The Great Wall of India runs right near my Hometown, and I didn’t know…
It’s a jigsaw puzzle, a whodunit and a history lesson all in one. In the heart of Madhya Pradesh, at the very center of India, stands a massive stone Great Wall that’s odd, as walls go. It runs straight in parts, zigzags wildly in others, stops or branches off where you least expect. Some sections tower at 15 feet; others are a just a low stretch of rubble.
Standing tall and running wild is an 80-km long wall bang in the center of Madhya Pradesh. History buffs are calling it the Great Wall of India, and if it does run for 80 kilometers as they suspect (many sections still need to be excavated), it may well be India’s longest fortification and, worldwide, second only to China’s. Locals however refer to it simply as ‘diwaal’, a structure that’s been at the back of their villages, and the back of their minds, for as long as anyone can remember. Called as the ‘Great Wall of India’ by historians, not many people know of its existence. It stands in the middle that divides Bhopal and Jabalpur. Historians are of the belief that it’s India’s longest wall, next only to the Great Wall of China!
The wall basically origins in Gorakhpur-Deori and continues to Chokigarh in Chainpur Bardi in the Raisen district. It passes valleys, forests, and wheat fields, and at one spot is also punctuated by a 20-year-old dam, reports Hindustan Times.
Everywhere it goes, surprises follow. Discovered thus far are ruins of long-abandoned dwellings, debris from magnificent temples, fragments of statues, step wells, a pond with sandstone banks, compounds, stairs and strange snake insignia. Experts say we’ve only scratched the surface of its secrets.
The structure itself offers a few clues. It’s made from large, evenly sized, local stones that interlock like Lego bricks, without mortar, indicating some kind of planning. At the points where steps have been found, they’ve been built, without exception, on the same side of the wall, indicating an ‘inside’ zone. Well-preserved sections show a flat top wide enough to walk on, lookout points, drainage and niches to hide men or weapons.
According to Narayan Vyas, a historian who retired from the Archaeological Survey of India, the wall’s beginnings couldn’t be deciphered as it contained no inscriptions or insignia. The wall, however, is built of local stones and features areas that signify spaces used as looking points, hideouts, drainage, and armory.
Vyas also believes that the wall dates back to the 10th or 11th century – the time period that witnessed warring kingdoms. There are many contradicting views concerning the origin and the story of this wall but no solid proof has yet been found.
Source: HT, Indiatimes