IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


4th March, 2023 Culture

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Context: The Archaeological Department of Government of India have recently excavated a site called “Sisupalgarh‘ near Bhubaneswar in Orissa, and unearthed the remains of a township which flourished between 300 B.C. and the 4th century A.D.


  • Land sharks armed with heavy earth-moving equipment have damaged a portion of the wall of the fortified ancient city of Sisupalgarh, a majestic archaeological heritage that has survived over 2,600 years, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
  • What has made matters worse is that the brazen act of destruction occurred just as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Odisha’s Revenue Administration were working in tandem to acquire the land and safeguard the invaluable heritage.

About Sisupalgarh:

  • This is the only fortified site in India having eight gateways. The ASI archaeologist lamented that people were not aware of further land acquisition for the protection of
  • The excavation of the Sisupalgarh site was first taken up in 1948, when it was declared a Centrally Protected Monument under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, involving an area measuring 562.681 acres and covering five villages, including Sisupalgarh, Badadhanpu Lingipur, Raghunathpur and Mahabhoisasan, in 1950.
  • Sisupalgarh, believed to have been built around the 7th to 6th century BCE, served as the capital of the Kalinga kingdom, and was an important centre of trade and commerce during ancient times.
  • The urban centre had an area of 1.2 km by 1 km, and it was surrounded by a moat.
  • The water management system of the city was unique.
  • The fortification was carried out in the 4th to 3rd century BCE, when King Kharavela took up the repair of the city 2,100 years ago.
  • It is identified with Kalinganagara of Kharavela and Tosali of Ashoka.

About Kalinga:

  • Kalinga is a historical region of India.
  • It is generally defined as the eastern coastal region between the Mahanadi and the Godavari rivers, although its boundaries have fluctuated with the territory of its rulers.
  • The core territory of Kalinga now encompasses a large part of Odisha and northeastern part of Andhra Pradesh.
  • At its widest extent, the Kalinga region also included parts of present-day Chhattisgarh, extending up to Amarkantak in the west.
  • The Kalingas have been mentioned as a major tribe in the legendary text Mahabharata.
  • In the 3rd century BCE, the region came under Mauryan control as a result of the Kalinga War.
  • It was subsequently ruled by several regional dynasties whose rulers bore the title Kalingādhipati ("Lord of Kalinga"); these dynasties included Mahameghavahana, Vasishtha, Mathara, Pitrbhakta, Shailodbhava, Somavamshi, and Eastern Ganga.
  • The medieval era rulers to rule over the Kalinga region were the Suryavamsa Gajapatis, Bhoi dynasty, Paralakhemundi Gangas and the zamindaris of Ganjam and Vizagapatam.


Q) Which of the following statements is/are incorrect with reference to Sisupalgarh?

a.    Sisupalgarh is believed to have been built around the 7th to 6th century AD

b.    It served as the capital of the Kalinga kingdom

  1. Only a
  2. Only b
  3. Both a and b
  4. Neither a nor b

Answer: Option 1