The remains of a 2,800-year-old human settlement have been recently discovered in Gujarat's Vadnagar.
- Vadnagar is a town and municipality in the Mehsana district of the North Gujarat region of Gujarat state.
- It is a multi-layered and multi-cultural mercantile settlement, with its history stretching back to nearly 8th Century BCE.
- As a historical city, it was known by various names, such as Vridhanagar, Anandapur, Anartapur, and Nagar.
- The town represents a continuously evolving historic urban landscape/area that played a major role in the hinterland trade network of Western India.
- It is mentioned often in the Puranas and even in the travelogue of the great Chinese traveler, Hieu-en-Tsang (7th century), as a rich and flourishing town.
- The ancient town of Vadnagar is an L-shaped town with Sharmishtha Lake located on its northeastern edge.
- The whole ancient town of Vadnagar is built over an ancient mound. The topography of the mound is gently rising, with its highest point in the middle of the settlement, also called Darbar Ghat.
- Vadnagar town is divided into several blocks, also called Mohallas or Madhs. These mohallas are named after a temple, a community, or an occupation.
- The town’s fortifications, arched gateways (toranas), temples, wells, residential structures (kothis), and excavated sites like Buddhist monasteries and dedicated stupas showcase the architectural influence of various cultural periods.
- The oldest temple, Ambaji Mata Temple, dates back to the 10th-11th Century CE, while other important Hindu and Jain temples within the town are from 17th Century onward.
- The current residential layer of the town is from late Gaekwad period (late 18th Century CE).
- Vadnagar town is surrounded by fortiﬁcations made of bricks and partly stone, covering an area of 1km east-west and 700 m north-south.
Q1) What are Puranas?
The Puranas are religious texts composed in Sanskrit, orally narrated for centuries before being written down from the 2nd century CE onwards. They are part of the sacred literature of the Hindu faith that also comprises the Vedas, Brahmanas, Aryayankas, Upanishads, and the great epics.