BHUBANESWAR:Odisha chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) pinned hope that the history will be re-written after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) found that the Prachi Valley civilisation predates the Mohanjo Daro and Indus Valley civilisation.
A team from INTACH led by the State Convener AB Tripathy on Monday visited the excavation site at Prachi Valley being done by the ASI and inspected the site and findings before holding discussions with its Superintending Archaeologist.
The excavation site has revealed a flourishing settlement, which was agrarian in nature, having presence of domesticated cattle. Some unique finds include bone harpoons and hooks, stone axes and potsherds besides remains of fauna ranging from sharks to rhinos. The findings reveal that the Prachi civilisation was engaged in fishing apart from farming.
Realising the relevance of the rich civilisational remains of the Prachi Valley, INTACH had launched a project for listing of the monuments and remains of the rich river valley in January. Project Head and historian Anil Dhir said the entire stretch of the ancient river is being surveyed and every monument, remains, edifices and heritage is being documented and listed. The team has made many new discoveries, both of tangible and intangible heritages in the last two months.
“The evidence unearthed by the ASI shows that the Prachi Valley civilisation is the oldest one. INTACH will share all its findings with ASI. History will have to be rewritten and the Prachi Mahatmya will find its right place in history,” he said.
Prachi was a vibrant navigable river till the early 1940s. However, the reckless crisscrossing of roads, national highway and rampant construction on its flood plain have choked the river which has been reduced to a rivulet. While Prachi river has been dried up, it is only visible during the monsoon.
Former bureaucrat Sanjib Hota said Prachi as a sacred river finds reference in the ancient puranic literature like Markandeya Purana, Kapilasamhita, Prachi Mahatmya and Odia Mahabharata. It is the only place where the unique blend of various religious cults, including Jainism, Buddhism, Tantrism, Shaivism and Vaishnavism, can be found in a chronological order, he added.
The INTACH team demanded that the river should be dredged and the inlet opened to make is navigable as the entire bank is dotted with ancient temples, ghats, mutts and picturesque settings, which can make it a major centre for pilgrimage and tourism.