Nagarjunakonda located on the right bank of the river Krishna in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. It was known as Vijaypuri and was the capital of the Ikshvaku kings in the 3rd – 4th century AD who were the successors of the Satavahanas in the eastern Deccan. It was a centre of is Buddhism and was named after Nagarjuna, a 2nd century philosopher of Mahayana Buddhism.
Important Buddhist monuments like Maha Sputa, Chaitya, vihara complex etc are found here.
The site was famous for the great Buddhist Stupa, called Mahachaitya and many others Buddhist monuments. The inscriptions show state-sponsorship of construction of temples and monasteries, through the funding of the queen of Ikshvaku. The original stupa was renovated by the Ikshvaku princess Chamtisiri in the 3rd century AD. The support also spread beyond the noble classes, many non-royal names being inscribed in the relics.
Nagarjunakonda was inhabited by a number of merchants and artitions who were organized in guilds.
Nagarjunakonda has revealed the evidence of Neolithics and Meglithic culture.
It is in Panna district in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Nachna holds a very important place as the early examples of the Nagara style of temple architecture in northern India started during Gupta age. Temples here are among the first structural temples of India.
It is famous for the Parvati temple built in 5th century Gupta period and Mahadev temple probably of 7th century. They are, in their architectural style; mark an advance over the earlier square and flat-roofed temples.
- Iron is found at BRW levels in site like Nagada on the banks of Chambal and Eran. There is a broad cultural continuity between chalcolithic and iron age. At Nagada, Period1 belongs to Malwa culture. Period2 is BRW though early pottery and microliths continued. Iron objects occured throughout. There was red and cream pottery with geometric design painted on it in black.
- At Nagda, there are the remains of the Sahastra Bahu temples of the early 10th century AD, dedicated to Vishnu. It is popularly referred to as Sas Bahu temples (a local corruption of the original Sahastra-Bahu).
- Another temple that captures attention is Jain temple. Dedicated to the Jain Saint Shanti Nath, the temple is said to have been built during the rule of Rana Kumbha.
|SahastraBahut Temples and Adbudji Jain Temple|
- Nagercoil derived its name from a famous old Jain temple called Naga Raja Temple (temple of the serpent king) which still exists in the central part of the town.
- Nagercoil came under the rule of various kingdoms, notably the Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms at various points of time; historical records reveal that these kingdoms fought over the control of the fertile area of Nanjilnadu and Kottar (a town mentioned in old Tamil writings and maps of ancient India). Archaeological records also show Jain influences in ancient times.
- The City was a part of the erstwhile Travancore state, or later Travancore-Cochin state, until almost a decade after independencein 1947.
- In the 18th era, this city was created by leader of Gond tribes named Bhakt Buland (Raja Buland Shah).
- Human existence around present-day Nagpur city can be traced back 3000 years to the 8th century BCE. Mehir burial sites at Drugdhamna indicate that the megalithic culture existed around Nagpur and is still followed.
- The first reference to the name “Nagpur” is found in a 10th-century copper-plate inscription discovered at Devali in the neighbouring Wardha district. The inscription is a record of grant of a village situated in the visaya (district) of Nagpura-Nandivardhana during the time of the Rastrakuta king Krisna III in the Saka year 862 (940 CE).
- In the 4th century, the Vakataka Dynasty ruled over the Nagpur region and surrounding areas and had good relations with the Gupta Empire.
- After the Vakatakas, the region came under the rule of the Hindu kingdoms of the Badami Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, and finally the Yadavas.
- In 1296, Allauddin Khilji invaded the Yadava Kingdom after capturing Deogiri, after which the Tughlaq Dynasty came to power in 1317. In the 17th century, the Mughal Empire conquered the region.
(6) Naikund (Nearly 42 km north west of Nagpur)
- It is an Iron Age megalithic site in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. It has shown a valuable evidence of iron smelting furnace. Hundreds of iron objects have been found in megalithic burials
- Other similar sites in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra are: Mahurzhari and Bhagimori.
Nalanda is situated in Bihar near Rajagriha. It was an important centre of Buddhist learning in ancient times. Taranatha, the 17th century Tibetan Lama, states that the 3rd century BCE Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, built a great temple at Nalanda.
Nalanda has a Mahavihara, a large Buddhist monastery which was a famous university during Gupta, Harsha and Pala times. A seal identifies a monarch named Sakraditya (Kumargupta of 5th century) as its founder.
Nalanda flourished under the patronage of the Gupta Empire as well as Emperors like Harsha and later, the rulers of the Pala Empire.
7th century Chinese Pilgrims like Hieun Tsang and I-tsing studied at Nalanda Mahavihara (University). The library at Nalanda Mahavihara was an immense complex called the Dharmaganja. The library not only collected religious manuscripts but also had texts on such subjects as grammar, logic, literature, astrology, astronomy, and medicine.
After the decline of the Guptas, the most notable patron of the Mahavihara was Harsha, the 7th-century emperor of Kannauj. Harsha built a monastery of brass within the Mahavihara and remitted to it the revenues of 100 villages. Much of what is known of Nalanda prior to the 8th century is based on the travelogues of the Chinese monks, Hieun Tsang and I-tsing. In his chronicle, I-tsing notes that revenues from 200 villages (as opposed to 100 in Hieun Tsang’s time) had been assigned toward the maintenance of Nalanda.
The Palas established themselves in North-eastern India in the 8th century and reigned until the 12th century. Buddhism in their time was a mixture of the Mahayana practised in Nalanda and Vajrayana, a Tantra-influenced version of Mahayanist philosophy. A number of metallic figures containing references to Devapala have been found in its ruins as well as two notable inscriptions.
Nalanda was ransacked and destroyed by an army of Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1200 CE.
- In Gorakhpur district, UP.
- Narhan culture is one of the chalcolithic culture in northern Vindhyan and middle and lower Ganga valley.
- Ceramic pieces and animal bones have been found.Thatched roofed wattle and daub structures were present at Senuwar and Narhan. Iron generally appears with black and red ware (BRW) in pre-NBP levels at site like Narhan. Cord impressed pottery of red and grey color, many of them burnished on the outside with beautiful incised decorations.
Nasik is situated on the southern bank of river Godavari. The excavation has brought to light the Chalcolithic and Neolithic cultures.
Being located on the ancient trade route connecting the ports of western India and north and south Indian cities, Nasik was a major city during ancient period. The presence of Northern Black Polished Ware indicates its contacts with the north Indian cities.
It became an important settlement in the Saka-Satavahana period during 200 BC – 200 AD. The earliest literary mention of Nasik is in Patanjali’s Mahabhasya which refers to it as Nasikya.
Nasik is famous for the Buddhist rock cut caves which follow a wooden style of construction. The caves are in chaitya halls and viharas mostly dated between 100 BC- 200 AD. These caves, known as Pandulenas, were excavated for the followers of the Bhadrayaniya School, a sect of the Hinayana Buddhism and were patronized not only by local kings and feudatories but also by the merchants and artisions who were growing rich on account of trade with the western world. Incription shows that one cave was the gift of Gautami Balasri, the mother of Gautamiputra Satakarni, a Satavahana king.
This group of caves is also credited with the patronage received from a large number of kings of the Satavahanas (3rd century B.C. – 4th centuries A.D). The inscriptions mentions kings like Krishna, Gautami Putra Satakarni, Vasisthiputra Pulumavi Sri Yajna Satakarni of the Satavahana dynasty.
Two of the earliest monasteries here were carved by the Satavahanas and Kshaharatas. The façade of Chaityagriha is richly carved. The reliefs of Buddha and Bodhisattvas, female deities, etc could also be seen here.
(10) Nausharo (Location near Mehgarh, Part-M)
- Nausharo is located in Balochistan, Pakistan. It is well known as an archaeological site for the Harappan period. Excavations at Nausharo, 6 km from Mehrgarh, revealed a dwelling-site contemporaneous and identical to Mehrgarh, It was occupied between 3000 and 2550 BCE and again between 2550 and 1900 BCE.
- The discovery of a pottery workshop at Nausharo revealed fired and unfired pottery pieces and unworked clay, as well as 12 flint blades or blade fragments.
- The blades showed use-wear traces that indicates their usage in shaving clay while shaping pottery on a potter’s wheel.
- Copper traces found on the platforms of two blades.
- Navdatoli is an Archaeological Site, is just opposite Maheshwar, on the southern bank of the Narmada.
- Navdatoli yielded painted pottery and microliths. A broad sequence of cultures from the Lower Palaeolithic period have existed at Navdatoli.
- House plans from this period have been excavated which show either circular or rectangular buildings. The circular houses had the walls and roof were made of split bamboo covered with mud.
- Navsari, one of the oldest cities of Gujarat, and twin city of Surat. According to the Greek historical writings, a Egyptian astronomer and geographer named Ptolemy mentioned Navsari’s port in his book written about 150 A.D. The geographic location he showed as Narispa.
- There are many iron bearing megathilic sites in Madhya Pradesh-Chattisgarh: Nelakanker, Dhanora, Sonabhir, Karhibhandari, Chirachori, Majagaham, Kabrahata, Sorara, Sankanpalli, TImmelwada, Handaguda.
- A multilevel settlement dating from the Paleolithic period to the Middle Ages on the Pravara River, in the state of Maharashtra. The discovery at Nevasa of ancient and middle Paleolithic cultures was of great importance. It attested to the development of material culture in India. Nevasa’s neolithic layer reveals a settled agricultural culture characterized in the second millennium B.C. by implements (elongated plates) similar to those of the Harappa civilization. The various periods in the history of ancient and medieval states of this region of India are dated by coins.
- A famous temple of Shani, Shani Shingnapur is located near Sonai in Nevasa.