Monday, 11 April 2011

CHANDRAPUR: THE FORGOTTEN CAPITAL


Present day Chandor was once the ancient city of Chandrapur, which served as the capital for the Bhoja and the Kadamba dynasties.

A temple site in the middle of Chandor Kott is known as ‘Isvorachem.’ In 1930s Fr. Henry Heras, SJ excavated the site and unearthed a 11th century Shiva temple and also a Nandi bull. Dr. Olivinho Gomes in his book, ‘Village Goa,’ informs that the Nandi bull is, “said to be the biggest in India after that of Mysore, which latter it resembles in its art but not in size. The Muslims cut out a large part of its stomach to see if it contained diamonds, pearls, or other precious stones, broke its mouth to see if there was any treasure hidden in it, chopped off the tail to see if they could find any precious stones in its arms. Seeing that it did not have anything in it, they broke its legs, dislodged it from the seat of stone and turned it up-side-down, to see if there was something underneath it, but without success.”
After the 1930 Heras excavation, interest was lost and as a result huge trees grew around it. In 1974, the Archaeological Survey of India intervened and began excavating, under the direction of superintending archaeologist, S. R. Rao. According to a Navhind Times, dated 8th April 1974 report, the discovery of the 1500 years old temple complex consisted of a Garbhgriha (sanctum), surrounded by Pradakshinapatha (circumbulatory passage), a large Sabhamandapa (assembly hall) and a medium sized Mukhamandapa or porch.
While a few finds of the Fr. Heras excavation were taken to his museum at Mumbai, the remaining were lodged at the museum at Old Goa. Today all that one finds at Chandor Kott is a severed Nandi bull, a silent and solitary witness to a glorious port-town that Chandrapur was, once upon a time. 
(A Version of this article appeared on GOA PLUS, a weekly supplement of the Times of India and the Economic Times, dt: December 8-14, 2006)

5 comments:

  1. armstrong vaz, India :
    Keep up the good work.
    Hope to see more pictures and articles from you on www.mangalorean.com.

    You can contact me on armstrongvaz@gmail.com

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  2. Chandor Guy, India :
    Hey Dale ,

    Really good work...dude hope to see more stuff.

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  3. Blanche Dias, Australia :
    Hello Dale,

    Great job, I love researching information on Goa and its history. The history of Goa is really amazing, whether culture, religion or cuisine. I love your work on Chandor, my maternal Grandfather is from Chandor. The Nandi Bull is just a couple of meters from the house. It is good to see someone interested in the Goan Heritage as well.

    Best of luck.

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  4. John Carmo Rodrigues, India :
    Hello Dale,
    Good attempt to highlight the Chandor village and the discovery of the Shiva Temple and the Nandi Bull at Chandrapur, Goa by Fr. Henry Heras of St. Xavier's College Mumbai.
    You may like to add information on several other interesting places like the San Tiago Chapel in Chandor Khott and the Heritage House of Sara and the Menezes Braganza House

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  5. Leticia Mendonca, India :
    Hey Dale,

    This is a great attempt! Keep up the good work.

    what's your mail ID?


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