Tracing the ancient roots of Mahabharata in space and time: Hastinapur, Part 2 (Jain Religion)

Taking further where I left the first part; The ASI carried out excavation work at Hastinapur in 1950s. The eminent Archaeologist B.B.Lal tried to find out the stratigraphic position of the “Painted Grey Ware” with reference to other known ceramic industries of the early historical period. B.B.Lal strongly believed that there must be a correlation between Mahabharata, the text, and the material remains that was excavated at Hastinapur. The excavation report was published in “Ancient India”, the annual journal of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1955.

** The Painted Grey Ware culture (PGW) was an ‘Iron Age’ culture of Gangetic plain, lasting from roughly 1200 BC to 600 BC. It is contemporary to, and a successor of the Black and red ware culture. It probably corresponds to the later Vedic period.

Around Vidur-Kutir

Caves inside the Pandeswar Temple is now fenced
They live behind the temple in a Ashram to perform daily rituals

After the archaeological excavations at ‘Vidura-ka-tila’, a collection of several mounds, in 1950-52, was concluded to be remains of the ancient city of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas of Mahabharata, which was washed away by Ganges floods.

This site is in the midst of forest
Kali statue near Pandeswar Temple

B.B. Lal associated Hastinapur, Mathura, Ahichatra, Kampilya, Barnawa, Kurukshetra and other sites with the PGW culture, the (post-) Mahabharata period and the Aryans in the 1950s. Furthermore, he pointed out that the Mahabharata mentions a flood and a layer of flooding debris was found in Hastinapur. However, he considered his theories to be provisional and based upon a limited body of evidence, and he later reconsidered his statements on the nature of this culture.

Few years later B.B.Lal himself admitted the failure of his theory. In his words; “I could no longer sustain the theory of the PGW having been a representative of the early Aryans in India. (The association of this Ware with the Mahabharata story was nevertheless sustainable since that event comes at a later stage in the sequence.) I had no qualms in abandoning my then-favorite theory.”

The detailed presentation can be found here:

http://www.archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/19th-century-paradigms.html

Now there is another side of this story. Hastinapur at one time was the capital of Bharat-Varsha and a center place for political, cultural, and spiritual events some 86500 years back. There is enough documented support, besides excavation, to prove the historic importance of this place. ASI has done their job. The details can be found here, which was later denied and now nothing is going on.

 http://asi.nic.in/asi_exca_imp_uttarpradesh.asp

Now, I would like to mention another interesting fact here; there is another Hastinapur in Argentina known as ‘city of wisdom’. The place has temples of Ganesh, Krishna, Surya, Narayana, Siva and Pandavas. The dozen Argentines who live there look after the gods and the place. The Argentines go there for wisdom. This is why the place is called as the City of Wisdom (ciudad de la sabiduria).

http://latinamericanaffairs.blogspot.com/2011/06/hastinapurcity-of-wisdom-in-argentina.html

Each truth has its own version, and sometime for many the truth is where, their beliefs are. There are Ashrams in Hastinapur where priests are performing daily rituals with deep faith. Locals as well devotees from across the nation keep coming, though less in number. The sign board of UP state tourism also confirms this site to be of historic importance. However as a believer of our heritage I just want to keep traveling and sharing the fact that is coming my way and wish that they must be preserved for future generations.

PART-2

It was a kind of de-tour from my main agenda but the importance is so immense that it need to be put in details. Hastinapur has two historical significant, one is related to Mahabharata and another is related to Jainism. This place is also known as ‘Kashi’ of Jain religion. My trip to Hastinapur was solely dedicated to trace the ancient marks of Mahabharata era. However this place is dominated by enormous temple complexes of Jain religion and I did visit these temples too to get the essence of Jainism which was relatively less known to me.

Jambudweep temple complex
View as seen from top floor of Sumeru Parvat
Kamal Temple

Ancient history and Ved-Purans state that this country has been named as ‘Bharat-Varsha’ on the name of the eldest son of Tirthankar Rishabhdev i.e the first Chakravarti (Monarch)-Emperor Bharat. Three out of 24 Tirthankars of Jainism i.e. 16th Tirthankar Shri Shantinath, 17th Tirthankar Shri Kunthunath and 18th Tirthankar Shri Arahnath were born at Hastinapur.

Sumeru Parvat Complex
To Sumeru Parvat
Top view from Sumeru Parvat
Sumeru Parvat distant view

The main attraction of Hastinapur is ‘Jambu Dweep’ with ‘Sumeru Parvat’, ‘Teen lok rachna’, ‘Meditation Temple’ and ‘Kamal Temple’ in its premises. According to Jain and Vedic scriptures the Sumeru Parvat (101 ft. high) is considered as the most scared and the highest mountain in the whole universe.

 

 

Inside Meditation Temple

Terahdweep Jinalaya is the prominent centre of attraction of Jambudweep. It represents the whole universe with 13 dweeps of Madhyalok (Middle Universe), 458 golden natural temples, 5 golden merus, 170 Samavsarans, various dev-bhavans, ocean, rivers, mountains, bhogbhumis etc. Due to reflection it was very difficult to click the image of this beautiful structure which is first of its kind in the world.

 

“Teen lok rachna” is another marvelous structure of Jambudweep campus. It consists Adholok (7 hells), Madhya lok (with island and oceans) and Urdhvalok (16 heavens). This lift-fitted building charges 10 Rs to its visitors.

 

Inside Teen Lok Rachna

Besides this I have also seen few other huge temples in the surrounding area but since I covered Jambudweep first and I was getting late for Mahabharata sites so I decide to call off till my next visit.

Jain Temple in Hastinapur
Another temple that I couldn’t visit
Hastinapur Wild Life Santuary at the one side of the Jambudweep

Tip: Jambudweep have excellent residential facilities for pilgrims. Besides there are numbers of Dharamshala in close vicinity. Surrounded by thick forest it is a perfect week-end gateway or can be covered in a day tour if reached early.

32 Comments

  • Shivya says:

    That seems like quite a chunk of history, right around the corner of Delhi. Thanks for the detailed descriptions!

  • Good work Amit …………………….

    Once again superb narration of Hastinapur ………………………….

    And You seem to have gone too much inside excavation of Old remains. Please share more if you have . It really feels great finding things dated 5000 years back……………………

    About jain temple :- Its classic example of modern architecture…………………..

    Nowadays I feel lot of big temples like these are been made. Sometimes i feel how much money is been poured for making these types of materialistic heavens……………….

    Not to offend anybody’s sentiments, but that can be utilised for lot of poor and needy people…………

    Anyway keep travelling and keep posting and pics are really fine ………………………

    • Amit Kumar says:

      Hi Vishal,

      It was indeed a great feeling being there. As you asked last time I kept in my mind to put more images as well information about it.

      You are somehow write about these man made heaven, although few of them also made charitable trusts and involved in running school, colleges, hospitals etc with their earning. But still a major amount goes to their personal wealth.

  • Nandan says:

    Great info. I am sure that a lot of work and research would have been done to find out the connection between the Mahrabharatha epic and sites like Hastinapur, Kurukshetra. Thanks for the links.

    The Jambudweep Temple complex and other temples seems like well maintained, well funded. Are these part of some trust ?

    • Amit Kumar says:

      Hi Nandan,

      Thanks for your words.

      The Jambudweep Temple complex is part of “Digambar Jain Trilok Shodh Sansthan” and it was established by “Gyanmati Mataji” in the year 1972. The land where Jambudweep is situated was bought in 1974 and construction was started in 1975. Since then step-by-step construction has been done in the complex and few works were still carried out in the complex.

      I got a CD describing the concept of universe from there, if you want to know more, I can upload it on ‘youtube’ and will share the link with you.

  • Manish Kumar says:

    It seems lot of thought has been given in designing these architectural marvels. The Jain connection of Hastinapur was not known to me. Thx for sharing these pics.

  • Stone says:

    Brilliant piece of writing buddy, just right mix of ‘travel-information-photographs’.

    Thanks a lot for sharing so much information, specially about ‘City of Wisdom’ in Argentina.

    • Amit Kumar says:

      Thanks a lot for your kind words.

      I too was surprised when came across this piece of information and it compelled me to think that the importance of our mythology is realizing by others but are we too insensitive to think that?

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Amit,
    It was a beautiful post supported with sufficient amount of informative narration and lot of beautiful pictures.

    Thanks.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    What a research work !!!!!!

    Very informative post.

  • ram dhall says:

    A brilliant piece of writing, based on a thorough research.

    Please do keep on sharing such interesting and educative narratives.

  • Nandan says:

    Hey Amit – Did you get a chance to visit Kurukshetra or other places which are connected to Mahabharata. Looking part to third kadi when you make a trip.

  • Raghu says:

    Hey Amit, good work. thank you for sharing the info too. All the best for your future work too..

  • Azadkumar Singh says:

    Wow!!!! that’s something new for me. i never heard of such kind of connection but really thanx for this information dude.

  • Bhimadasan Ezhava says:

    Dear Shriman Amit,

    Realy nice work. Expect more from you. Keep moving until u realize the unmoving centre.

    Samyak Darsan

  • Bhimadasan Ezhava says:

    Dear Shriman Amit,

    REaly nice work. Expect more from you. Keep moving until you realise the unmoving centre

    Samyak Darsan

  • Sanjeev Kohli says:

    Hi Amit,

    You seem to have done good research and have a good knowledge about ancient history.

    I am a resident of Hastinapur, this town was re-established by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru on February 6, 1949, the same day as Chandigarh, to provide lands and plots to the people that came from across the border after partition. We have very less accounts and remains left of that is related to Mahabharata era. Present Hastinapur is more known for Jain temples then it’s relation to Mahabharata. Prof Lal excavation site and notes says a lot about the site, which could have been cashed by the tourism department. Apart from the facilities provided by Jain-trusts there are no facilities provided by the Government. Hastinapur has a bird century as well which is in bad shape as human infiltration is too high.
    I see Hastinapur as a place which has good potential to become a prominent tourist hub given the proper care.
    I appreciate you your interest and work done for this town.

    -Sanjeev Kohli

    • Amit Kumar says:

      Dear Sanjeev Ji
      Thanks a lot for your kind words.
      You are indeed lucky to be a native of such a place of historic importance. I am totally agree with you that Hastinapur could be a prominent tourist place. The information you provided are very important and worth consideration.
      I have deep interest in our culture and l am looking forward to visit Hastinapur again.
      Amit

  • S K Das says:

    D/Amit

    Om Shri Radha Krishnabhyam Namo

    Pls go to Kama (Rajasthan) where you will find the actual foot print of Lord Krishna on a hill called CHARAN PAHARI. The place is near Kosi kalan on Delhi-Mathura Road. Fom Koshi Kalan, you have to go about 20 kms. There you will find many places of Mahabharat time like 64 KHAMBA which was built by Pandavas. Krishna came to visit Pandavas at this place during their exile time. During Krishna’s childhood, he used to play here with his cows and cowherd friends. It is the most important LILASTHALI of Lord himself but unfortunately except some real bhakts and yogis , not many people know about this. Pls go and propagate thro your blog. God bless you.
    Om Shri Radha Krishnabhyam Namo

    S K Das

  • sourabh says:

    great effort, great research, please check the link of asi,

  • Vidwan Singh Soni says:

    No proof of Mashabharata War in excavation, nor of its times. Why say the war occurred >5000 years ago? Excavation leads to stone age at that time (all excavations).
    We excavated a stoneage site in Himachal, it showed late-Harappan pottery with Soanian type stone tool proving that the distraught late-Harappans succumbed down to use of stone tools, how can they become Aryans with advanced war technology, using horses and chariots. Iron age comes after 1100 BC, only after that the story of Mhabharat is composed. The solid proofs we have published in Current Science 25Apr 2009; Bulletin of Indo Pacific Prehistory (BIPPA) 12th issue, p6-18, 2012. Harappans could never become Aryans-your wrong claims.

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