In the year 1957-58 exploration was carried out in “Kandivali, 21 miles north of Bombay, has long been known to yield palaeoliths and later Stone Age tools, but the exact chronological positions of these industries in terms of the different epochs of the Pleistocene yet remain to be determined. In order to ascertain if the industries could be assigned to their proper terraces, which again could be correlated to the corresponding ancient sea-levels, Shri B.
B. Lal carried out a preliminary survey of the area lying between the sea-coast on the west and the Western Ghats on the east ant between the Ulhas river on the north and the town of Bombay on the south, with fairly encouraging results. It was observed that the different industries found by Todd in the nullah-section at the back of the Padan Hill near Khandivli were not all in situ: the older ones may have originally belonged to a higher terrace to the east, were palaeoliths were collected from a weathered deposit of reddish earth and gravel” (IAR-1957-58:20).
Exploration in District Thana carried out by “Shri S. A. Sali of the South-western Circle of the Survey observed at the foot of the isolated hill, locally known as Hira Dongari in Bassein Taluk of District Thana, were found Middle Palaeolithic tools in association with water-worn pebbles. At present, the sea is about 2 km from the site. The observations suggest that during the Middle Palaeolithic times the sea was 5 to 6 m above the Mean Sea Level and not as a way as at present form the site. The artefacts made on jasper, chalcedony, chert and agate, include vertically retouched scrapers on flat pebbles, scrapers on flakes, a Mousterian core, irregular cores and one burin (IAR-1947-58:38).
In the year 1980-81 “Shri S. N. Rajaguru, Shri M. D. Kajale and Shri S. N. Ghate of the Deccan Collage, Post-graduate and Research Institute, Pune carried out geo-archaeological studies of the early and late historical port-sites around Sopara (190 24′ N; 720 48′ E), Agashi (190 26′ N; 720 48′ E), Gas (190 23′ N; 720 46′ E), Bhuigra (190 23′ N; 720 45′ E),and Nirmal (190 23′ N; 720 46′ E). All these sites are situated on an alluvial flat developed in the doab of the Ulhas and the Vaitarna rivers and are about 0.5 to 2 km inland from the present coast. The survey shows that the sea-level has been low by a few meters during the early Holocene and it reached its present level just prior to the early historical settlements in the area. In the absence of detailed archaeological excavations and geo-chronological data it is not yet possible to pinpoint the palaeo-geographical changes in the area during the late Quaternary (IAR-1980-81: 43)
In the year 1982-83 also explored the area for Geo-morphological and geo-chronological studies by S. N. Rajaguru, M. D. Kajale and Savita N. Ghate of the Deccan Collage, Post-graduate and Research Institute, Pune, and carried out detailed field mapping of the deposits around Sopara, 39 km north to Bombay. Habitatinoal debris yielded pottery of an early Historic to Muslim period (IAR 1982-83:63).
In the year 2015-16 Mumbai Circle, Archaeological Survey of India, carried out the village to village survey in Vasai Taluka of Palghar district of Maharashtra under the direction of, the then Superintending Archaeologist, Shri Madan Singh Chouhan, by Dr. Manish Rai, Assistant Archaeologist of this office. Total 80 villages of this district have been surveyed, out of them 20 villages reported with antiquarian remains. Some important village are Parol, Umrale, Suleshwar, Arnala, Medhe, Umrale-Karmale, Bolinj,Umargao, Kaly-cha-pada and Nirmal etc.
Among the antiquarian remains temple fragments viz. parts of pillars, vedibandha, amalaka, shivalinga and yonipitha etc. are important. Some interesting sculptures of Vishnu, Shiva, Surya, Trimukhi Shiva, Harihara, Yakshini (Demi goddess), Shuka-Sarika are also reported during the course of survey, besides variety of Memorial stone pillars of medieval and late medieval period the architectural members of a ruined temples also found. Besides that, a small iron canon was also reported from Arnala village.
THE EXPLORATION AND TRIAL TRENCH EXCAVATIONS
Mumbai Circle, Archaeological Survey of India, carried out the exploration and trial trench excavations under the direction of Dr Manish Rai, Assistant Archaeologist along the Vaitrana River Valley up to a distance of 5 Kilometer both side of river of Palghar and Thane Districts in Maharashtra. Total 65 villages of the above districts have been surveyed/explored during the year 2017-18 out of them 10 (ten) villages reported with antiquarian remains which are Ganeshpuri Vajreshwari, Akloli, Mandvi, Vaveghar, Avachitpada, Nane, Vada, Dahisar and Jambhulapada.
Among the antiquarian remains temple fragments viz. parts of pillars, Bharvahaka, shivalinga , yonipeetha and Deepsthambha etc. and Memorial pillars made in stones and wooden are important. Some interesting sculptures of Vishnu, Ganpati, Hanuman, Yogishwar? (Unidentified) and Makrajdhwaja (So called son of Hanuman) are reported. Besides, an Iron canon is also reported from Nane village.
The details in the antiquarian remains are duly filed in the prescribed format i. e. National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities of all 10 villages in the Thane and Palghar Districts of Maharashtra. No any trail trench excavation has been carried out.
During the exploration in the area, I have been noticed that this area was mainly habited during the early medieval period especially during and after 11th-12th century CE. I was very excited for exploration in this area because the sacredness of its source so close to the holy Godavari, the importance of its valley as one of the earliest trade-routes between the east and the central Deccan and the beauty of the lower reaches of the river valley brought to the banks of the Vaitarna. The Vaitrana River is mentioned in Mahabharata as one of the four sacred streams and great Claudius Ptolemy, Roman Geographer had the impression that the Vaitarna and Godavari was one and the same river. It was probably from Gorhe village that Ptolemy took the name Gaoris for the Vaitarna River.
In the western cost there were many important ports located, in the following order accordingly to Ptolemy (135-150 CE) Suparara, Goaris, Dounga, Bendas, the mouth of river and Semylla (Motichandra, 1977:103). It was a navigated river almost 15 to 20 km. even today local boats are running for digging and uplifting of sand from the river as well as boating for tourist. I have explored the whole village along the both bank of Vaitrana around the village Gorhe but I could not find out any remains even hardly a temple is more than 50 years.
With regard to habitation and settlement pattern of the area, in the absence of the ancient site/ mound/ habitation it could not be ascertained
On the basis of the archaeological antiquarian remains which was explored in this area are either medieval period or late medieval period even few are very latter. With respect of the material was used for constructions, generally are basalt stone, which are easily available in the vicinity.
Generally antiquarian remains are reported during the exploration are part of the temple dedicated to lord Shiva temple and his family like Nandi, Ganpati, shivalinga and yonipeetha . Besides, sculptures of other God like Vishnu, Hanuman, and Makrajdhwaja also found and whereas architectural member’s like pillars, Bharvahaka, and Deepsthambha etc. can be seen in generally. Few memorial stone pillars which are made in basalt stones and wooden are noteworthy keeping in view of the local tradition in the form of Vaveghar/Vyageshwari (which is a corrupt form of Durga’s vehicle Tigher). These tradition is going on especially during festival of light i.e. Deepavali even today. This tradition is celebrated in the villages wherein Godhan (Cow) is worshipped with the help of cowboy (Charvaha) and Charandevata is the main deity for worshiping to the Charvaha society and fair also organized during the occasion and interest of local people.
Wooden work like rafters, beam etc is seen in the form of construction and to support of ceiling and Varanda, which is associated to the main building. Besides, the constructors not hesitated to using old materials for new construction. The best example is the Mandiv village wherein Portuguese ruled here and established a centre and trying to control the important sea-ports in Western India like Camby, Chaul, etc. They used old material i.e. remains of the temple and its architectural members in the fortification wall and citadel (palace) for its construction and these tradition can be also seen in and around the area even today.
Cite this essay
Vaitrana Valley – Exploration. (2019, Nov 29). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/vaitrana-valley-exploration-essay