Kausambi Palace, an obscure major discovery from 1962 for Indian architecture

Mar 2019
1,535
KL
#1
while reading one of the annual reports of archaeological survey of india published nearly 60 years ago i was dumb founded to read this important history which already should have redefined the concept of Indian architecture since 1962 but some how has went under the rug.

Its just very perplexing when one is dealing with colonial constructed theories on Indian architecture and you make such discoveries and sweep this under the rug for good, is just mind blowing.

in summary, the report makes such points

  1. palace at Kaushambi dates from 8th century BC and constructed and continuously dwelt till 1st or 2nd century AD and constructed six times
  2. palace features pointed arches and hallways where the passage was to be narrow
  3. palace used segmental arch ways where the spaces needed to be wider, various other types of arches were used
  4. the palace was entirely constructed using bricks and stones, no wood was used
  5. The palace had arched vaulted roof
  6. The central portion of an enormous palace featured a dome
  7. palace had vast channels of underground chambers below it
incidentally i came across this image

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This is a relief of a palace from mahabodhi temple railings dating back to the shunga periods. There are very few palace depictions/ indian architecture depictions in the indian arts.

The relief from mahabodhi temple dated to 2nd-1st century BC clearly depicts vaulted underground chambers, its really surprising that Indian historians have not been able to make such connections.

here are some indo islamic architectural elements

Mandu palace from early indo islamic pre mughal architecture 15th century AD

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Khirki mosque from early indo islamic 14th century AD

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The vaulted underground chambers have not been noted in persian or central asian architecture/ atleast not that i know of, this particular element has been confined to Indian architecture alone, so if the indo islamic architecture totally upturned the methods of architecture in india by introducing vaulting, arches, domes etc from central asia/persia how did they introduce a completely alien feature into the indian architecture?

when taj mahal was constructed elaborate vaulted underground chambers were constructed which was later sealed

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INDIAN ARCHAEOLOGY A REVIEW - PDF

http://nmma.nic.in/nmma/nmma_doc/Indian Archaeology Review/Indian Archaeology 1961-62 A Review.pdf

Islamic buildings initially had to adapt the skills of a workforce trained in earlier Indian traditions to their own designs. Unlike most of the Islamic world, where brick tended to predominate, India had highly skilled builders very well used to producing stone masonry of extremely high quality.[3] As well as the main style developed in Delhi and later Mughal centres, a variety of regional styles grew up, especially where there were local Muslim rulers. By the Mughal period, generally agreed to represent the peak of the style, aspects of Islamic style began to influence architecture made for Hindus, with even temples using scalloped arches, and later domes. This was especially the case in palace architecture.

Indo-Islamic architecture - Wikipedia
pointed arches are not seen in persia until islamic era where umayyad buildings seem to have featured sassanid type architecture of parabolic or semicircular arches instead of the pointed ones. It is after the abbasid period that we see appearance of such features in the persian architecture, specially given the amount of sassanid ruins persians still have it is safe to say persians never used pointed arches and were introduced by abbasids during their rule from india or central asia.

how many such important discoveries are lying swept under the carpet?

regards
 
Last edited:
Oct 2015
1,133
India
#3
Puranas say that 6-7 generations after Mahabharata, Ganga river 'carried away' Hastinapur, the capital of Pandavas. The ruling king then moved his capital to Kausambi.

Kausambi archeology connects the the pre-Mahabharata period with post-Mahabharata period. It is most important, as you say, in tracing archeological signatures of Later Vedic period.

I wish there was more literature on this city.
 
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Likes: No Bias FTW
Mar 2019
1,535
KL
#5
this Gupta era terracotta tile indicates an elaborate keystone using pointed arch, dont know why some indian scholars post dating it to the islamic periods, only using colonial era standards and nothing else, kausambi area esp its palace was abandoned much before the islamic era and its settled period doesnt go beyond 600 BC

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the colonial assumption that hindus didn't use them is only based on colonial scholars arguments with the hindus, the hindus also in their texts said that no one should navigate or go outside india so the aliens pretending as hindus went to SEA perhaps, or the hindu sailors who guided greeks to india?
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,716
India
#6
pataliputra is probably even older than kausambi

regards
Patliputra was the new capital of Magadha, it was built during the time of Ajatashatru. The historical capital of Magadha before Patliputra was Rajagriha (modern Rajgir in Nalanda). There are folklore, mythology and sites related to Jarasandha(Mahabharata's character) in Rajgir, one such sight is 'Jarasandh ka akhada' where Jarasandha and Arjuna fought each other.
 
Mar 2019
1,535
KL
#7
Patliputra was the new capital of Magadha, it was built during the time of Ajatashatru. The historical capital of Magadha before Patliputra was Rajagriha (modern Rajgir in Nalanda). There are folklore, mythology and sites related to Jarasandha(Mahabharata's character) in Rajgir, one such sight is 'Jarasandh ka akhada' where Jarasandha and Arjuna fought each other.
that is why you should read my new thread, pataliputra according to few archaeologists is infact an older city because it used wooden ramparts and fortifications, no city other than pataliputra used wooden ramparts which according to archaeologists and scholars is an important indication of its archaic nature even predating kausambi which used brick ramparts from early first millennium, the buddhist notion that buddha envisaged pataliputra as glorious city in the future is probably a fabrication, and archaoelogists opine that due to the glory of this city buddhists used it to make ''prophecy'' attributed to buddha.

regards
 
Oct 2015
1,133
India
#8
pataliputra is probably even older than kausambi

regards
As such the whole of India was populated by some people at least from 2000 BCE (just a sample date). So both Patiliputra and Kausambi must have had some civilization even during 3rd & 2nd millenium BC. But was it urban?

PGW & NBPW sequence shows that urbanization move from west to east suggesting Kausambi could have been first among them. However, excavations may change the picture.
 
Mar 2019
1,535
KL
#9
As such the whole of India was populated by some people at least from 2000 BCE (just a sample date). So both Patiliputra and Kausambi must have had some civilization even during 3rd & 2nd millenium BC. But was it urban?

PGW & NBPW sequence shows that urbanization move from west to east suggesting Kausambi could have been first among them. However, excavations may change the picture.
urbanization moves from west to east, i dont think there is any such established sequence which denotes that, it is highly probable it may have be the other way around, the first appearance of NBPW, the first empires, the first philosophers, religions etc all seem to have appeared in eastern india, kausambi must have been established pertaining to the urbanization taking place in eastern india.

there are also very much telling evidence that red and black ware appeared even earlier in eastern india in the second millennium before western counter parts, giving further credibility to eastern indian urbanisation probably before the western ones.

Black and red ware culture - Wikipedia

regards
 

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