INTACH to document the heritage of the Prachi Valley

Bhubaneswar November, 12,
2017: The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has
launched a project titled “Documenting the Monuments of the Prachi Valley” on

The project was started
from the Bakreswar Temple in Bhinjarpur near Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Similar to early
civilizations like the Aryan, Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian, the Prachi
Civilization too flourished on the banks of a river. Even though the
Prachi is a small river compared to the other rivers of Odisha, it contains
hidden treasures of a magnificent past. Originating from the river Kuakhai and
covering approximately 60 kilometers, it falls into the sea near Keutajanga
village of Kakatpur.
The Prachi originates
about 10 kms from Bhubaneswar. It is a tributary of the Mahanadi and flows
through the districts of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur, and the
entire region of the river is termed as the Prachi Valley. It is considered to
be the holiest river of Odisha and is rightly called the Eastern Saraswati.
Archaeological evidence reveals that the Prachi Valley Civilization predates
both Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Recent excavations have revealed rich findings
and more excavations have been planned.
Traditions confirmed by
local chronicles reveal that most of the monuments of Prachi valley, which are
now in all stages of decay, were constructed from the 7th Century to the 15th
Century A.D. 
Prachi  valley  civilization 
has  contributed  a  lot  towards 
amalgamation,  assimilation  and 
proliferation of different religious faiths and cults. Major Indian
religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Saivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism grew
chronologically, without attacking the religious and philosophical sentiments
of the people of those days.
The river now runs dry
for most of the year; only in the monsoons does it bear any resemblance to its
glorious past. This once navigable river is now dead, but is steeped in history.
Many artifacts are frequently excavated, and surface finds of pot sherds and
carvings are often discovered.
Speaking on the occasion,
Amiya Bhusan Tripathy, the State Convener of INTACH said that without a proper
listing and documentation of the monuments in the entire stretch of the river,
an important realm of Odisha’s history is incomplete. Many of the old monuments
have disappeared in recent years which make it all the more necessary for a
proper listing of the existing vestiges.
S.K.B.Narayan, Convener
of the Bhubaneswar Chapter said that along with the tangible heritage, the
intangible attributes like the rich oral tradition, customs, festivals and
folklore too shall be documented. Anil Dhir, the Project Co-ordinator said that
the six month project will document nearly 350 monuments comprising of temples,
mathas, ghats, structures, sites etc. He said that the entire stretch of the
river till the estuary will be surveyed and a comprehensive report made. Dhir
said that local stakeholders, villagers, students and temple authorities of the
region too would be roped in for the project.   
INTACH has recently
released the complete listing of the “Monuments of the Old Jagannath Sadak”
from Kolkata to Puri. The launching ceremony was attended by many INTACH
members and historians including Hansanath Sahu, Bata Krushna Tripathy, Sanjib
Hota, Kulamoni Deo, N. Balakrishnan, Ananta Mahapatra among others.  

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