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Excavations At Mansar

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Item Code: AZE646
Author: A. K. Sharma, Jagat Pati Joshi
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9789350502020
Pages: 360 (Throughout Color and B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00x9.00
Weight 1.29 kg
Book Description
About the Book
Mansar, the ancient capital of Eastern Vakatakas was excavated by the author from 1998 to 2008. Apart from prehistoric tools, the site has revealed structural remains and antiquities from 2nd c. B.C. to 12th c. A.D. During Satavahana period its name was Nandivardyam and during Vakataka period it was known as Pravarapura.

Apart from the palace complex the site has revealed for the first time remains of Purushamedha yagya, star-shaped Siva temples belonging to c. 2nd B.C., Buddha vihar, Caitya, Buddhist Stupa. Siva temple which was named Pravareshvara temple, temple shops, replicas of dvadasha jyotirlinga and rock cut caves for meditation and Prabhavati Gupta's miniature Nrisimha temple, seals, sealing and inscriptions.

Mansar is the biggest early historical site so far excavated and preserved in Vidarbha region.

About the Author
A.K. Sharma is internationally known for his original contributions in Archaeology. During his 33 years of active career in Archaeological Survey of India he explored and excavated in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchala. North-East India, Madhya Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthana, Goa, Haryana, Chhattisgarhs and other remote areas.

After retirement from Govern ment service he was appointed as officer. on special duty in IGNCA, New Delhi to excavate Jhiri with French team. All his excavation reports have been published.

1. Emergence of Early Culture in North East India.

2 Manipur. The Glorious past

3. Early man in Eastern Himalayas

4. Prehistoric Delhi and its Neighborhood

5. Early man in Jammu-Kashmir and Laddakh 6. Prehistoric Burials of Kashmir

7. The Departed Harappans of Kalibangan

8. Archaeo anthropology of Chhattisgarh

9. Indian Megaliths 10. Heritage of Tansa Valley

11. Excavating Painted Rock-Shelter

12. Excavating in a Cave, Cist and Church

13. Sculptural Art of Mansar

14. Sirpur: Town Planning and Architecture

15. Buddhist Bronzes from Sirpur

16. Excavation at Karkabhata, Chhattisgarh

17. Ayodhya Case: Archaeological Evidences

18. Secular Monuments of Sirpur

19. Ancient Temples of Sirpur

20. Buddhist Monuments of Sirpur

21. Excavation at Gufkral

He has edited Puratana, Puraprakasha, Purajagata and he is editor of Puramanthana yearly magazine on recent advances in Archaeology. Presently he is directing excavations at Rajim in Chhattisgarh. He has established Archaeological Museum at Mansar and Maa Anandmayee Smriti Museum at Kankhal (Haridwar). Presently he is Advisor to the Government of 1 Chhattisgarh and Member of Standing Committee of Central Advisory Board of Archaeology.

It was in July, 1997 when Arya Nagarjuna Surai Sarai, Presidens of Nagpur based Bodhisattva Nagarjuna Smarak Sanstha approached me with a proposal to conduct archocological excavations at Mansar. I agreed, but advised them to include Shri Jagat Pati Joshi in this ambitious project. We along with Shri Pawan Sillare, treasurer of the Sanstha met at Joshi's resident in New Delhi-Joshi ji agreed to work as advisor. I suggested them to appoint myself and Joshiji, member of the Executive council of the Sanstha in order to get the permission to excavate at Mansar, a centrally protected site. I also suggested to change the name of the organisation as Bodhisattva Nagarjuna Smarak Sanstha Va Anusandhan Kendra, as a purely religious body cannot be given licence for excavation and conservation. It was agreed and the constitution of the organization was changed and got approved by Registrar of Societies, Nagpur.

Application for permission to excavate at Mansar was given to the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi. The proposal was approved by the Standing Committee of the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology.

After getting licence and after making all preparations, and acquiring tools and plants along with necessary trained staff, we chose Hidimba Tekadi for the dig. The first pick fell almost in the centre of the hill on 8 January, 2000 to unearth the archaeological evidences for the epigraphical, literary and Sruti evidences mostly about Eastern Väkätakas who first ruled from. Nandivardhan, 6 km. South-east of Mansar and made Mansar's Hidimba Tekadi their Devakula sthanam and later shifted their capital from Nandivardhan to Mansar to be nearer to their Kuladevia.

We excavated at Mansar for nine seasons and archaeological evidences unearthed prooved all the above mentioned sources of evidence to be true. We also thought it proper to scientifically conserve all the archaeological remains and antiquities so that the present and future generations could physically see and feel the prosperity, richness of architectural, educational and social life from 204 century B.C. to first quarter of 6 century A.D. south of Vindhyas in general and in Vidarbha in particular.

We unearthed and conserved; now it is up to the Central and State Governments to preserve them and develop Mansar as a World Heritage Ecofriendly archaeological site as very few ancient capital cities have been excavated in India.

During fourth and fifth century A.D. Guptas ruling north or Vindhyas and Vakatakas ruling south of Vindhyas were almost always in constant touch with each other, either in conflict through matrimonial alliance. Majority of Vakataka kings were Mähetvaras or devotees of Saiva Rudra. All the temples except one exposed by us in the excavations, belong to Saiva or Pasupata faith. The exception located to the west of palace complex belonged to Kevala-Nrsimha, which was built by Pravarasena II for his mother Prabhavati Gupta when she became too old to travel to Ramajcka. She was the daughter of Gupta emperor Chandragupta Vikramaditya II who was worshipper of Visnu-Vasudeva. Even after her marriage to Rudrasena II, she continued to follow Bhagavata faith. This is attested by an inscription of Rudrasena II and that of Pravarasena II. when the Vakatakas for a short period conceived their rule (Prthvisena 11 and after his early demise Prabhavati) as being established by the Lord, Bhagavata. Unlike at Mandhal where iconic forms of Siva was being worshipped, at Mansar most of the temples belonged to aniniconic linga or phallus except the main temple on top of Hidimbă Tekadi (MNS-3) where the presiding deity was in iconic form, the Siva-Vamana in red sand stone, This temple was richly embellished with various iconic forms of Siva which has come to light through our excavation. Thus the contention of Hans Bakker that Aniconic linga, phallus worship is not attested in the Väkatáka layers and this confirms to the impression we get from the literature of the elite of this period, the Sanskrit texts, in which linga worship is only reluctantly acknowledged, is totally misconceived as from the excavations at Mansar replicas of Dwadasa (twelve) Jyotirlingas of India have came to light at Hidimba Tekadi apart from the beautiful star shaped Siva temple exposed at MNS-2, overlooking the Ramteka hills.

Pravarasena I returned to the faith of his ancestors as evidenced by six inscriptions pertaining to the period and styled himself as a paramamahesvara, who by Siva's grace carried the lance (sula) instead of the discus (cakra).

This was not objected to by his mother as she had three cornered relationship with Guptas, Vakatakas and the Nagas. Her mother was the daughter of Naga king married to Vikramaditya II Guptas), where as she was married in Vakataka family.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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