Remnants Of Ancient Civilisation Found On Kuakhai Riverbed Near Odisha’s Cuttack

OB Bureau

Cuttack: Remnants of an early period civilisation, including earthenware, rings of mud well and bone pieces, have been found on beds of the Kuakhai river near Odisha’s Cuttack.

A team led by Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Cuttack Chapter, co-convener Deepak Kumar Nayak recently found several archaeological remains of an old flourished settlement near Balimangala Debipitha in Uttampur Village of Cuttack’s Sadar block.

The settlement was discovered in a large area spread over the dunes about 200 metres from the present embankment of the Kuakhai.

Nayak along with heritage enthusiasts of Rediscover Lost Heritage (RLH) Group and the Silver City Cuttack Public Charitable Trust found large numbers of early period earthenware, fragmented pieces of red ware, black ware, grey ware, rings of mud well and bone pieces from a small mound-like structure inside the river. Unidentifiable pieces of sculpted images were also discovered by them. “The site has much historical significance as it is situated between Barabati Fort and Chudanagada Fort at Baranga. Similar pottery and ware have also been found in the ongoing excavation work being carried on inside the Barabati Fort by Archaeological Survey of India,” he said.

Nayak informed that the potteries found were identical to those found in the excavated sites of Khalakatapatana, Manikapatana and Sisupalagada.

According to INTACH, there is already significant evidence of maritime trade carried out in the waterway of the Kuakhai river. Goddess Balimangala, a form of Goddess Mangala, was an important deity of the old mariners of Odisha and therefore there are many villages and temples with the nomenclature in the Mahanadi delta.

According to Anil Dhir, convener of INTACH’s Bhubaneswar Chapter, the findings suggest that there was either a riverside port or a large settlement in the place that had been abandoned due to frequent flooding. Balimangala temple too was at the spot and was relocated about 150 years ago to its present site. “A small-scale archaeological excavation in the riverbed is required to determine relevant history associated with these finds. We will write both to the ASI and the State Archaeology for survey of the spot,” he added.

Rashmiranjan Pradhan of the Silver City Cuttack Trust said a team of volunteers will search for more artefacts on the river bed.



OB Bureau

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