Tracing 'Mahabharata' links in Hastinapur
The BJP government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to bring past glory and holiness to the places of epic times in ancient India. So far it has been replicating Ayodhya by constructing Ram temple in a big way to show the greatness of Ramayana to the world and now it seems eying the Mahabharatha period.
The search for the lost city of Hastinapur has been renewed after decades. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) plans to carry out excavations at the town of Hastinapur near Meerut in Western Uttar Pradesh to find evidence regarding the historic city of Mahabharata.
Professor Brij Sunder Gadnyak, the superintendent archeologist of the Meerut division, said that the first phase of the excavation will focus on preserving the ruins already unearthed and restoring the ancient temples. The actual excavation will begin after September when the monsoon ends, he stated.
According to Dr. K K Sharma, associate professor of history at the Multanimal Modi College in Modinagar, The discovery found burial grounds near Sinauli, about 90 km from Hastinapur, in 2006 and a bronze war chariot in 2018 pinpoint Hastinapur as a promising archeological site.
For this purpose the Central Government in its 2020 fiscal budget allocated funds and since then the excavations are going on. The funds for the remodelling of the settlements of Adichallanjr (Tamilnadu), Dholavira (Gujarat), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Rakhigarhi (Haryana) and Sivasagar (Assam). These excavations at Hastinapur are part of this project.
The last major project of this size took place in 1952. Archeologist B B Lal, known for correlating history and religious legends, stated that the Mahabharata period likely took place around 900 B.C.E.