On 19 May, 2001 India’s Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Science and Technology division Murli Manohar Joshi, announced that the ruins of an ancient civilization had been discovered off the coast of Gujarat, in the Gulf of Khambhat. The site was discovered by the National Institute Of Ocean Technology (NIOT) while they performed routine pollution studies using sonar, and was described as an area of regularly spaced geometric structures. It is located 20 km from the Gujarat coast, spans 9 km, and can be found at a depth of 30–40 meters. In his announcement, Joshi represented the site as an urban settlement that pre-dates the Indus Valley Civilization. Further descriptions of the site by Joshi include it containing regularly spaced dwellings, a granary, a bath, a citadel, and a drainage system.(1)G. S. Mudur (May 19, 2001) “Forgotten Metropolis on Seabed” The Telegraph A follow-up investigation was conducted by NIOT in November 2001, which included dredging to recover artifacts and sonar scans to detect structures. Among the artifacts recovered were a piece of wood, pottery shards, weathered stones initially described as hand tools, fossilized bones, and a tooth. Artifacts were sent to the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad, the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleobotany (BSIP) in Lucknow, and the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. The piece of wood was carbon dated to an age of 9,500 years old. The NGRI in Hyderabad returned a date of 7,190 BC and the BSIP in Lucknow returned a date of 7,545-7,490 BC.(2)S. Kathiroli (2004) “Recent Marine Archaeological Finds in Khambhat, Gujarat” Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology, 2004 Pages 141-149
NIOT returned for further investigation in the Gulf from October 2002 to January 2003. During these excavations, NIOT reported finding two paleochannels flanked by rectangular and square basement-like features. Artifacts were recovered by means of dredging, including pottery shards, microliths, wattle and daub remains, and hearth materials. These artifacts were sent for dating to laboratories at Manipur University in India and Oxford University in Britain. The wattle and daub remains are composed of locally available clay, reed, husk, pottery pieces, and pieces of fresh water shell. The wattle and daub also show evidence of partial burning.
More underwater ruins have been found off the shore of the city of Dwarka in western India, surrounding the Island of Bet Dwarka. Bet Dwarka is an important religious pilgrimage site for Hindus and a significant archaeological site of the Indus Valley period, with one artifact datded through thermoluminescence to 1570 BC(3)Upinder Singh (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century., Page 222. Within Hinduism the island is generally accepted as being the remnants of the island city of Dwarka described in the Mahābhārata. In the Mahābhārata it was an existing fortress formerly called Kushasthali, which was repaired by Krishna and his brothers the Yadavas.(4)Mahābhārata 2.14.50 The name Dwarka was given to the island city by Krishna,(5)Vettam Mani (2010) Puranic Encyclopaedia, 9th Reprint, Page 89 and subsequently became one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism. Krishna and the Yadavas had left their birth city of Mathura after the city had been attacked,(6)Harivamsa Purana 2.55.103; 2.58.20 + 27; 2.58.41; 2.56.35 because Kushasthali (Dwarka) was an ancient fortress and easier to defend. After the Kurukshetra War, which Krishna’s ally King Arjuna and his brothers the Pandavas had won, there was a period of 36 years of relative peace, until 3,103 BC, when Krishna invited his brothers, the other Yadavas, to visit him in Dwarka. A dispute between the Yadavas broke out, and in the end all the Yadavas were dead including Krishna. When King Arjuna heard of the massacre, he visited Dwarka to arrange for the cremation of the Yadavas and then ordered the city to be evacuated, stating it would sink into the sea within a week. This seems like an odd prediction, however there are other odd aspects to the end of Dwarka recorded in the Mahabharta:
This appears to the description of either a meteor storm or war involving weapons of mass destruction, and its aftermath as clouds of dust hung in the air obstructing the light of the sun and moon.
References [ + ]
|1.||⇑||G. S. Mudur (May 19, 2001) “Forgotten Metropolis on Seabed” The Telegraph|
|2.||⇑||S. Kathiroli (2004) “Recent Marine Archaeological Finds in Khambhat, Gujarat” Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology, 2004 Pages 141-149|
|3.||⇑||Upinder Singh (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century., Page 222|
|5.||⇑||Vettam Mani (2010) Puranic Encyclopaedia, 9th Reprint, Page 89|
|6.||⇑||Harivamsa Purana 2.55.103; 2.58.20 + 27; 2.58.41; 2.56.35|
|7.||⇑||Kisari Mohan Ganguli, translator (1893) Mahābhārata, Book 16|