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Jhusi (Pratisthanpuri)

It is situated on the eastern bank of Ganga across Sangam .Jhusi is equated as the Prathishthanpur mentioned in Purana .It was then the capital of Chandervanshi kings. Once belonging to Mauryas,Shingas,Kushan and Gupta period.The only evidence of this historic fact is the high mounds .The articles recovered from these belong to the five cultural phases ranging from chalcolithic to early madievel. The pre NBP Ware deposits mark this as the site of Khumbh Mela in those times.Here a inscription and a donation pot of 1027 c. of King Trilokapal has been recovered in 1830c where there is mention of donation of a village to Brahmins at the time of Sankranti . There are two famous sites "Hansthirth" and "Samunderkoop".Hansthirth is a wellknow example of Tantrik Yogsadhna, which is also called thousand petal lotus.

From pre-NBPWare period to Gupta period and early madievel there is continuity of settlement here and because of its strategic position the site was never abondened although it went through many upheavels and was burnt down as the name suggest.

Kalidas also mentioned about Prathisthan and its imaginary magnificence in his drama ‘ Vikramore-Vasiyan’

Jhusi has now been developed as a satellite town of Allahabad approached by the Shastri bridge from Alopibagh.

History

Recently an archeological site near the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers yielded a C14 dating of 7100 BC for its Neolithic levels. Historically, Jhusi was known as Prathisthanpuram. It was burnt down by foreign invaders around the 13-14th century and then came to be known as Jhulsi (Hindi word meaning burnt); the 'l' went missing as years passed on, giving rise to the current name.

Prayag's past buried at Jhusi

Once belonging to the rulers of Mauryan, Shunga, Kushana and Gupta period, the ancient Pratisthana has lost its identity to the modernity of Jhusi. The only evidence related to this historical fact is still visible in the shape of high mounds in Jhusi. Surprisingly, these high mounds have further added to the significance of the city as the articles excavated from here belong to the sixth century BC and antiquities belonging to five cultural phases ranging from chalcolithic to early medieval period have been found here. As per the historians and the pre NBP ware deposit the site of Kumbh Mela is marked at this place as the earliest culture represented at the site. Early layer of this deposit has yielded iron objects. Some pottery items and antiquities are similar to those found at different chalcolithic sites in UP, Bihar and Northern Vindhyas. From the pre-NBP Ware period to the Gupta period there had been continuous settlement at the site. However, there appears to be a cultural gap between the end of Gupta period and the beginning of early medieval period. "There is every likelihood that the site may show up no gap at all when excavated extensively. This possibility is based on the strategic location of the site itself which, by virtue of the same reason, would have never been abandoned after having been once occupied. The excavations in the area only hint at the above fact. The ruins of ancient Pratishthana which are represented by the high mounds of Jhunsi on the eastern bank of Ganges are spread over an area of about four square miles. Pratishthana was the most important locality of Prayag and it was founded by king Ila and was the capital of Pururavas and other kings of Lunar dynasty Kalidasa too mentions about Pratishthana in his drama Vikramor-vasiyam. He has given an imaginary account of this palace of Pururavas which was magnificent. Various myths are also associated with this site. An inscription of Trilochanapala, the Pratihara king, was discovered from the site in 1830. In his book, VN Pandey mentions that the naming of Jhunsi too has a legend associated with it. It was once ruled by Har-bonga, an imbecile and foolish king in whose reign chaos prevailed everywhere. When the cup of his inequity was full there was an upheaval on the earth and the capital Pratishthana was turned upside down, hence now known as 'Ulta Quila'.

There was a conflagration which completed the destruction of the city and the ruins went by the name of Jhulsi, a burnt town, from the Hindi root jhulasna. It is also said that the town was destroyed in an earthquake in 1359 CE as a result of the invocations of saint Maqdoom Shah Taqiuddin, whose tomb lies on one side of the fortress. The traditions relating to the scattering of Brahmana and Kshatriya clans abandoning their homes in Jhusi and emigrating to distant places during the medieval period lend colour to this theory. There is also the historical and sacred Samudrakoop here, which has its own story. "It is known as Samudrakoop since it belongs to the period of Samudragupta. In fact five such wells are found in Ujjain, Mathura, Prayag(Allahabad), Varanasi and Patalpur. It was dumped with garbage once but the efforts of a sage Dayaram brought its historical importance to limelight." Research on lost heritage of Allahabad under Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) suggests that the site is slowly losing its identity on account of continuous erosion of Ganges river. "The high mound, which belong to Kushana period, has few bricks exposed right now".

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