Like us humans, cities are also mortal; they are born, they grow and they eventually die. Looking back in time, there are quite a large number of cities and towns which have been lost, destroyed, abandoned and submerged in total; they now lie dead in different forms.
These places are mysterious yet beautiful. The ruins of these lost cities have lit the imaginations of millions of visitors, history seekers and treasure hunters from across the globe. Many were known and a few were unearthed many years after their death and are now being revamped to its past glory.
It is very paining to imagine how an entire city got lost and what exactly led to the decline of these places. It might have been ruined due to war, natural calamities, climatic changes and many more reasons. Whatever the cause, these lost cities remained forgotten until they were rediscovered. Have a look at some of them.
1. Muziris, Kerala
PC: Offical Site
Going way back in time to the 1st century BC, Muziris was one of the most important trading ports of the country which exported spices, especially black pepper. This port city was said to be richer than the majestic Rome. According to texts, it was a city where the vessels of foreign traders, who stirred on the Periyar river, came with gold and left with pepper or the black diamond.
Blanketed in the small bylanes of the present day Kodungallur town, it is easy for one to miss the Muziris Heritage Project is considered as one of the biggest archaeological findings of the country. The project is also known as the Pattanam excavations which have found strong evidences of the once flourishing trade port and artifacts which belong to foreign countries, such as Egypt, Yemen, Rome etc.
2. Dholavira, Gujarat
PC: Rahul Zota
Located on the Khadir island of the Rann of Kutch, Dholavira is one of the five largest Harappan cities to be found in the country. At present, what remains of an once thriving metropolis is a fortified quadrangular city that throws light on the sophisticated planning and organised architecture of the place. The site also has reservoirs, stepwells and various other antiques, such as seals, beads, gold, silver, vessels etc.
The city is also one of the oldest examples of rain water harvesting, which again is a testament of the knowledge our forefathers are believed to have possessed.
3. Vasai, Maharashtra
The Portuguese called it Bacaim, Marathas renamed it as Bajipur, the British changed it to Bassein and today it is known as Vasai. When the Portuguese arrived at the ancient port city of Sopara, which was an important trading centre under the rule of Bahadur Shah, from whom they took it, expanded the fort and transformed into vibrant port city for the two centuries.
One can find ancient churches, mosques, temples, tiny hamlets along with beautiful beaches and hot water springs.
4. Kalibangan, Rajasthan
PC: Offical Site
Kalibangan was a settlement in the Indus Valley civilization and was discovered by an Italian Indologist named Luigi Pio Tessitori. Kalibangan in translation means black bangles, it is located on the banks of the dried up riverbed of the Ghaggar; the place throws light upon the earliest ploughed agricultural land. During the excavation, there were also several fire altars found which indicate that the dwellers here believed in the worship of fire.
5. Pattadakal, Karnataka
PC: Mukul Banerjee
Known for its harmonious blend of the Nagara and Dravidian styles of architecture, Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the banks of the Malaprabha river. The structures here showcase the high point of the style of art, which was developed by the rulers of the Chalukya dynasty; they have a beautiful temple complex with a number of Shiva temples built in the 8th century and a Jain shrine.
The most highlighted one is the Virupaksha Temple which was built by Queen Lokamahadevi to mark the victory of her husband over the Pallava kings of Kanchi.
6. Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu
PC: Offical Site
Once a flourishing port city which was known as Kaveripoompattinam, Poompuhar was the capital for the Cholas for quite some time. The epics of Silapathikaram and Manimekalai, narrate volumes about the life and times of its residents in a great detail.
Situated at the mouth of the Cauvery river, it believed that the town was washed away in a tsunami and eroded during the 500 AD. Ancient wells, Buddha statues, roman coins and many such treasures were excavated in the year 2006 which hold an important role in tracing the glory and heritage of our country.