Indraprastha Revisited is a book of the papers presented at the first ever International Conference held on this most ancient and first planned city that now lies within the confines of the present Delhi. India's National Capital. This conference was organized by Draupadi Dream Trust on 22- & 23" November 2016, as part of the 1st Indraprastha Festival (1 Wh-25a. November 2016) and was supported by Ministry of Culture. ICCR and National Museum.
Renowned scholars from various fields such as Archaeology, Art, Science, Sanskrit. History, Astronomy and others participated in the conference. Their papers present to us the identification of Indraprastha, and its antiquity by way of archaeological evidence and astronomical data. Papers were also presented on inscriptions and government records identifying Indraprastha, the erstwhile Indrapat or Indapat as being the one integral and part of the Purana Qila.
Papers give insight into the governance, culture, history and legacy during Mahabharata period, and ancient Indraprastha, and the conflict between good and evil and Dharma and Adharma.
The conference papers highlighted the gaps that exist in knowledge of that period. Scholars also stated unequivocally the need to showcase Indraprastha to the country and to the world, so that a correct history of Delhi and this Purana Qila, which have antiquity of several thousand years, and is not limited to 500-800 years, as apparent from existing structures and monuments of medieval era. Scholars suggest that this wrong impression needs to be corrected by exposing the site excavated by archaeologists since 1950s till 2014, and creating an exposition of international standards. Some papers threw interesting light on this aspect. Valuable recommendations given are also included here. The book will be liked by all appreciators of our ancient culture, heritage, art and history
Neera 'Vlisra is an Independent Research Scholar, focused on Vedic and Mahabharata period history and culture, and its socio-cultural impacts. Founder Trustee and Chairperson of Draupadi Dream Trust, her centuries old links to Vedic city Kampilya, the capital of Paneha1.1, enticed her towards research on the historical and cultural legacy of ancient India. Here first study on Development Opportunities in Cultural Tourism was in 2005-06, and since then has convened many national and international conferences and positioned exhibitions on Mahabharata Heritage. With multifaceted talents and interests she expresses herself via various forms. Her avid interest in painting, embroidery and reading since early childhood attracted her to art, culture, literature and history. After Graduating with English (Hon) and B.Ed from Calcutta University, she joined MA English, and went on for PGD in Business Administration, with expertise in critical analysis and organizational work. She is a visiting Faculty at Government and Private Institutes, and has held several significant positions like Governing Body Member and Counselor/ Consultant at FICCI Ladies Wing, Research Advisor-NCW, Expert Committee Member: GOI, (MSME) Committee for Policy Women Entrepreneurs, etc. She started writing in 2001, and contributes articles on ancient India and heritage matters.
Air Vice Marshal Rajesh Lai (Retd), was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in 1968 as a fighter pilot. He fought actively in 1971 war with Pakistan and headed an operational base during the Kargil war. A Qualified Flying Instructor, Production Test Pilot and a graduate of the National Defence College, India, he commanded a front-line fighter squadron and two fighter bases. After retirement in 2006, he completed his Commercial Pilot's License and was the Chief Pilot at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Akademi. He retired from active flying at the age of 65 with about 8000 hours of flying experience. After retirement in 2006, he started assisting his father, Professor B.B.Lal, Padma Bhushan, in proofreading his books a decade ago. He has since authored 'Glimpses of India: Some 5000 Years Ago', He was actively involved in the planning, paper selection, implementation and preparation of the hook on 1st International Conference, titled Indraprastha Revisited.
The seeds of the 1st Indraprastha Conference were sown on 4th July 2015. This book of papers presented at this conference on Indraprastha is the result of a series of happy and not so happy incidents.
Since 2008 under the loving guidance of Prof B.B.Lal, doyen of Indian Archaeology, we have been organizing a series of International Conferences, all focused on ancient Indian Civilization. We covered the deep roots of Indian Civilization and organized valuable conferences and exhibitions on Mahabharata, Paficala and Indus Sarasvati Civilization vis-a-vis the Rigveda, all resulting in proper documentation and knowledge enhancement.
On 4th July 2015, the Times of India published a full page news article, which in the usual 'big- big letters' informed that the Delhi Development Authority had decided to earmark an Archaeology Park in the area covering Lutyen's Delhi. This was exciting news, but only for a few moments. The area shown in the diagram showed the Purana Qila was included, and the name of the 'archaeology park' was Deenpanah. What has this name to do with Archaeology? What are the oldest known archaeological remains in this area? What is the real history of Purana Qila? Why is Purana Qila still referred to as Pandava Qila or even `Indrapat' Qila? What do the records of the Archaeological Survey of India show in this matter? After all, if the Park is to be an `Archaeology Park', why have the authorities concerned wrongly named this most ancient symbol of our civilization at the heart of the nation?
All these questions came up and were discussed with Prof. B.B. Lal first, as he had excavated Purana Qila way back in 1953-54. Honorable Minister of Culture and officials of his Ministry and associated departments, along with scholars on the subject, were consulted. We were grappling with a situation where knowledge was there, but submerged, historical and archaeological facts `known' but hidden, and on a very serious note, gross injustice was being done to our country's history with blatant impunity.
This is because, as the saying goes, bad happens because the good lets it happen! Finally, the Draupadi Dream Trust decided that not only is a deeper research required on Indraprastha, but more importantly a platform created for archaeologists and related scholars to `revisit' Indraprastha, share documents and disseminate at wider lever the available 'knowledge' on this most ancient city in current Delhi. Wider percolation of 'correct' historical facts about our capital's journey from Indraprastha to Delhi was the important thing to do. We applied to Ministry of Culture for support to our initiative. Under the Patronage of Prof B.B.Lal and Chairmanship of Dr B.R. Mani, we formed an Organizing Committee and planned out the " Indraprastha Festival, consisting of an International Conference and Exhibition at excavated site at Purana Qila, which, unfortunately had been covered up.
It is indeed a fact that any national or international tourist, when visiting Delhi, is shown around the Qutub, Humayun's tomb, the Red Fort and Purana Qila and thinks of Delhi as having a history not earlier than 500-800 years old. Little is he told that the antiquity of Purana Qila that he has just visited is at least 3000 years old, if not more, because ancient Indraprastha lies within.
The volume of papers in this publication will be quite educative and inspiring enough to create a flurry of research initiatives on this important area of our sidelined history. The innovative ideas about showcasing Indraprastha and Delhi's antiquity and culture to the public will definitely facilitate appropriate steps by the government in this direction.
It was easy planning this eight days Indraprastha Festival Exhibition and two days' conference, but getting things moving became quite a challenge. But we didn't give up, and finally the program was inaugurated with renowned personalities and was very successful.
This book is proof enough of the efforts that have been put in by our learned scholars, their interest and eagerness to share this for the greater benefit to current and coming generations. It was a fulfilling experience, and as we write this we also plan for more such initiatives and look forward to more scholars and the Ministry facilitating our journey into the past, to showcase it to the present, and preserve it for the future.
Item Code: NAR708 Author: Neera Misra and Rajesh lal Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2017 Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation ISBN: 9789386223678 Language: English Size: 11.00 X 9.00 inch Pages: 288 (Throughout B/W and Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 1.27 Kg
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