Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Lakshagraha: Tales from the Mahabharata

Visit to Barnawa, the ancient Varnavat

Whoever remembers the story of Mahabharata can recollect the word 'Lakshagrah' or the Palace of Lacquer, a material which gives shine to wood and is highly inflammable.  This was the episode when Duryodhana, along with his maternal uncle Shakuni, planned a conspiracy to build a palace at Varnavat which would easily catch fire with just a spark. The Pandavas, somehow got to know of this plan and they managed to get a pit dug up which would open up somewhere outside the town of Varnavat.
This place Barnawa, in Uttar Pradesh is believed to be the ancient Varnavat.  The pit from where the Pandavas escaped can still be seen, however, the archaeologists have not yet completed the excavation, so the source is still not visible. The ruins of some old building can also be seen, which is made of a material crumbling into pieces.
The city is lined with Jain temples, which are quite ancient, and the place is also a popular pilgrimage centre for Jains. Also close to Barnawa is Alamgirpur, which is a site of Indus Saraswathi civilization.

Lakshagrah site

Lakshagrah site

Ancient Jain temple at Barnawa (Varnavat)

Mantapa near Lakshagrah

Sword impression at Lakshagrah

Ruins at Lakshagrah site


Ruins at Lakshagrah site


Ruins at Lakshagrah site

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