The students of the first and second year of Nagpur University’s Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology department have discovered an old fort in Kelijhar's hill area. It is believed that the fort belongs to 14-15 century.
The area is estimated to be about 2.6 acres, which is nearly equal to the area of eight football fields.
The most fascinating thing about this discovery was the artifacts. Weapons like cannon balls and arrowheads, coins from the sultanate of Bahamanis, terracotta pottery, broken sculptures and horse fossil were discovered.
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Preety Trivedi, the head of the department, chose Kelijhar as the spot to dig as it is known for the rich heritage.
Talking about this unexpected discovery, Trivedi said,
It has some mythological connection too. Folk lore has it that this is the place where demon Bakasur lived and was killed by the Pandava prince Bhima.
Reference image: toi
The group started the excavation from February 5, 2018, only after obtaining the license from the Archaeological Survey of India.
Until now, the students have dug a narrow ditch of approximate 7.5 meters in depth.
VC of Nagpur University SP Kane visited the spot recently and taking about the excavation further, Trivedi said,
We have not only discovered fortification and bastions but also a multiple channel drainage system. In between two bastions, there should be at least four water channels.
According to the District Gazetteer of Wardha (1974), Keljhar was included in the kingdom of the Yadavas of Devagiri during the 13-14th century.
Throwing more light on the history of the place, Tricedi said,
The fort finds a place in the records of the Mughal period. Khan Dauran, one of the leading generals of Shah Jahan, is said to have captured the forts of Nagpur and Keljhar in the first half of the 17th century and for this he was conferred the title of Nusrat Jang. After the downfall of the Mughal empire the fort was captured by the Gonds. According to noted historian BR Andhare, the fort was captured by Bhonsala king Raghuji-I in 1737.
The group is said to submit a report to ASI and will also send archaeological remains for scientific analysis to retrieve the exact time periods.
Very recently, officials from ASI Nagpur had visited this place.
The locals and historians claim that the fort deserves proper care, protection and should be considered as a heritage of national importance.
Information source: toi
Reference image: timeshighereducation