Dwarka :excavation of Krishna’s lost city in India | archeological evidence

Introduction

Dwarka is situated at a point where the river Gomati meets the western sea or the arabian sea which was once called as Sindh sagar in Gujrat . This meet-up point in Sanskrit is known as “ Dronimukha “

 Present Dwarka is one of the epic centres of vaishnavas in India . Dwarkadhish temple in Dwarka is the most dominating landscape in Gujrat which is completely dedicated to Vaishnavas sampradaya.

Dwarka which is on the western coast of Saurashtra is at least 5000 years old . Before conducting such a sizeable excavation like Dwarka , Archaeologists had prepared themselves with the knowledge of Hindu itihasa which gave them a breakthrough in their research about the existence of those ancient places . 

Archaeologists used to read Vayu Purana , Markandey Purana , Skanda Purana, Vishnu purana ,Mahabharat, Harivamsa’s work in Sanskrit literature on Dwarka and other scriptures to have a better understanding of the ancient place of Dwarka .

According to archaeologists ,  submersion of Dwarka took place more than one time after submersion of Krishna’s dwarka which gives a clear understanding that it might have been recovered for next inhabitants .

As it has been said by the earlier archaeologists ( 1964 AD) that the excavation for the lost city will take place on a very large scale  in future  and this is what we have witnessed after 1979 AD which was led by Dr. S .R . Rao in search of Krishna’s lost city .  The search for  Krishna’s lost city took place on a very large scale .

Professor Sankalia was the most well known archaeologist  who  played a vital role in the excavation of lost city .Though , Other archaeologists too have played their significant role in excavating but Professor Sankalia was the one who went forward and did a remarkable  job in excavating the lost city after joining Deccan college in 1939 .

He was awarded with Ranjitram Suvarana Chakra award in 1966 and later on with Padma Bhusan award in 1974  for his astounding work in excavation of different ancient sites .

History of Dwarka

The Epic Mahabharata gives the graphic details of the city Dwarka and the kind of environment there was .

Lord Krishna is not just the character once lived in Treta Yuga but a dynamic incarnation of Lord Vishnu  who settled the most advanced City called  Dwarka but after 36 years of Mahabharat , the destruction of  Dwarka took place . 

There are many people not just outside India but also inside India who used to call Lord Krishna a mythological figure  and the destruction of lost city is just a myth . But now there are many  excavations performed inland and marine archaeologists  have proven that the destruction of Dwarka is not a myth but a historical phenomena which actually took place thousands of years back .  

After the killing of Kamsa by Lord Krishna in Mathura , again the wrath of another king named Jarasandha started to devastate Mathura . He was a cruel and powerful king who was ruling the large kingdom  of Magadh .

The reason behind this wrath was the denial of his supremacy by Lord Krishna . To stop this wrath ,  the people of Mathura requested Krishna to leave this place for the sake of Mathurawasi . Krishna accepted the request of  the people of Mathura and left the place along with his yadav followers . 

He Chose to go to a place where Jarasandha forces didn’t have the accessibility to reach him . This is the reason he chose Kusashthali on the north  western coast of Saurashtra which was protected by a hill on one side and the sea on the other sides .

This place later on Known as Dwarka which was created by Krishna himself . Lord Krishna found this place by reclaiming 12 Yojana land from sea and this is also known as “ Antardvipa “ in  Mahabharat . 

As per Hindu scriptures , when Lord Krishna left his body and return back to Vaikunth , then sea took back the places which it has given to Krishna to build an empire as Dwarka . And this is how the summersion of the city happened .

Major question arises: when did  Dwarka destruction happen ? Nilesh oak is a popular name which comes to mind when we talk about it . He has written a book named “When did Mahabharata happen? “ in which he has mentioned the precise date of Mahabharata ( 5561 BCE ) with more than 200 pieces of evidence including astronomical evidence , archeological etc . 

Author Nilesh Oak has also provided a long list of evidence which supports the claim that just 36 years after Mahabharat ,  the destruction of Dwarka took place .  When we calculate the precise date , then we get a date of 5525 BCE . 

Dwarka Excavation

The first excavation for the search of the lost city started in 1963  by Deccan College Pune with the Department of archaeology and  government of Gujarat . This excavation was led by archaeologist Sankalia who later gave plenty of archaeological evidence which directly connected it to the lost city . 

He had also said that the excavation needs to be done on a large scale which needs to be funded by the state government or the central government . 

So the second excavation started in 1979 under the supervision of Dr S .R. Rao . Now he is the man who did an exceptional job in excavating both on land as well as deep under the water after 1983 .

Marine Archeology in search of lost city

Now let us focus on the evidence of this grandeur lost city destruction . 

The discovery of the majestic and glorious Dwarka which was created by Lord Krishna gives a big thumbs up to those who had done a remarkable job in finding the lost city and a nice slap to those filthy talks which denied the existence of Krishna and Mahabharata .

The first official historical record concerned with Krishna’s Dwarka was dated 574 A.D. and it occurred in the Palitana plates of Samanta Simhaditya .This inscription briefly described  this city as the capital of the Western coast of Saurashtra and also mentioned that this is the place where Krishna lived. One more clear reference of Krishna’s dwarka came from Tirthakkalpataru of Lakshmidasa as “ Vishnu-tirtha” .

India’s history is still suppressed either under the soil or under the ocean . The kind of consistent support which needs to  come from the government is not very sufficient for archaeologists to perform their work . 

Before 1981 there was no facility  of excavation for Marine archaeology which was considered to be  one of the  major drawbacks in unearthing the evidence for those cities or marine activities which existed years ago . Dwarka is one of those cities which got  submerged in water thousands of years ago . 

 In 1981 ,  a Marine  archaeology centre in the National Institute of Oceanography was established . This Marine archaeology paved a path for finding the evidence of the Lost City  Dwarka . 

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Dwarka underwater research

The expedition of lost city under seawater commenced  in 1983 .Below are some of the archeological evidence which has been found under seawater . 

  •  In their earlier expedition ,  they found a large structure of stone blocks which were around 1.5 m  in length and 0.75 to 1 m in width and 0.3 m thick . 
  • A rectangular bastion-like structure has been found there . Stone pillar has also been found there .
  • A lunated shaped stone which was much similar to a  “chandrashila “ or moonstone Which generally used at the entrance gate of any Temple . 
Krishna Dwarka
Krishna Dwarka
  •  Many bastions have been exposed during the survey .
  • A copper Lota was also discovered 
  • An iron anchor and a Prismatic stone anchor were also found
  • The engineering skills used to build the city were remarkable for the age. Apart from using large and well organised blocks of stone which were too heavy to be moved by waves ,  tides  and current ,  they used a very new and unique technique of providing L- shaped joints in masonry And evolved a new type of 3 hold triangular anchors.
  • The antiquities which were found in the sea bed during excavation  of lost city and Bet Dwarka were highly significant. 
  • Exploration underwater yielded a seal ,  Shell artefacts , Objects made from metals ,  pottery ,  Stone anchors in the near shore area of Bet Dwarka .

The archaeological evidence found onshore and Offshore of Bet Dwarka is enough to claim the  identification of the excavated site in Bet Dwarka Island with Kushahsthali where a town was built called Dwaraka . 

And the topography of Bet Dwarka gives a confirmation that there is a hill which is 30 to 40 metre high ,  at the foot of which a stretch of  0.5 to 1 km  wide flat land was available for human settlement all along the 5 km length of of the Eastern flank of bet Dwarka ,  more than 3500 and years ago.

Krishna's Dwarka
Krishna’s Dwarka

Dwarka excavation stopped

Dwarka underwater archaeology went on for 20 years incessantly after 1981 but it stopped after 2001 and the reason behind halting was seen as the lack of interest in the state government and the central government . 

As it has been said that there were some groups who didn’t want the excavation to go on . And this claim became more clear because the reply which had been received  after RTI was shocking .

The authorities replied that they were not aware of the proposal which was presented by Dr S. R. Rao .According to the proposal , Dr . S.R.Rao had proposed a budget of 14 cr. for the excavation of the lost city . 

One must remember that  it’s because of the initiative started by the archeologist, Dr S.R. Rao , the NIO  opened the marine archaeology research centre.

And the amount of 14 crore is not a big amount for excavation. There are many other excavations where the government has spent much more money than this amount . 

After a halt , excavation again started from 2007 but the kind of support and funds which should be needed to lead it was not enough . The lack of State government or Central government interest can be hazardous for the truth which might be revealed through the excavation .

Dwarka submerged in water

It is believed that Dwarka submerged in water after the death of Lord Krishna as it is mentioned above that submersion took place in 5525 BCE

Earthquakes and high tides are the major reasons for sinking or elevation of a particular region . 

The Western coast of Gujarat  has always been an active seismic zone area which led to several earthquakes and submersion of the area . The magnitude of the earthquake was always higher than all other places . The most recent one was in 2001 with more than 8 Richter .  

These earthquakes not just change the level of land but highly impact the sea level . 

A very well known person named “ C.P. Rajendran of CEES , revealed through his study and research that there were 3 major earthquakes in ancient India which impacted western coast of Gujarat . Out of these three , one lies in the range of Dwarka destruction and that is 7540 years ago ( plus minus 130 years ) . 

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