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Archive for the ‘Hinduism’ Category

Few years back, Marine Archaeologist S R Rao found evidence of a city under the sea in Dwaraka and since some of the specifications matched the description of Dwaraka mentioned in Harivamsha, a prologue of Mahabharata, people thought that they had found Krishna’s Dwaraka.

There is a new article which tells the details of how scientists at the NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology, of the Department of Ocean Development) found the submerged city while working for British Gas in the Gulf of Cambay region.

Samples collected include artefacts, wood pieces, pottery materials, hearth pieces, animal bones. They ere sent to Manipur University, Oxford University, London, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hanover, Germany for analysis and dating. The results were astonishing. It was found beyond doubt that the samples belonged to a period varying from 7800 to 3000 years (BP) Before Present !

The even more flooring discovery happened soon. NIOT, which carried outside scan and sub-bottom surveys in the year 2002-03, established beyond doubt the presence of two large palaeochannels (river channels which existed once and later submerged under the sea) in the Gulf of Cambay. Alluvium samples were collected from different locations in the areas of the palaeochannels by the gravity core and grab method.

Prof.Gartia (The Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology, No.2 of 2005, Pg.144) after conducting extensive investigations concluded that Gujarat region had experienced at least three large killer earthquakes about 1500, 3000 and 5000 years BP respectively. Geomorphological evidences also show beyond doubt that the North-Western part of the Indian landmass was seismically active during the last 10,000 years. These killer quakes are likely to have caused the shifting of the rivers and sea level fluctuation including the sinking of the legendary city of Dwaraka, capital of the Lord-King Krishna. [How marine archaeologists found Dwaraka]

Other people have suggested that Krishna’s Dwaraka was not in Jamnagar, but in Junagad and apparently there are nine sites in Gujarat which claim to be Krishna’s Dwaraka.

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Pakistan has many places of worship important to Hindus and Sikhs and we covered on such place, Sharada Thirtha, a while back. Now Pakistan is nominating the Katasraj temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, for World Heritage Site status.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the sprawling Katasraj shrine located in Chakwal district is constructed on a site believed to have been visited by the Pandava brothers of Mahabharata epic fame. Apart from the temples, there is a sacred pool having mythical association with Lord Shiva.

One of the key driving forces behind the efforts to restore the shrine is Chaudhury Shujaat Hussain, President of the country’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Q). His brother Chaudhury Pervez Illahi is the Chief Minister of the Punjab province where the shrine is located.[Pak. may nominate Katasraj for World Heritage Site status]

During their exile the Pandavas reached a lake and when they were about to quench their thirst, a Yaksha, the protector of the lake appeared and said that only people who answer his questions right would be allowed to drink water. The four Pandavas failed and were made lifeless by the Yaksha. Finally Yudhishtira answered all his questions and the brothers were revived. According to one legend, this dialogue happened at the Katasraj Mandir pond.

A look at this temple and you can see how much renovation and restoration needs to be done here.

The very entrance to Katasraj Mandir is a pathetic one. There’s nothing that can be termed as Mandir except the ruins. In fact, the presence of an old board only indicated that the site is that of the famous Katasraj Mandir where a guard is also placed. There is a plaque by the Archaeological Survey of Pakistan that quotes the history of this temple. “Katas: Kohistan Mountains, Central Chakwal — according to the legend of the Mahabharata, when Lord Shiva lost his wife Parvati, he felt so upset that the ponds at the eastern and western ends of the temple got filled by his tears. In Sanskrit it is also known as ‘Katak Sheel’ which means flow of tears. Later on the name got twisted to ‘Katas’. The place is of great significance for the Brahmins.”

Even Al-Bairuni wrote an interesting history of the temple in his ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’ where he depicts that he learnt Sanskrit and science at Katas. Not only this, quite interestingly, he even learnt many Vedic traditions. Renowned historian Panikkar states that ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’ brings a very honest and first-hand account of history at that time. It is also mentioned in Bairuni’s book that Katas happened to be the most revered Mandir after Punjab’s Jwalamukhi Mandir. This fact is also confirmed by Liaqat Ali Khan Niyazi, the Deputy Commissioner of Chakwal. Al-Bairuni also mentioned about other Pakistani temples like Panch Mukhi ka Hanuman Mandir, Nagnath Baba Mandir and Darya Lal Mandir. [Temples Dying in Pakistan]

Now Pakistan is going to spend $25 million for the restoration of this temple and hopefully after that it should have the grandeur it once had.

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Ganesh idol under a mosque

A Ganesh idol was unearthed on Thursday during excavations at a mosque in Jambusar in Bharuch district, about 60 km from Vadodara, police said. Bharuch’s Superintendent of Police G S Malik said the idol has been kept separately for people to offer prayers. This idol was discovered during excavations at the 150-year-old mosque in a predominantly Hindu area. A large number of Hindu devotees flocked to the mosque to have a glimpse of the statue, he added. Security has been beefed up in the area as a precautionary measure, Police Sub-Inspector V R Patel said. [Ganesh idol recovered during excavation at mosque]

At this point the mosque was not demolished considering the fact that this was the only mosque in a predominantly Hindu area. The idol was handed over to Hindus who then placed it in a nearby temple and life continued as normal.

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Buddha and Indra in Taxila

An archaeological excavation in Taxila has discovered both Buddhist and Hindu artifacts dating back to the first century AD.

The Pakistan government’s archaeology department has discovered eight antiquities dating back to the first century AD, including rare sculptures of ‘future’ Buddha, Hindu God Indra and his bodyguard from an ancient archaeological site very near to Taxila, considered as a seat of learning during the Buddhist period.

According to the Daily Times, experts from the archaeology department’s preservation and restoration team unearthed the treasures while carrying on preservation work at the world renowned Dharmarajika Stupa and monastery dating back to 3rd century BC to 5th Century AD, regarded as the epitome of the Gandhara civilization.

Archaeologists have confirmed that one of the antiquities excavated depicts in exact detail the ‘the reappearance of Buddha’ as told in Buddhist

Apart from the other discovery of Corinthian capital, which was used in Magna, Garcia and Sicily from the early third century, the statue of Indra, regarded as the rain god in Vedic mythology and another depicting the bodyguard of Indra has also interested experts to a great extent. [Buddhist antiquities unearthed near Taxila]

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