(1) Sakala / Sagala / Sialkot
Modern name of Sakala is Sialkot which is situated in West Punjab in Pakistan.
According to the Greek historical texts, which bring mention of the city of Sialkot dating back to before 327 BC when the city was known as Sakala, it represented the eastern-most outpost and expansion of the Hellenic Empire created by Alexander. The Greek historians state that the city was one of the most productive Silk regions of the Achaemenid Empire.
Bactrian Indo-Greek Kingdom led by King Menander ruled over it in 2nd century BCE and made Sakala as his capital. During his reign Sakala was an important centre of Buddhism.
Later Muhammad Ghouri established a fortress in 1181 AD.
The city was also an important trading centre.
Excavations throughout the area have revealed large amounts of Greek coins, ancient Zoroastrian temples and several Buddhist Stupas.
(2) Salsette (In Bombay)
Mumbai in Maharashtra lie on Salsette Island. Salsette was ruled by a succession of Hindu kingdoms, the last of which were the Silharas. In 1343, the islands were annexed by the Muslim Sultanate of Gujarat. In 1534, the Portuguese took the islands from Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.
In1739 the island was captured by the Marathas. The British occupied Salsette in 1774, which was formally ceded to the East India Company under the Treaty of Salbai, 1782.
- In the late 12th century, Sambhal was the capital of Prithviraj Chauhan, the King of Hindu Kshatriya Chauhan (Chauhamana) dynasty, until he changed his capital to Delhi and Ajmer. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the second ruler of the Afghan Lodi Dynasty, Sikandar Lodi made Sambhal one of his provincial capitals.During the reign of the third Mughal Emperor, Akbar, Sambhal was a ‘Sarkar’ in the ‘Subah’ of Delhi and had a brick fort.Babur kept the foundation stone of Sambhal’s Jama masjid.
- Shahi Jama Masjid:The Sambhal mosque, built by a Mughal general, Mir Hindu Beg, in 1528, is the only surviving Mughal building constructed during the time of Babar.
- Kalki Mandir,Suraj Kund Mandir, Manokamna Mandir are also in sambhal.
Samugarh was renamed as Fatehabad in Agra district.
It is famous for the battle of Samugarh (May 29, 1658) which was a decisive battle in the struggle for the throne during the Mughal war of succession between the sons of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan after the emperor’s serious illness in September 1657. The battle of Samugarh was fought between his sons Dara Shikoh (the eldest son and heir apparent) and his two younger brothers Aurangzeb and Murad Baksh (third and fourth sons of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan) resulting in defeat of Dara Shikoh.
- Sanauli is an archeological site located in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh where 125 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation were found. These graves are dated c. 2200–1800 BC.
- Graves are all oriented in a north-south direction and most are identified as primary burials. Some of the burials are identified also as secondary and multiple burials and animal bones are also discovered next to human bones. The age group of buried starts from 1–2 years and includes all age groups and both male and female. Burial goods generally consisted of odd number of vases (3, 5, 7 etc.) placed near the head, with dish-on-stand usually placed below hip area as well as antenna swords, sheath of copper, terracotta figurines, gold and copper bangles, beads of semi-precious stones (two necklace of long barrel shape) etc.
- Remains of a burnt brick wall with a finished inner surface ran along the eastern side of the burial. A dish-on-stands and a violin shaped flat copper container having nearly 35 arrow head shaped copper pieces placed in a row.
- A burial ground of this numbers should have been associated with a large habitation site, but so far such an habitation nearby has not been located.
- Dish-on-stand was usually placed below the hip area, but in some cases was placed near the head or feet. It was clearly an important part of burial goods. Its mushroom-shaped form has not found at any other archeological sites. It was used as holding stand and in one case, held the head of a goat.
- The Archeological Survey of India has categorised this site as a prominent cemetery site of the late Harappan period. There is evidence suggesting animal sacrifice in some middle and upper level burials.
- It belongs to Neolithic period (3000 BC – beginning of Christian era), complex of hills (peacock hills) is 8 km from Bellary.
- It is One of the earliest village settlements in South India(largest village complex)
- The first settlers were established here and traded stone tools among the Neolithic people.Different types of burial structures have been found.
- At Sanganakallu the people who settled were the earliest agriculturists, they cultivated small millets and pulses, they kept sheep, cattle, they had separate areas for dumping dung (ash mounds), has the earliest houses of mud and stone.
- The Neolithic rock art can be seen on boulders, hand percussion marks of rituals and social ceremonies (ringing rocks).
- Manufacture stone tools on a large scale shows the rich Neolithic culture and skills.
Sanchi is situated in Madhya Pradesh. It is famous for one of the earliest surviving Buddhist Stupa and the pillar edict of Ashoka
The Stupa was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. It was a hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. A pillar of finely polished sandstone was also erected. The pillar has an Ashokan inscription and an inscription from the Gupta period.
During the later rule of the Sunga, the stupa was expanded with stone slabs. The dome was crowned by three superimposed parasols within a square railing. The dome was set on a high circular drum meant for circumambulation. Stupa was enclosed by a stone balustrade with four monumental gateways (toranas).
The gateways and the balustrade were improved and colored. An inscription records the gift of one of the top architraves (lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns) of the Southern Gateway by the artisans of the Satavahana king Satakarni named Ananda.
At Sanchi like most other Stupas, the local population donated money for the embellishment of the stupa to attain spiritual merit.
On the stone carvings the Buddha was never depicted as a human figure. Instead the artists chose to represent him by certain attributes, such as the horse on which he left his home, his footprints, or a canopy under the bodhi tree at the point of his enlightenment.
Although made of stone, they were carved and constructed in the manner of wood and the gateways were covered with narrative sculptures. They showed scenes from the life of the Buddha integrated with everyday events.
(8) Sandabur (Old name of Goa)
- It is a small island near Goa famous for natural beauty and temples. Ibn Batuta went to this island during reign of Md. Bin Tughlaq.
It is situated on the dry course of river Sutlej in Ludhiana district of Punjab. The excavation reveals that the site was under continuous occupation from the Harappan times to the Gupta period. The antiquities mostly pertain to the Saka-Kushana period and include the Indo-Parthian and Kushana coins, ivory combs, beads, the red stone sculptures of Mathura School etc. A terracotta coin-mould of Gondopharnes, the Indo-Parthian king, has also been found.
Excavations have also yielded coins and seals related to Huna kings Toramana and Mihirakula.
A Buddhist stupa, probably of Kushana period, along with a rich treasure of carved stone slabs was excavated. These are considered as Kushan sculptures of the Mathura school of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
In contrast to Kushana times, the antiquities belonging to the Gupta phase are far less and largely include terracotta figurines and sealings.
(10) Sankisa / Sankasya / Sankassa
It is situated misway between Atranjikhera and Kannauj in Farukhabad district of UP.
It is a centre of Budhhist pilgrimage. An Ashokan pillar bearing his edict and a standing elephant as its capital has been found here.
Excavation has yielded antiquities like PGW and NBP ware, punch marked coins, cast copper coins etc.
(11) Sarai Nahar Rai
- District of Pratapgarh, UP
- Mesolithic Site
- The excavations revealed spectacular evidence of human settlements,and human bodies (in the form of skeletons) buried in the burials. These remains proved to be the earliest remnants of the Homosapien Sapiens in India. Their lithic artefacts include microliths of different types.
- Since stone is not available in the Pratapgarh area and its nearest source is the Vindhyan hills the material to prepare lithic tools would have been procured from that region. It is interesting to note that these people had large and robust skulls and they were relatively tall. Radiocarbon dating gave an age of bone-sample ranging around 10, 000 years before the present. This discovery has become a turning point in the study of human colonisation of the Ganga Valley.
- Four Ashokan edicts were written in the Prakrit language and Brahmi script and one of them was used as foundation of the pedestal for Kali idol.Tablets, sculptures, and other terracotta items were found, and most importantly numerous limestone panels of sculptures of the ruined ‘Maha Stupa’.
- Clay pendants of Roman origin, black polished pottery, Shatavahana and pre-Shatavahana coins, ornaments made of copper, ivory and iron, a township with paved pathways, houses, and limestone flooring have been found.
- One of the stones – the only known example of its type – is of Emperor Ashoka (274–232 BC) seated on his throne. It is probably the only surviving image of Emperor Asoka.
(13) Sarnath (0r Isipattan)
Sarnath is located near Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers.
The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which was his first teaching after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the four noble truths and the teachings associated with it.), and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence.
Sarnath is one of four most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, the other three being Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Lumbini.
Sarnath was also the birthplace the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism, and a temple dedicated to him, is an important pilgrimage site for Jains.
In the 7th century by the time Xuan Zang visited from China, he found 30 monasteries and 3000 monks living at Sarnath, studying the Hinayana.He mentions stupa built by Ashoka.
Buddhism flourished in Sarnath in part because of kings and wealthy merchants based in Varanasi. By the third century, Sarnath had become an important center for the arts, which reached its zenith during the Gupta period (4th to 6th centuries CE).
Sarnath is quite rich in Buddhistt antiquities. An important monument is the Dhamek Stupa. It was built in 6th centurt A.D. to replace an earlier structure commissioned by the Mauryan king Ashoka in to commemorate the Buddha’s activities in this location. An Ashoka pillar with an edict engraved on it stands near the site. The stupa is a solid cylinder of bricks and stone. The stone facing is chiseled and displays delicate floral carvings. The wall is covered with exquisitely carved figures of humans and birds, as well as inscriptions in the Brahmi script.
Sarnath has also yielded a number of beautiful sculptures. Apart from lion capital of Ashokan pillar, a colossal image of a Bodhisattava, a number of images of Buddha and Buddhist deities are discovered. Also images of Brahminist gods as Shiva and Brahma were found at the site.
The Ashokan Pillar
The pillar was originally surmounted by the “Lion Capital of Asoka”. A graphic representation of it was adopted as the official Emblem of India in 1950. This Ashokan pillar’s capital is more elaborate than the other similar surviving capitals of the pillars of Ashoka.
The capital is carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, and was always a separate piece from the column itself. It features four Asiatic Lions standing back to back. They are mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening spoked chariot-wheels. The wheel on the capital, below the lions, is the model for the one in the flag of India.
Shravanabelagola is in Hassan district of Karnataka. Shravanabelagola has two hills, Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. It is famous for Jaina monuments and antiquities.
According to the Jaina legends, Jaina guru Bhadrabahu and his pupil Chandragupta Maurya are believed to have meditated in Sravana Belgola and died of starvation (called Salekhana vrata) as per Jaina rules.
Sravana belagola has two important Jaina monuments, both created by Chamundaraya, the minister and general of the western Ganga king Rajamalla. One of them is the Chamundaraya basadi (a Jaina temple) on the Chandragiri hill. The other monument is the monolithic image of Gomateshvara also called Bahubali, the son of the first tirthankara Rishabhdeva.
The 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshvara is carved out of a single block of granite. It is considered to be the world’s largest monolithic stone statue. The statue was created around 983 AD by Chamundaraya. Every twelve years, devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a ceremony in which the statue is covered with milk, curds, ghee, saffron etc.
A large number of inscriptions in different languages have been found at Shravanabelagola, dating from 7th century to 19th century. Some of these inscriptions mention the rise and growth in power of the Western Ganga Dynasty, the Rashtrakutas, the Hoysala Empire, the Vijayanagar Empire and the Wodeyar dynasty.
(15) Sasan Gir / Gir Van
- The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Sasan-Gir) is a forest and wildlife sanctuary for fully protected area (thenational park) and (1153 km² for the Sanctuary), the park is located 43 km in the north-east from Somnath, 65 km to the south-east of Junagadh.
Sasaram is in Bihar. It is the birthplace of the Afghan king Sher Shah Suri. Sher Shah Suri’s red sandstone tomb, built in the Indo-Afghan style stands in the middle of an artificial lake at Sasaram. It borrows from the Lodhi style.
The fort of Sher Shah Suri at Rohtasgarh is in Sasaram. This fort has a history dating back to 7th century AD. It was built by Raja Harishchandra in the name of his son Rohitashwa and houses the Churasan temple, Ganesh temple, diwan-e khas, diwan-e-aam, and various other structures dating back to different centuries.
It is located in Maharashtra. The first Muslim invasion of the Deccan took place in 1296. In 1663, Shivaji conquered Satara fort (Ajinkyatara) from Deccan Sultanate.
After the death of Shivaji, Aurangzeb’s son Muhammad Azam Shah conquered Satara fort, later won by Maratha in 1706. In 1708 Chattrapati Shahu, the son of Chhatrapati Sambhaji, was crowned on the Satara fort.
After their victory in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, the British Empire annexed most of the Maratha territory to Bombay Presidency, but restored the titular Raja Pratap Singh. As a result of political intrigues, he was deposed in 1839, and his brother Shahji Raja was placed on the throne. This prince died without any male heirs, and as a result Satara was eventually annexed by the British government, and added to Bombay Presidency.
Ajinkyatara is a fort on one of the seven mountains surrounding the city of Satara in the Sahayadri Mountains of Maharashtra.
- Ancient Site of Chakradhar, Semthan: Situated in the Vijayesvarkshetra, as mentioned in Kalhana’s Rajatarangni, the excavation at the highest mound on a Karewa table and in village Semthan has yielded a cultural sequence consisting of the pre-Mauryan, Mauryan, Indo-Greek, Kushan-Hun and medieval periods. The results have partly bridged the gap between the Neolithic and Historical periods.
- two cultures meet at Semthan. One is related to the written historical period and the other is connected with the early historical period of Kashmir, viz A.B.P. With this research, the gap between the Neolithic culture of Burzahome and Indo-Greek culture is filled to some extent. The Burzahome culture has been dated at 1500 B.C., whereas the Indo-Greek culture starts from the second centuary B.C.
- The Semthan excavations bring the following facts to light
- The Greek rule over Kashmir and Semthan was a place of importance in that period. The Greek coins and a Greek stone image confirm that fact.
- According to the chain of two cultures, Kashmir was connected with Northern India in the fields of art and evolution of civilisation.
- The staple diet was wheat and rice in Kashmir.
- The ceramic industry was flourishing during this period.
- The copper coins and iron implements were in use.
- Devdar trees were found at the places where we cannot imagine those at present.
- Archaeological exactions at Burzahom, Semthan and Kanispur (ancient Kanishkapura) in Kashmir which have brought to light valuable data on prehistoric and early historical life of the people of the valley.
- In Hooghly district in the Indian state of West Bengal.The town is several centuries old and has witnessed both the growth and decline of the feudal system, the coming of the Danes and their settlement and then a cultural renaissance (known as the Bengal Renaissance) initiated by the British following the construction of the east Indian railway, along with subsequent industrial development.
- The urbanization phase began with the acquisition of land in the area by the Danes in the early eighteenth century, as part of the Danish colonial empire. In 1755, the Danish East India Company sent a representative from its Tranquebar office to the Nawab of Bengal. Their intention was to secure a Parwana (district jurisdiction) allowing them the right to do business in Bengal. They obtained the parwana by paying fifty thousand rupees in cash to Nawab Alivardi Khan.By 1770 the Danish merchants were beginning to make significant progress in trade and commerce in the area.
- Initially the Danes were dependent on their factors for obtaining commodities (primarily silk and cotton fabrics), but they later got involved in collection of merchandise directly from the producers, and offered incentives to the artisans in the form of earnest money for making high quality products. They also created a class of trading middlemen, such as agents, banias, mutsuddis, and stevedores.
- Another notable source of their income was the Hoondi business. Serampore became a well-protected town and the maintenance of law and order was well developed. To facilitate municipal administrative and judicial work, a new Court House was built and a metalled road was laid on the river bank and magnificent palatial buildings..
Shahbazgarhi is an historic site located in Mardan district in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.
Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BC) were carved on two rocks on a hill. This edict was inscribed in Kharoshthi script which is written from right to left (influenced by Achaemenids). The inscription presents aspects of Ashoka’s Dharma.
- The area was called ‘Shimla’, named after a Hindu goddess, Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Kali.Shimla was invaded and captured by Bhimsen Thapa ofNepal in 1806. The British East India Company took control of the territory as per theSugauli Treaty after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16).
- In 1863, the Viceroy of India John Lawrence decided to shift the summer capital of the British Raj to Shimla.In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India,
- Hills located by the city of Palitana, in Bhavnagar district.These hills have similarities to other hills where Jain temples have been built in Bihar, Gwalior, Mount Abuand Girnar.
- The Jain’s sacred site of Shatrunjay contains hundreds of Palitana temples.
- The hills were sanctified when Lord Rishabha, the first tirthankara of Jainism, gave his first sermon in the temple on the hill top. Shatrunjaya was also known as Pundarikgiri as Pundarik was said to have attained nirvana on this mountain.
- The Palitana temples of Jainism are located on Shatrunjaya by the city of Palitana in Bhavnagar district. The city of the same name, known previously as Padliptapur, has been nicknamed “City of Temples”.
- Along with Shikharji in the state of Jharkhand, the two sites are considered the holiest of all pilgrimage places by the Jain community.
- This site on Shatrunjaya hill hundreds of temples.There are approximately 863 marble-carved temples on the hills.It is said that 23 tirthankaras (a human being who helps in achieving liberation and enlightenment), except Neminatha (a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma), sanctified the hill by their visits.
- The main temple is dedicated to Rishabha, the first tirthankara; it is the holiest shrine for the Svetambara Murtipujaka sect. Digambara Jain have only one temple here.
- The Palitana temples were built over a period of 900 years starting in the 11th century.They were destroyed by Turkish Muslims invaders in 1311 AD.Most of them which are now present date to the 16th century. Some of them are named after the wealthy patrons who paid for the construction.
- In 1656, Shah Jahan’s son Murad Baksh (the then Governor of Gujarat) granted Palitana villages to the prominent Jain merchant Shantidas Jhaveri, a Svetambara Jain, in 1656, and subsequently when all taxes were also exempted that the temple town further prospered. It was brought under the control of the Anandji Kalyanji Trust in 1730 to manage not only Palitana temples but also many other temples of Svetambara Jains, since the Mughal period.
(23) Shivner (See Junar in Part-J)
- Siddapura (Minor Rock Edict) lies one mile to the west of Brahmagiri,and three miles south of the location of the Jatinga-Rameshwar inscription. This group of inscriptions may have marked the southern boundary of the empire,in addition to their importance from other points of view.
(34) Sigiria / Sigiriya
- Many rock shelters and caves in the vicinity were occupied by Buddhist monks and ascetics from as early as the 3rd century BCE.
- According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sihagiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century
- Sanghol is a village located in Fatehgarh Sahib District of Punjab, India. It is also known as Uchha Pind Sanghol.
- Excavations at the site have yielded coins and seals related to Toramana and Mihirakula belonging to central Asia. A Buddhist stupa was excavated and a rich treasure of 117 beautiful carved stone slabs,which includes 69 pillars, 35 crossbars, figures and figurines, was excavated as Kushan sculptures of the Mathura school of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
- It was a military outpost of Prithviraj Chauhan against Muhammad Ghori. In 1192 it became a part of Ghauri Sultanate after the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan. It was refounded by Emperor Firuz Shah Tughlaq in 1361 AD.
- However it reached the zenith of its glory under the Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century. This city was a home of sixteenth-century saint Ahmad Sirhindi, popularly known as Mujadid Alif Sani which means ‘Revivor of the Faith in the Second Millennium’. The mausoleum of this saint is still there. Under Akbar it had turned the highest yielding sarkar.
- Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and his Sikh army in 1710 destroyed the city of Sirhind completely,and Wazir Khan the governor, was killed. The Sikhs occupied Sirhind and made Bhai Baj Singh the governor.
- Adina Beg Khan, along with Sikhs was already in revolt with Ahmad Shah Abdali who had invaded Punjab multiple times. He asked Marathas for help, On 7 March, 1758, Marathas at that time were the paramount power in India, Maratha general, Raghunathrao had encamped at Rajpura where he received Adina Beg Khan’s envoys. A concerted attack on the fort of Sirhind was made by the Marathas on 8 March 1758. After defeating the Afghan-Rohilla forces, the Marathas pursued the Afghans into the Punjab.
- Sirohi, is said to have taken its name from Sirohi from Siranwa hill, on the western slope at which it stands. In 1405, Rao Sobhaji founded the town of Shivpuri on the eastern slope of Siranwa Hill. Shivpuri today lies in ruins. In 1425, his son and successor, Sehastramal (or Sahastramal, Sehastramal), founded a fortress on the eastern slope of the same hill, which became his capital and grew into the present-day town of Sirohi.
- In the state of Chhattisgarh on the banks of the river Mahanadi.The town of Sirpur has been mentioned in ancient epigraphic records, dating back to the 5th to the 8th centuries A.D.
- The city was once the capital of the Sarbhapuriya and Somvanshi Kings of Dakshin (south) Kosala state.
- It was an important centre of Buddhist from the 6th the 10th century A.D. and was visited by Hieun Tsang, the 7th Century Chinese Pilgrimist and Scholar.
- It is believed that a devastating earthquake buried the ancient town under mud and debris in the 12th century.
- The 7th century Laxman Temple (dedicated to lord Vishnu) is considered as one of the finest brick temples of India with a stone doorframeTemple is famous for its interesting carvings.
- Recent excavations have uncovered 12 Buddh Viharas, 1 Jain Vihara, monolithic statues of Buddha and Mahavira, 22 Shiv temples and 5Vishnu temples, an Ayurveda treatment centre, underground granary market and a sixth century ‘Ayurvedic snaan kund’ (ancient spa).
- Other famous attractions of Sirpur are the Gandheshwar Temple and the Buddha Vihara.
- Siswal in Hisar district, Haryana, India, is an Indus Valley Civilization archeological site, for which the Sothi-Siswal ceramic period was named.
(39) Sisupalgarh (Location near Bhubaneswar)
- The remains of the ancient city Sisupalgarh has been discovered near Bhubaneswar, capital of the Odisha.It is one of the largest and best preserved early historic fortification in India. The fortified city flourished from around 5th century BC and probably lasted well after the 4th century.Thus, this defensive settlement originated prior to the Mauryan empire.
- in Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is known for the Sittanavasal Cave, a Jain cave complex.From the 7th to the 9th century A.D., the village flourished as a Jain centre.
- The village was settled during the megalithic period from the 1st century BC according to excavations of several megalithic sites near the village which are in the form of both cist and urn burials..
- Jainism flourished here from 1st century BC to 10th century AD. The Arivarkovil or the Temple cave is initially dated to Pallava King Mahendravarman I (580-630 AD) prior to his conversion from Jainism to Hinduism. The village later fell under the reign of the Pandyans in Tamil Nadu, and an inscription attributes renovation of the cave to a Pandyan king.
- The Sittanavasal Cave(Arivar Kovil caves): is a Jain monastery of the 7th century. It is noted for its paintings which have been painted in fresco-secco technique ( technique in which pigments ground in water are tempered using egg yolk or whole egg mixed with water which are applied to plaster )with many mineral colours. The painting themes depict a beautiful lotus pond and flowers, people collecting lotuses from the pond, two dancing figures, lilies, fish, geese, buffaloes and elephants. Pallava craftsmen used greens and browns and puqiles. In addition, inscriptions of the 9th and 10th century are also seen. The exquisite ceiling of the Ardhamandapam is decorated with murals from the 7th century.The cave temple has placid pillars and sculptures of Jain Tirthankaras. Originally, the entire cave temple, including the sculptures, was covered with plaster and painted.
- Ezhadippattam or Jaina beds is a natural cave, marked by a horizontal floor space which is laid out with well-polished rock beds that were used by Jaina ascetics. The oldest Tamil Brahmi inscriptions seen inscribed on the beds are dated to the 3rd century BC extending to the 10th Century AD. On one of the oldest and largest beds, the inscription in Tamil is of Tamil Brahmi script of the 1st century BC, considered as the oldest lithic record of South India.Also, names of ascetics who engaged in sallekhana(fasting unto death) are written on their respective beds.
- Jambunatha Cave or Navach-chunai, in the style of late Pandya temples of the 13th century AD, a small rock-cut temple which is submerged in a small lake, located between Ezadippattam and Arivar Kovil caves.This is a small rock-cut temple which is submerged in a small lake. An old jambu tree is seen near the lake, which gives its name to the cave. It is a Shiva temple with a lingam in the centre.
- In Gorakhpur District in Uttar Pradesh.
- The earliest known copper-plate, known as the Sohgaura copper-plate,is a Maurya record that mentions famine relief efforts. It is one of the very few pre-Ashoka Brahmi inscriptions in India.
(44) Sonargaon /Dhaka (See Dhaka in Part-D)
(45) Sonkh (Location near Mathura)
- The archaeological site at Sonkh, 12 kilometers south of Govardhan, has proven to be a goldmine of valuable artefacts going back at least three millennia.
- There was a continuous settlement living on this spot from the 8th century BC up to the 19th century AD.
- Distinct signs of the Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, and Gupta periods, as well as habitations from the medieval period and later Jat kingdoms. The excavated structural remains go from the painted grey ware period through the mud wall and mud-brick settlements of the Maurya and Shunga cultural period, to baked brick constructions about the end of the 2nd century BC, which was when the Mitra dynasty ruled.
- A temple area, situated near main excavation zone, where the foundation walls of a semi-circular sanctuary were excavated. The first phase of the temple building was dated to the beginning of the first century BC. A second phase, partly erected upon the walls of the first, belongs to the early Kushana period about two centuries later.
- This second temple served as a sanctuary for the Naga cult the existence of which had previously only been known in Mathura from inscriptions. Here they found the remains of a carved stone railing and a number of magnificent sculptures.
- Ancient port town and the capital of the ancient Aparanta. The site of this ancient town is located near the present day Nala Sopara town in Palghar district, of the state Maharashtra.
- The finding of the relics in a stupa and the rock edicts (the fragments of the 8th and 9th major rock edicts) of Ashoka. From the center of the stupa (inside a brick built chamber) a large stone coffer was excavated which contained eight bronze images of Maitreya Buddha which belong to the 8th-9th century CE. This coffer also enclosed relic caskets of copper, silver, stone, crystal and gold, along with numerous gold flowers and fragments of a begging bowl. A silver coin of Gautamiputra Satakarni (Satvahans) was also found from the mound
- Ptolemy mentioned this town as Soupara, and it was a major commercial centre during his time.
- Westernmost known archaeological site of Indus Valley Civilization . It is located about 480 km west of Karachi on Makran coast near the Iran border in Baluchistan in Pakistan.
- Along with the usual “citadel” and “lower town”, a massive fortification wall of semi-dressed stones exists. This citadel wall varies in height and thickness due to the irregular contours of the natural rock foundation.Though inland at present, this site may have been near navigable water in ancient times and on a trade route between other centers. A coastal route existed linking sites such asLothal and Dholavira to Sutkagan Dor on the Makran coast. It isalso suggested that this site must have been an important trading post, connecting seaborn trade from Pursian Gulf/Arabian Sea to hinterland.
- Stone vessels, copper arrow heads, stone arrow heads, shell beads, pottery, dish-on-stand , a copper-bronze disc were found
- Shravasti is located near the West Rapti River and is closely associated with the life of Gautama Buddha. Age-old stupas, majestic viharas and several temples near the village of “Sahet-Mahet” establish Buddha’s association with Shravasti.
- Shravasti was the capital of the Kosala Kingdom during 6th century BC to 6th century CE. This prosperous trading center was well known for its religious associations.
- Sobhanath temple is believed to be the birthplace of the Tirthankara Sambhavanath inJainism, making Shravasti an important center for Jains as well.
- During excavation in ‘Sahet-Mahet’ near Shravasti City, many ancient idols and inscriptions were found.
|Statue of Buddha performing the Miracle of Shravasti Gandhara, 100-200 CE|
- The Buddha passed the greater part of his monastic life in Shravasti.
|Anathapindika’s Stupa in Shravasti|
- The chief patrons of the Buddha in Shravasti were Anathapindika, Visakha, Suppavasa and Pasenadi
- The Chinese Pilgrim Xuanzang found the old city in ruins, but recorded the sites of various buildings.
(49) Srikakulam / Gulshanabad
- Srikakulam was formerly called Gulshanabad (Garden city) during Muslim rule and was headquarters of Muslim fauzdars. The word Gulshanabad derives from Persian words Gulshan that means Rose garden and -abad (cultivated place, or city).
- Nizams of Hyderabad assigned Gulshanabad (Srikakulam), Rajahmundry, Eluru and Mustafanagar (Kondapalli) districts to French India in 1753. French imperialists were driven out from these districts by British imperialists in 1756 during Anglo-French wars.
(51) Srinaverpur (Location near Allahabad)
- Situated upstream of Allahabad. NBPW habitation, important unban centre during Kushan period indicated by coins of Vima Kadphises, burnt bricks houses and a brick built tank.
- Eighty silver coins of Gahadawala king Govind Chandra of medieval time has been found.
- Sringeri is a hill town and taluk headquarters located in Chikkamagaluru district in the Indian state of Karnataka, is the site of the first maṭha (Sringeri Sharada Peeta) established by Adi Shankara,Hindu theologian and exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, in the 8th century CE.
- Sringeri is home to a number of historic temples. Of these, Sri Sharadamba temple and Sri Vidyashankara temple and parshwanath jain temple are very prominent.
- The entire town is enclosed by the river Kaveri to form a river island,
- The town takes its name from the celebrated Ranganathaswamy temple, making Srirangapattana one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in south India. The temple was built by the Ganga dynasty rulers of the area in the 9th century; the structure was strengthened and improved upon architecturally some three centuries later. Thus, the temple is a medley of the Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of temple architecture.
- The presence of the Kaveri River is in itself considered auspicious and sanctifying.
- During the Vijayanagar empire, it became the seat of a major viceroyalty, from where several nearby vassal states of the empire, such as Mysore and Talakad, were overseen. When, perceiving the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the rulers of Mysore ventured to assert independence, Srirangapattana was their first target. Raja Wodeyar vanquished Rangaraya, the then viceroy of Srirangapattana, in 1610 ;Control of the fort of Srirangapattana, the fortification nearest to the capital city of Mysore.
- Srirangapattana remained part of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1610 to after India’s independence in 1947.
|A flintlock blunderbuss, made for Tippu Sultan in Seringapatam in 1793-94. Tippu Sultan used many Western craftsmen, and this gun reflects the most up-to-date technologies of the time.|
- Srirangapattana became the de facto capital of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.When Tipu finally dispensed with the charade of deference to the legitimate Wodeyar Maharaja who was actually his captive.
- Srirangapattana was the scene of the last and decisive battle fought between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company. This battle was the last engagement of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War,the Battle of Seringapatam, 1799.Tipu Sultan was killed within the fort of Seringapatam.
- Srughna monastery, (near) Jagadhri, Haryana
- Xuanzang stayed at this site from November 635 to February 636 AD. He found 5 monasteries, all Hinayana, with 1000 monks.
- Xuanzang also mentions Sul-lu-Kina (Srugna) in Harsha’s Kingdom, whose capital is deemed to be the present Sungaon.
- Sukkur and Bakhar, is the third largest city of Sindh province, situated on the west bank of Indus River in Pakistan.Sukkur has been an important strategic centre and trading route from time immemorial. Alor (or Aror, Sukkur) held the status of capital under the reign of Musikanos, when Alexander invaded the region in 326 BCE.
- The Rai Dynasty built a huge temple of Shiva. In 711 CE, the Arabs conquered Sindh, led by 17-year-old Muhammad bin Qasim, and Sukkur (including all of Sindh and lower Punjab) became part of the Umayyad Caliphate.
- Later Mughals and many semi-autonomous tribes ruled over Sukkur. The city was ceded to Mirs of Khairpur between 1809 and 1824.
- Sultanganj is a city and a notified area in Bhagalpur district in Bihar. The Sultanganj Buddha is the largest complete bronze figure of its kind in the world. The statue is dated by archaeologists at between 500 to 700 AD. It is 2.3m high and 1m wide, weighs over 500 kg and was made using the lost wax technique.The Sultanganj Buddha is a Gupta-Pala transitional period sculpture, the largest substantially complete copper Buddha figure known from this time. The statue is dated by archaeologists to between 500 to 700 AD.The Sultanganj Buddha is the largest known complete Indian metal sculpture
- Ajgaibinath Temple: is a very revered Shiva temple for the Hindus. It is believed to be built around 16th century by HarinathBharati
- In 1512 and again in 1530 Surat was ravaged by the Portuguese Empire. In 1513, the Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa described Surat as an important seaport, frequented by many ships from Malabar and various parts of the world. By 1520, the name of the city was Surat.
- When the harbour in Cambay began to silt up toward the end of fifteenth century, Surat eclipsed Cambay as the major port of western India. At the end of the 16th century, the Portuguese were undisputed masters of the Surat sea trade. On the banks of the Tapti River, there is still a picturesque fortress that was built in 1540.
- In 1608, ships from the English East India Company started docking in Surat, using it as a trade and transit point.In 1615, following the Battle of Swally, Captain Best, followed by Captain Downton, overcame Portuguese naval supremacy and obtained an imperial firman establishing an English factory at Surat. The prosperity of Surat received a blow when Bombay was ceded to the English as part of the dowry for Catherine of Braganza’s wedding to Charles II in 1662. Shortly afterwards, in 1668, the East India Company established a factory in Bombay (Mumbai) and Surat began its decline.
- Surkotada is an archeological site located in India and it is a site belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation(IVC)(Period 2100 BC – 1700 BC).It is a smaller fortified IVC site.The site at Surkotada is located 160 km north-east of Bhuj, in the district of Kutch.
- Surkotada site contains horse remains dated 2000BC.
- The dates from Surkotada are later than most Harappan sites but conform well with the occupational dates from Lothal and Kalibangan. The site of Surkotada was occupied for a period of 400 years with no breaks or desertions.
- They built a citadel with mud-brick and mud-lump fortification with a rubble veneer of five to eight courses over a raised platform.
- The bricks used were in the ratio 1:2:4 which conforms with mature Harappan standards.
- The residential area was also built with a fortification wall. The citadel had two entrances one on the southern side and one on the eastern side for accessing the residential area.
- In the residential area a drain, a bathroom with a small platform and a soakage jar in every house prove the well known sanitary arrangement and drainage system of the Harappans.
- A new group of people came to Surkotada.The new people followed their predecessors in the layout of the settlement and made a citadel and a residential complex on the same lines made of rubble and dressed stones.
- The location of Surkotada was strategic to control the eastward migration of the Harappans from Sind.
- The citadel consists of large houses some of which have up to nine rooms each.
- The residential area consists of houses which are the smaller than the citadel houses.The southern fortification wall of the residential area also has an entrance which has received a different treatment by its builders. It differs from other Harappan gates in the sense that it is a straight entrance and not a staggered or bent one.
- Mature Harappan principles were being followed in Surkotada long after the civilization itself had started declining.
- Presence of Mongooses were found in Surkotada as well as in Mohenjadaro, Harappa, Rangpur, indicating that these animals were kept as a protection against snakes. Elephant bones and wolf bones were also found at Surkotada.
- Sutkagan Dor is the westernmost known archaeological site of Indus Valley Civilization. It is located about 480 km west of Karachi on Makran coast near the Iran border in Baluchistan in Pakistan.
- Over here a structure was found which was made from stone and mud bricks and was made without straw. Along with the usual “citadel” and “lower town”,a massive fortification wall of semi-dressed stones exists.
- Though inland at present, this site may have been near navigable water in ancient times and on a trade route with other centres such as Lothal and Dholavira. This site must have been an important trading post, connecting seaborn trade from Pursian Gulf/Arabian Sea to hinterland.
- Stone vessels, copper arrow heads, stone arrow heads, shell beads, pottery, dish-on-stand etc. were found.