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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Asurgarh - The Ancient Fort Of Kalahandi

Asurgarh is very ancient in the history and culture of Western Orissa. The very literal meaning of Asurgarh is “the fort of demons”. Forts bearing names Asurgarh are found in different parts of Western Orissa usually on the bank of river or in the outskirt of the villages/towns. From very ancient times people had associated such places with rulers and administrators. In course of time, such places were abandoned and only structural remains and antiquities are found. These places are fearful for common people but are important for archaeologists and historians. Forts bearing the names ‘Asurgarh’ though found at near Barpali, Rampur, Manamunda and Adgaon, exploration and excavation are conducted only at Asurgarh, near Manamunda in the district of Sonepur and near Narla in the Dist. of Kalahandi.

Asurgarh fort is situated one and half miles to the north-east of Rupra road Railway station on Sambalpur-Vishakhapatnam railway lines. The fort of Asurgarh is located at latitude 20’: 30’ and longitude 83’: 83’. It is about 20 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi. About one K.M. to the south of this fort, there is an old village named Asurgarh and it is perhaps the fort was named after the village or it may also that the village has been so named after the old fort. This fort is the largest and most important one and the excavation there throw significant light on the history and culture of South Kosala and Mahakantara region.The ramparts as found at present are about four meters in width and 15 to 50 meters in height and are made of rubbles and mud with bricks facing close to the western ramparts, the river Sandul flows to the north to meet the river Tel and there by providing a natural boundary.

The P.G. Dept of History, Sambalpur University and the Dept. of Culture, Govt. of Orissa had undertaken limited excavation of Asurgarh jointly in the year 1973.5 Antiquities were already exposed at Asurgarh as mentioned by Scholar P.K. Deo,6 late Maharaja of Kalahandi.