Sisupalgarh: Land mafias damage rampart of ancient fortified city of Sisupalgarh

Source: The post is based on the article “Land mafias damage rampart of ancient fortified city of Sisupalgarh ” published in The Hindu on 2nd March 2023.

What is the News?

Land mafias have damaged a portion of the wall of the fortified ancient city of Sisupalgarh.

What is Sisupalgarh?

Sisupalgarh, believed to have been built around the 7th to 6th century BCE, served as the capital of the Kalinga kingdom(present day Odisha). It was an important centre of trade and commerce during ancient times.

Located near: the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha.

Significance: It is considered one of the largest and best-preserved ancient fortifications in India. The fortifications are over 2,000 years old and date back to the 3rd or 4th century BC.

It was declared a Centrally Protected Monument under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904.

What are the unique features of Sisupalgarh?

Design and Construction: In the shape of a complete square that was surrounded by defensive walls.

Dimensions: Each side of the Sisupalgarh spreads over half a mile, and the interior is full of stone ruins and sculptures. The walls of the fortification are a little over nine meters (30 feet) tall.

Note: The fortification was carried out in the 4th to 3rd century BCE, when King Kharavela took up the repair of the city 2,100 years ago.

Gateways: There were eight gateways into the citytwo in each of the four sides of the wall. The gateways were connected by streets in a grid-like arrangement with the palace in the center.

The gates were elaborate structures made of brick and stone.

Town planning: There is evidence of stone-lined reservoirs that were likely used for harvesting rainwater.

Intelligent traffic management, pedestrian-friendly pathways, grand gateways with guard houses, wide roads, and a vast open space were some of the key features of this ancient city.

Capacity: The city is believed to have a population of around 20,000 to 25,000.

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