New Delhi, Oct. 4: A remote sensing specialist claims Krishna’s mythical township Dwarka was in Junagadh district, and not at any of the other contending sites in Gujarat.
His primary job at the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, has been tracking land use and forest cover with satellite images. But Prabhulal Sundarjibhai Thakker has also used satellite pictures to suggest that an ancient fortified township had existed 30 km northwest of Junagadh. The site matches the description of Krishna’s township in an old scripture, he says.
Thakker is involved in an Isro project to detect archaeological sites in north Gujarat and Kutch. He has identified 10 sites in the Great Rann of Kutch. A senior Isro official says Thakker’s idea about Dwarka is his own.
An archaeologist cautioned that remote sensing and scriptures by themselves would not be enough to identify a township. “Archaeology through ancient scriptures alone can put blinkers on your eyes,” says Nayanjot Lahiri, professor of history at the University of Delhi, who’s just published a book, Finding Forgotten Cities, on the discovery of the Indus civilisation.
Thakker used soil and vegetation patterns in his search. Soil and vegetation at ancient abandoned townships reveal specific patterns that can be picked up through satellite images, Thakker says.
Vegetation that envelopes an ancient wall or a building appears different from vegetation on terrain without man-made structures.
The settlement near Junagadh has two square structures and one triangular structure enclosed by a rectangular perimeter that, Thakker says, might represent the trench of a fortified township.
“This settlement matches the description of Dwarka in a scripture called Trishashthi Shalaka Purush Charitra,” Thakker says. The text mentions a peak in the south and mountain ranges in the east and north that match terrain features around this site.
Thakker’s claims have not been peer-reviewed by archaeologists. Several sites, including Jamnagar, have staked claim to be labelled Dwarka.