic, he quickly retreated towards his stronghold at Mathura. Magadha was thus saved from foreign invasion because of Kharavela’s military power. Kharavela thereafter followed the Yavanas towards Mathura and attacked them. They were defeated and driven out of Mathura by the forces of the Kalinga Emperor. Kharavela chose to drive the foreign invader over defeating his arch rival, the king of Magadha. The victorious monarch thereupon entered Mathura with his horses, elephants and chariots and “distributed (gifts) to all houses and inns and with a view to making gifts universal gave away the spoils of victory to the Brahmanas.” Kharavela’s northern expedition was, thus, a grand success. He had shown his power to the Magadhan people and also to the foreign power by his victories over them.

9th year of reign

In the ninth year of his rule, Kharavela built the Great Victory palace (the Mahavijaya Prasada), in his capital Kalinganagari. The cost of construction of the palace was estimated to be a whopping Thirty eight hundred thousand coins.

10th year of reign

In the tenth year of his reign, Kharavela once again led his army to the North, describing it as a march towards Bharatavarsa for conquests. This second invasion of the North also ended in victory and success.

11th year of reign

In the eleventh year of his reign, Kharavela received jewels and precious stones from his defeated enemies. That year, he achieved a great military victory in the South. There existed a confederacy of the Tamil states in the South, consisting of the territories of the Cholas, Pandyas, Satyaputras, Keralaputra and Tamraparni (Ceylon). The Kalinga ruler thought it necessary to break its power for his own hegemony in the South. The Hati Gumpha Inscription states that this Confederacy had maintained its political unity for 1300 years before the time of Kharavela. In his inscriptions, Asoka mentioned of these people as living independently outside the Maurya Empire. When Kharavela extended his power over the Deccan during his earlier invasions of the South, the Tamil powers took alarm. A struggle for supremacy in the South thus became natural and Kharavela came out successful in his battles against the Tamil States. He defeated their combined armies and destroyed their ancient Confederacy which had existed for centuries.

12th year of reign

In the twelfth year of his reign, with more military campaign, Kharavela took up his third invasion of the North. According to Hati Gumpha Inscription, Kharavela terrorised the kings of Uttarpatha by an army of hundred thousand. His soldiers entered into the Magadhan territory, and “generated great fear among the people of Magadha while making the elephants and horses drink in the Ganges.” Kharavela forced the ruling king of Magadha, Brihaspatimitra, to surrender. It was, Kharavela’s revenge upon Magadha for the role which the famous king of Magadha, Mahapadma Nanda had played centuries earlier. The Hati Gumpha Inscription describes that after his great victory, Kharavela brought back from there “the image of Kalinga Jina with its throne and endowment that had been taken away by King Nanda and the Jewels plundered by him from the Kalinga royal palace, along with the treasures of Anga and Magadha.” It is supposed that during this third invasion of the north, Kharavela’s army was led to distant lengths of Uttarapatha in the north-west India. Kharavela’s victory over the north was his greatest achievement as a conqueror. His victory over Magadha, in particular, was like the crowning glory of his heroic career.

After such a remarkable role as a conqueror and a military genius, Kharavela suddenly changed the course of his career and turned to religious activities. As a Jaina monarch, he entered upon his new role to champion the cause of Jainism.

13th year of reign

In the thirteenth year of his reign, one finds him as ‘Upasaka Sri Kharavela’ as described in the Hati Gumpha inscription. Even in that year when Kharavela was putting an end to his rule as a conqueror, the King of the Pandyas brought from the south “various pearls, jewels and precious stones hundred thousand in number” to be deposited at the feet of Kharavela in his capital Kalinganagari.

The Hati Gumpha Inscription suddenly closes itself by describing the religious activities of Kharavela in his thirteenth regional year. That year, therefore, is taken as the last of Kharavela’s reign. He might have lived for long after giving up kingship and while devoting his years to religious activities. But the accounts of that part of his life have not survived for future.

kharavela-kingdom
Empire of Kharavela                                                     (Photo Credit: http://www.selfstudyhistory.com)

Thus in a brief period of his role as a king, Kharavela achieved splendid victories in Western, Southern and Northern India. He established his supremacy over a large part of India raising thereby the status of Kalinga to that of an empire. Rightly, therefore, Kharavela has been described in the Manchapuri Cave inscription of his chief queen as the ‘Chakravarti’ monarch of Kalinga.

Credits

  1. https://selfstudyhistory.com/2015/03/07/kharavela/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kharavela
  3. Kharavela by D N Shanbag  (ASIN B003MGKWES)

Podagada: History Untold

Introduction

About 52km away from Nabarangpur, a small town in the southern part of Odisha; there is a historical monument called “Podagada” (Ruined Fort). Apart from the sculptures, ruined fort temples & coins, the rock inscriptions in Brahmi at this place, speak about the Nala rulers who rose to prominence during 6th Century AD. In spite of being a rich source of history, Podagada monuments unfortunately haven’t come to limelight in terms of archaeological survey or development as a tourist spot. Well endowed by nature, the tribal dominated belt has potential for tourism sector.

Historical Significance

Two inscriptions point us towards the historical linkage of Podagada with the Nala dynasty. The kingdom of the Nala dynasty was established in Trikalinga region comprising parts of the modern districts of Bastar, Koraput and Kalahandi.

The copper plate inscriptions found in Kesaribera (or Kesaribeda) in Nabarangpur has mention about the Nala King Arthapati and was issued from Puskari (modern day Umerkote Tehsil of Nabarangpur district). As per the rock inscriptions at Podagada, the capital of Nala kingdom was at Puskari. It also records that a village called Kesalaka was granted by Arthapati in favour of Brahmins belonging to Kautsa gotra. The locality has been identified as Kesaribeda village near Umerkote. During the reign of Arthapti, the Nala capital Puskari was invaded by the Vakataka king Prithvisena II (son of Narendrasena) and destroyed it. The Nala king was probably killed in the battle. Arthapati’s inscriptions suggest that the king was a devotee of Maheshvara (Shiva) and Mahasena (Kartikeya). it also mentions that he was from the family of Nala.

Arthapati was succeeded by Bhavadattavarman. An inscription of Bhavadattavarman’s successor Skandavarman indicates that Bhavadattavarman lost the control of Pushkari, possibly to the Vakatakas or the Chalukyas. Probably during the rule of Bhavadattavarman, Nala power was extended towards the North. Here the Nalas came into conflict with the Vakatakas. But while Bhavadattavarman was busy annexing the heart of the Vakataka kingdom, the region around Puskari was probably attacked by the Western Chalukyas under the leadership of Kirttivarman I who claimed to have destroyed the Nalas and their residence. The Nalas have sometimes been regarded as traditional enemies in the records of he western Chalukyas. Inscriptions of the time of Chalukya Vikramaditya I refer to the home of the Nalas as Nalavadi-visaya, identified with the modern Ratnagiri in Bellary district of Karnataka. An Aihole inscription credits the Chalukya king Kirtivarman I with the destruction of the Nalas. The fact that Bhavadattavarman’s Rithapur charter was issued from Nandivardhana instead of Puskari, the original headquarters of the Nalas, seems to suggest that they had extended their sway, for at least a short period, to the ancient Vidarbha and Nandivardhana, which was the capital of the Vakatakas. This is corroborated by the record of Vakataka Prithvisena II, who is stated to have restored the glory of this family, apparently by  siding the Nalas and even carry arms into the enemy territory. It was probably the Vakatakas or the western Chalukyas under Kirttivarman I who were responsible for the attack on the Nala capital Puskari and its devastation. The Vakataka king Prithivisena II is said to have restored the glory of his family, apparently by defeating the Nalas.

Arthapati’s brother Skandavarman took to the thrones by about 480 AD. The inscriptions at Podagada mentions him as a son of Bhavadattavarman. The inscription states that Skandavarman retrieved the lost glory of the Nala family, and re-populated the deserted city of Pushkari. It also records the construction of a Vishnu shrine by the king.

About 60 gold coins were discovered between 1939 and 1957 which speak volumes about the rulers of the Nala dynasty. 32 gold coins discovered in 1939 belong to the kings Varaharaja, Arthapati and Bhavadattavarman. These coins had figures of the Nala legends on them. In May 1957, 28 gold coins were discovered from the forest of Kodinga tehsil of Nabarangpur district. As per history, the place was under Nalas and subsequently it went to the Nagas. No archaeological survey has been done in this district till date and antiquities so far available are very low. The sun and moon statues found here talk about the art, culture and civilisation of the Nala dynasty.

Podagada has immense potential of tourism with places like the ruined queen palace, foot print of goddess Laxmi, Sati stone, Bhairab temple, Madagam Dongri, Bhai Bhauni, Nandagada, Gumphs, Punji, Belghari, Tangapani etc which are of historic importance but are lying unprotected.

Apart from Podagada, Nabarangpur district also has other tourism attractions like:

  • ancient Shiva shrine, Shahid Smrutisthambha at Papadahandi
  • Chandan dhara & Gosain Dor water falls in Jharigam block
  • Shrine of Ghumreswara Shiva lingam situated in Tentulikhunti block
  • Chatahandi Shiva shrine and caves situated in the Nabarangpur block
  • Shrine of Kelia Shiva lingam and goddess Parvati nestled in lush green hills in Dabugam block
  • Maa Bhandaragharani, the presiding deity of Nagarangpur
  • Maa Pendrani, the presiding deity of Umerkote
  • Khatiguda dam on river Indravati & water reservoir

* Could not find a picture of the historical site on web. Requesting everyone who has a photograph to pass on. Will put it in the blog with due credit.

CREDITS:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nala_dynasty#cite_note-FOOTNOTESnigdha_Tripathy199737-2
  2. Inscriptions of Odisha, Vol 1 by Snigdha Tripathy
  3. https://nawrangpur.blogspot.in/2009/08/podagada-ruined-fort-podagada-is.html