Everything You Need To Know About Sisupalgarh : Powerful Witness of Odisha’s Rich Past
Sisupalgarh : A Mute Witness of Odisha’s Rich Past
Image source: NativePlanet
Sisupalgarh is the site of remnants of a fortified ancient city not a long way from Bhubaneswar. Sisupalgarh ( 20.23° N, 85°51E) is a vital site of ancient ruins of Odisha as well as of the whole country in the early history time frame. It was the ‘Toshali of Ashok’ and ‘Kalinga Nagar of Kharavela’ , worked as per the standards of Kautilya which saw for over six centuries the ascent and fall of two famous dynasties. It was likewise the mute witness of the blossoming and wantonness of Buddhism, Jainism and thereafter the ascent of Saivism over an extended period of time . The well known monolithic rock cut elephant and the Ashokan rock edicts at Dhauli is located to the south east of this site. The Udaygiri-Khandagiri caves containing the inscriptions of Kharavela are likewise not a long way from this site. It was the old capital of the kingdom Kalinga. As indicated by Harekrishna Mahatab ( the Ex Chief Minister of Odisha), the Shishupalagarh was named after King Shishupala Keshari of Keshari dynasty of Odisha. There was likewise a king called Sisupala of Mahabharata fame who is additionally claimed by few scholars to be the ruler during those times.
It is situated around 5 kms from the downtown area of Bhubaneswar towards Puri. The ruins of a fortified city were tracked down spread over a diameter of more than 2kms. Archaeologists/Geologists call it at least 2,500 years of age as a result of its construction style and artistry. It was among the biggest of its sort in ancient India. The squarish fort estimates 1.2 km on each side. Its walls ascend to the stature of 9 m over the plane covering in excess of 320 acres of land. The area of the ancient habitation however extends much beyond the Fort. There were watchtowers in all four corners and enormous gateways on each side .
It is estimated that the city had a population of around 20,000 to 25,000 which was in excess of around 5000 to 10000 from that of the ancient city of Athens .
The site was first excavated by B.B Lal in 1948 and later by ASI in 1950. There is additionally a report of a preliminary / trial excavation by the State Archeology, Govt. of Odisha in 1966. A Gadakhai ( water channel surrounding the fort , which was being dug up deliberately to safeguard the fort from outside intruders) was spotted towards the south of the current site taking the assistance of satellite images.That Gadakhai was perhaps known as Gandhabati rivulet ( or Gangua) during those days. Most presumably that Gandhabati rivulet was having a connection with the Daya river( which isn’t too distant from the site of Sisupalgarh) during those days. The area of this fort is a lot bigger than that of Jaugad. The security of the fort is said to have been the most noteworthy in India around then. Please have a glance on the still existing pillars ( images attached) which stand as proof of the astounding mass of the fortification.
Image source: NativePlanet
Image source: Odisha Bytes
Image source: Revv
Image source: TMG
The most fascinating component of this ancient site Sisupalgarh is the sixteen numbers of solid laterite pillars which are as yet seen remaining inside the fort in the middle. It has been seen that 8 numbers of pillars cover a region estimating 30 × 27 mtrs . The tallness of the pillars is somewhere in the range of 4 to 5 m. They have a faceted top and base are squarish. They are carved with emblems which are like those found at Bharhut and Sanchi and in the Udayagiri-Khandagiri caves . A few of those pillars have suckets at the top, clearly for supporting a superstructure. The remaining parts of the Fort as it is tracked down gives an impression of an abandoned township. Based on the unearthed rouletted product, dark and red ceramic, a Kushan type gold coin and a couple of silver, copper and lead coins, the different resource people are of the assessment that Sisupalagarh was under habitation between 300 BC and 350 AD.
Dr. Manoj Mishra