IT has long beckoned pilgrims and researchers alike, and is believed to have been a thriving port once. Now, to bring submerged Dwarka’s past to the surface, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and an Indian Navy team are planning to not only go down into the ocean’s deeps, but also dig along the shore and land. The excavation operations, which were launched at a site opposite Dwarkadheesh Temple on Monday, are the first on such magnitude undertaken by the ASI at the site.
‘We have begun excavations in a small area, measuring 5×5 opposite Dwarkadheesh temple. This was the only open site available adjacent to the main temple. The excavations near Dwarkadheesh will be followed by similar operations at Gomti Ghat and along the sea shore. Undersea excavation, to be undertaken by the team from Indian Navy, will begin on January 7,’’ said Tripathi. ‘‘The site earmarked for undersea excavation is some 500 km from the ashore. The excavation will be conducted at a depth of 3-15 m. This will be a time-consuming process. Initial results will dictate how much time will be requires for conclusive research,’’ he added.
‘‘The ASI plans to take up research with a different perspective, while keeping in mind earlier findings. Post-excavation, we will involve a range of experts to analyse the findings of our 20-member team,’’ said Tripathi.