In the last episode of Mahabharat we saw how Pandavas chose the ruined land of Khandavprastha as their capital. While, it brought a big smile on Duryodhan and Shakuni, it only tensed Bhishm Pitama further. The reason? Well, the place Khandavprastha surrounded by the Khandav forest was cursed by Lord Indra and was totally infertile. In addition, the region was inhabited by Asuras, Nagas and Rakshasas and was under the Naga ruler Takshak.
The Conversion from Khadavprastha to Indraprastha
Soon after the Pandavas entered Khandavprastha they asked help from their cousin, Lord Krishna. Krishna then invited Vishwakarma, the great architect to design the town just the way he had made Dwarka or perhaps better than that. Soon, the work began and all the forest that surrounded the place was cleared by wildfires. In the process, the tribe of Asuras, Nagas and Rakshasas were either killed or they fled towards the west. Few of them settled in the Salwa region while many settled in the far west region of Gandhar. The Naga leader Takshak then moved to Takshshila and took out his revenge on Arjun years later by killing Arjun’s grandson Parikshit by poisoning him with snake poison.
It was during this fire that Lord Krishna and Pandavs had saved Maya, the architect belonging to the Asura tribe. Asura Maya was so overwhelmed by this gesture that he built the renowned Maya Sabha, the assembly hall for his new king Yudhishtr. This hall was famous for its grandeur, bejeweled beauty and illusory effect.
Legends bestow us about the architectural beauty and marvel of the legendary city of Indraprastha. The floor of the palace was done in such an illusionary manner that it had the reflection of water whereas the ponds and pools in the palace gave an illusion of a flat surface with no water in them.
After the Khandav forests were burnt, the Rakshasas and Nagas were all gone and the infertile land was restored into a beautiful city. It got its name as “Indraprastha” since it was built in resemblance to Lord Indra’s own city. The city even made Lord Indra a bit jealous as it was him who had cursed this place before Pandavas came and turned the shape of the place.
Lord Krishna and Arjun with Maya Asura
The Location of Indraprastha in Modern Day
The territory of Indraprastha lied somewhere to the east of river Saraswati and west of river Yamuna. Although, we cannot find this city anywhere in the modern time, the archaeological findings have in a way proved that the capital of Pandavas was somewhere in the area where the second Mughal Emperor Humayun built Dinpanah and the Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri built Shergarh. In the current time, the area lays comprises Indraprastha park, Pragati Maidan, Old Fort and the nearby colonies of Delhi.
As per the legendary tales, it is said that Raja Dhillu from the pedigree of Karna later formed a place “Dhilli” around the Pandavas capital and advanced many small villages to structure a big city. It is said that his decedents still live with surnames such as Dhull, Dhaliwal, Dhill and Dhillon which are common caste seen in the Jatt clan of the Punjab region. They are even addressed as Raja Jatts because of their ancestral connection.
Pandavas also built other cities like Swarnaprastha (modern day Sonipat) and Panaprastha (Panipat) in their province.
While, this seems to be the basic history about the Pandavas capital, let’s see what Swastik Pictures has to show us in the coming episodes of the New Mahabharat.
By: Deepti Verma