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Archaeologist questions Ram Janambhoomi being in Ayodhya

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Banawali in Hisar district of Haryana, by which the long-lost river Saraswati once flowed, is probably the Ram Janambhoomi (the birth place of Lord Ram) and not Ayodhya as is the common belief.

This theory has been propounded by veteran archaeologist M V N Krishna Rao, a pioneer in deciphering the Indus Valley civilisation script, who unravelled the famous 'Pashupati' seal in 1969.

In a paper titled 'Rama and Ravana in Indus Seals', contributed to the 'J P Joshi felicitation volume', Dr Rao has based his conclusion on his reading of the Banawali seals.

Dr Joshi is the former director general of the Archaeological Survey of India and Dr Rao, a former deputy superintending archaeologist with the ASI.

In his interpretation of the Ramayana, Dr Rao has identified 'Rama Sana' of Indus seals with 'Ramachandra' and thereby with king 'Rim Sin of Larsa' in Sumer, who ruled the vast lands of Sumer, Elam, the Indus Valley and the present-day Iran and Afghanistan from 1753 to 1693 BC.

'Rim Sin' assumed the title of 'king of all lands' by the consent of Goddess 'Nin Makh' at 'Opis', his second capital in Babylonia.

Dr Rao says the archaeological evidence found in the Indus seals showed that 'Rim Sin' had fought for a long time an undecided war with King 'Hammurabi' identified as 'Ravana' of the Indus seals.

The king of Babylonia was finally able to defeat 'Hammurabi' in the joint action with the chief of 'Subartu', 'Hurrian' and 'Mitannian'. 'Hammurabi' was killed in the fight, as suggested by one of the Indus seals which has a legend reading 'Ravani Dama' or destroyer of Ravana.

Dr Rao says the Indus seals found on the banks of river Saraswati suggest that Banawali must be Ram Janambhoomi and not Ayodhya.

He points out that under project 'Archaeology of the Ramanaya Sites' headed by Prof B B Lal, excavations were conducted at Ayodhya, Bharadwaja Ashram and Sringaverpura from 1975 and 1980.

At Ayodhya, the remains of a Hindu temple belonging to 'Gahadwal king of Kannauj of 11th century AD' were found underlying the Babri mosque.

The antiquity of the other Ramayana sites excavated does not go earlier than 1000 BC.

This late dating of the sites had ''dismayed the experts, and the view that Ayodhya was Ram Janambhoomi was abandoned,'' Dr Rao claims.

Dr Rao, who used the principle of acriphony to read the proto-Vedic language of Indus seals, says Vedic texts and Puranas almost correctly mentioned the names of different tribes and the kings of different dynasties in different regions.

Having read all the 1650 seals that were legible out of the total 2325 Indus seals, he says the names of rulers of Babylonia, Assyria, Elam, Juda and Egypt. along with their country and city names were sanskritised in the Vedic and Puranic texts.

Written at a very later date, the epics and Puranas got confused in the identification of geographical landmarks -- names of rivers, mountains and cities. In such circumstances, he says, there is little wonder if they placed Ayodhya on the river Saryu near Faizabad instead of Saraswati in Haryana.

Dr Rao says possibly it is also one of the reasons for their confusion as the Aryans adopted the same names to the rivers and cities while gradually migrating towards east from Iran, Afghanistan, Indus Valley to the Jamuna-Gangetic valley. Such frequent changes of place names was a common practice among the conquering and migrating races of the ancient world.

The latest findings revealed that the Indus civilisation covered a vast region on the east-west axis from Alamgirpur to Sutkagendor and on the north-south axis from Ropar to Bhagatrav, about another 1600 km. No other ancient civilisation could boast of such a vast distribution of space as claimed by the Indus civilisation. Moreover, it had nearly 1300 km of seaboard along the west coast.

Archaeologists at the beginning of the present century, Dr Rao says, had unearthed in Iraq some very important clay tablets, stone Stela with carved inscriptions and other art objects revealing significant information about 'Rim-Sin'' and 'Hammurabi', who became famous for establishing an empire and for furnishing a law code.

'Rim-Sin', whose name was read in the Indus seals as 'Rama Sana', was the son of 'Kudur Mabug (or Mabhana of Indus seal)' and reigned in Larsa, the modern Sankera in Iraq.

'Rim' in Sumerian language means 'ruler' and 'Raman' is the name of 'thunder god of the Amorites'. 'Sin' means 'moon god' in Akkadian language and 'Sana' means 'god of thunder storm' in the Indus language, Dr Rao explains.

Before his accession to the throne of Larsa in Sumer, Rim's brother 'Aard-Sin' ruled for 12 years. His father 'Kudur Mabug' reigned in Jamutbal, a kingdom on the coast of the Persian Gulf towards east of river Tigris adjoining Elam. ''This name is identical with Jabuna or Sapuna or Jambudvipa of Indus Valley.'' Rim-Sin appears to be an Aryan chief ruling over Elamites, Sumerians and Aryans of Indus civilisation, Dr Rao says.


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