Prayagraj’s Lakshagriha, said to be Mahabharat-era site, to get research center
Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has twice excavated this site in search of historic artefacts.Updated: Sep 23, 2020, 17:06 IST
Lakshagriha, a religious site located in Handia development block of Prayagraj district in Uttar Pradesh, believed to date back to the Mahabharata era, would soon have a dedicated center of study for researchers, said officials.
Efforts have already begun to set up the Mahabharata research center at this site under the chief minister tourism promotion scheme and Ganga circuit development plan by the tourism department, they added.
According to mythological belief, during the Mahabharata era, the Pandavas had foiled an attempt by the Kauravas to burn them alive at Lakshagriha. It is believed that Kauravas built an entire house made up of ‘lac’ (a resinous material) which catches fire easily, and burnt it down as part of their conspiracy to kill Pandavas, but they had escaped unhurt.
Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati, a member of the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra Trust, too supported this belief that the original Lakshgriha was in Prayagraj. Locals call this place by different names including Pandav Kutti, Meti kila (one which is made of mud), court (read fort) and Pandav Gufa (tunnel) etc.
The site has also been excavated by teams of Archeological Survey of India (ASI), once in mid 1970’s and recently in 2004-05. The team in 2004 had excavated around half a dozen places in the entire stretch.
There had been demands made by Lakshagrah Vikas Samiti, an organisation led by its convener Onkar Nath Tripathi, to develop the place and put it on the tourist circuit.
“Following a proposal by Dharmakshetra Lakshagriha Tirtha Kshetra Tourist Places committee for the development of the place, we have proposed the setting up a Mahabharata research center here. The proposal has been made and sent to the state government for approval,” said Tripathi.
He further said that it was believed that Pandavas came to Lakshagriha and now scholars would be able to research on subjects spanning from their entry, their residence and evacuation etc. Some new facts regarding the Mahabharata era’s Prayagraj can get revealed by studying this site of mythological importance, he claimed.
A proposal worth Rs 79.27 lakh has been prepared for the proposed Mahabharat research institute. The Lakshagriha is currently being developed and its beautification work has already started. It is proposed to construct a modern hall, lab etc. for the research center from the budget proposed separately here, said Tripathi.
“Work for the beautification of the site is already being carried out and a welcome gate has been constructed. Foundation of a Satsang hall too has been laid. Further development of the site will be carried out under the CM tourism promotion scheme,” said deputy director (tourism), Dinesh Kumar.
“Improving the facilities and opening up of the research center at this archeologically important site will also unearth other important facts on the artwork and culture that existed here during those times,” said the former head of the department of medieval and modern history, Prof Yogeshwar Tiwari.