Capital of rulers who built Ajanta caves unearthed in Nagpur district

Terracotta objects depicting images of gods, animals, humans along with amulets, scotches, wheels, skin rubbers, spindle whorls were discovered.

Written by ANJALI MARAR | Pune | Updated: June 13, 2018 8:17:08 pm
Ajanta caves, who built Ajanta caves, Ajanta caves Aurangabad, Archaeology, Maharashtra news, indian express The changing shapes of mica pots during the Vakataka rule at Nandivardhan.

A team of city-based archaeologists from Deccan College have confirmed that the Vakataka dynasty ruled from its capital Nandivardhan, or the present day Nagardhan, a large village discovered near Ramtek taluka in Nagpur district.

The place has been of great significance to this dynasty, which ruled between 250 – 550 CE. It is the same dynasty that built the Ajanta caves in Aurangabad.

Led by project director Virag Sontakke from the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Maharashtra, this team excavated the site in Vidarbha between 2015 and 2018.

They have unearthed some vital signs and remains in the form of typical artifacts belonging to the period during the Vakataka rule.

“Some of the these artifacts — including ceramics, ear studs made of glass were excavated from the site and these were the typical items used during this period,” Shrikant Ganvir, senior archaeologist at Deccan College and co-director of the Nagardhan Excavation Project, told The Indian Express.

What makes these findings more important is the fact that so far, researchers have only managed to get written inscriptions and copper plates, all featuring the Vataka king Prithvisena. It is the first traces sealing the fact that the king shifted his capital from Padmapura to Nandivardhan (present-day Nagardhan) in Vidarbha.

Ceramics, antiquities, bowls and pots, votive shrine and tank, iron chisel, a stone depicting a deer, terracota bangles were studied closely by the team, all of which were unique for this period of their rule.

Terracotta objects depicting images of gods, animals, humans along with amulets, scotches, wheels, skin rubbers, spindle whorls were discovered.

Shantanu Vaidya, another co-director in this project, said, “The excavations were planned and carried out at six different locations. From the materials excavated, we find strong links confirming the presence of a capital of Vakataka dynasty here.

Some of the ceramics, according to the researchers, dates back to 3-4th century BCE.

Another vital sign that the team came across was a near-intact clay sealing of the Vakataka empress Prabhavatigupta, the chief queen of the Vakataka king Rudrasena II.

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