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Eye on Nagvanshi remains - Culture department dreams of another Hampi at Gumla heritage site

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ARTI SAHULIYAR   |   Ranchi   |   Published 07.05.09, 12:00 AM

Ranchi, May 6: Navratnagarh, the capital of the ancient Nagvanshi kingdom, has been lying in ruins somewhere in Sasai about 30km from Gumla district headquarters. Now, the state art and culture department is planning to develop the site into a tourist destination on the lines of Hampi.

According to historians, the Nagvanshi kingdom existed in what is today Gumla in Jharkhand from the 1st century to about 1952 when the zamindari system came into being.

Spread over 27 acres, its capital Navratnagarh is made up of Dhobi Math, Wakil Math, Panch Math and Hamam Math — all veritable storehouses of archways leading to at least 15-20 monuments, several statues many of which are now headless and countless artefacts.

State art and culture department deputy director Harendra Prasad Sinha, who visited the area this week, plans to write out a detailed report on his idea of developing the place as a heritage site with modern amenities for tourists.

“We will be trying to develop the area on the lines of Hampi which is a popular tourist attraction in Karnataka. We will also approach the state tourism department,” he said.

Phani Mukut Rai was the first ruler of the Nagvanshi dynasty. “They also had an empire in Madhya Pradesh in the Narmada Tapti valley around the same time,” said B.P. Keshri, historian and author of Chhotanagpur Ka Itihas. Sinha said he planned to conduct excavations on the site and had already sought permission from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Describing what he saw, the deputy director said the intricate designs engraved on the monuments were similar to those on the Maluti temples near Shikaripara in Dumka district.


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