Loot or Priests? Skeletons from Mughal Era Recovered During Excavation Madhya Pradesh’s Ujain

Discovery of skeletons supposedly of the Mughal era recovered during excavation inside the famed Mahakal temple in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh has intrigued researchers.

The excavation is part of expansion of the Ujjain Mahakal temple under the Smart City project.

The administration is now planning to get it researched from experts to ascertain how far these remains date back in history. Researchers are also wondering whether these remains are evidence of atrocities meted out during the Mughal era. Temple priests also claim that these could be of the seers who used to live inside the temple premises in the past.

Earlier, remains of a 11th century temple and idols were recovered during the ongoing excavation. However, the discovery of the skeletons had alarmed the workers there.

The excavation is going on under the supervision of archaeological experts from Bhopal. Forensic or Geology experts could be engaged in the test of the discovered skeletons, said an archaeological expert engaged in the work.

The work part of Smart City project had started in month of May and initially some small idols and walls were recovered but when it was learnt that the idols were pre-historic, the collector decided to engage Archaeology experts in the work.

A researcher Dr Govind Singh Jodha engaged in the project said that discovery of skeletons aren’t abnormal during such excavations, still these should be put under research. However, the remains of the temple found in the excavation are around 1,000 years old and these historic structures are also offering evidences of the Mughal era when these temples were looted and destroyed and invaders also had engaged in massacre, he said.

Are these skeletons and mortal remains evidence of that era, asked Dr Singh saying this could only be ascertained after a thorough probe by the Dept of Archaeology. He added that till his team has recovered a Parmar era temple, idols of lord Shiva and family, various portions of the temple, Manjri, Kalash and six feet deposit of soil on the temple.

The 11th century remains will also help details of civilisation then, he added.

However, Mahakal temple chief priest Pt Mahesh said that several saints used to reside in the frontal portion of the old temple, so these mortal remains could also be from their graves. Still it’s a matter of research for archaeology experts, he added.

This is not the first time skeletons have been found in excavation works in Ujjain. In 012-13, three skeletons were received during the digging going on for constructing a tunnel in the Mahakal temple premises. However due to the mega event Simhastha organised in the town, the matter was shelved.

With inputs from Anand Nigam.

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