Monday, February 1, 2016

The 'Dwarika' of Kashmir


In ancient Sri Lanka they built great water reservoirs. They had great engineers. The tanks still exist and are called Weva. All their ancient tanks are neatly listed on Wikipedia with the name of builders.

Cut to Kashmir.

In 8th century, King Jayapida, grandson of Lalitaditya, called upon the engineers from Sri Lanka (in Rajatarangini, in typical Kashmiri manner, called "Rakshasas") to build water reservoirs in Kashmir. Jayapida's pet project was a sort of water fort called Dvaravati (named after Krishna's Dwarika).

Alexander Cunningham, the 19th century British archaeologist identified Andarkut near Sumbal as Dvaravati.

He was wrong and had only discovered half-a-city. A few years later George Buhler while looking for Sanskrit Manuscripts in Kashmir was lead rightly by a boatman to a nearby place called Bahirkut which he was able to identify due to its geography as Dvaravati.

Dvaravati was a two part fort. Exterior called Bhayyam Kottam and interior called Abhayantaram. Abhayantaram was the proper Jayapur, the city Jayapida founded and Dvaravati - the outer fort.

That would explain the names Bahir (outer) kut and Andar (inner) Kut.

An indication of how the names change in a fertile place like Kashmir.

If you Google search now. You will not find Andarkut but 'Inderkot' near Sumbal. And nothing on Bahirkot.

3 comments:

  1. Fascinating nugget from Kashmir's glorious pre-Islamic past. And you are right, there is practically nothing on this lost city of Jayapida, a somewhat eccentric king but a great patron of learning.
    There is a brilliant article on Jayapida by an Isreali scholar. You can download it here: http://yigalbronner.huji.ac.il/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/download-1.pdf

    You have a very interesting blog. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember my maternal grandmother recite a kashmiri riddle
    Andarkuth chuu bandargah
    Timay bihith tah by tah

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am imagining how would you reach from Sri Lanka to Kashmir then..more interesting how was invite sent :-) BTW.. Are there any remains of the reservoir left

    ReplyDelete

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