Archaeologists will begin excavation next month at a site in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, where locals believe a key incident of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata was set, The Times of India reported on Thursday. The Archaeological Survey of India has approved the excavation in the district’s Barnawa area after repeated requests from local historians.
“After a thorough study of the proposal, we have given licence to two ASI authorities, Institute of Archaeology in Red Fort, Delhi, and our excavation branch, to jointly conduct the excavation,” ASI’s director for excavation, Jitender Nath, told the newspaper. The excavation will begin in the first week of December and will continue for three months, officials said.
Barnawa is believed to be the site of Lakshagriha – a house made of lacquer, which is highly inflammable. According to the epic, the house was built on Duryodhana’s instructions to kill his cousins, the Pandava brothers, without causing suspicion. However, the Pandavas managed to escape through a tunnel. Since Duryodhana and his brothers thought they were dead, it gave the Pandavas time to prepare for the imminent war.
A tunnel in the town is believed to be the one the Pandavas used to escape.