Digging deep: exploring the legend of Dwarka

TV show Expedition Unknown will kick-start new season on Discovery with episode on Gujarat’s mythical city

July 12, 2019 01:15 am | Updated 01:15 am IST - Mumbai

Globetrotter:  Josh Gates had earlier explored the origins of the Khmer Empire.

Globetrotter: Josh Gates had earlier explored the origins of the Khmer Empire.

Producer, presenter and explorer Joshua Gates will investigate whether the mythical city of Dwarka existed in a special episode to kick-start the sixth season of Expedition Unknown. The TV show, part of the Discovery channel network, uses local analysts to unravel fables and mysteries of archaeological legends across the globe.

More than a myth

In the past, Mr. Gates has explored the origins of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia and geoglyphs of Peru among other adventures. Recent archaeological discoveries suggest that the city of Dwarka was more than just a legend. The sixth season will begin with Mr. Gates and a team of scientists trying to determine whether the city actually existed.

According to ancient texts, Dwarka is considered to be the first capital of Gujarat. It is a city that is said to have been built by Lord Krishna after he killed his uncle Kansa in Mathura. In the Mahabharata , Dwarka is described as a utopian city with opulent architecture. The legend goes that Krishna summoned divine powers to build the magnificent city, which rose from the sea, complete with a massive stone wall to protect it. In the wake of Krishna’s death, the legendary kingdom sank into the Arabian Sea and its glory faded into myth.

Collaborating with researchers, dedicated to unearthing the truth behind the fabled city, Mr. Gates will explore the origins, the myth and possibility of Dwarka existing in history.

In a press statement, Mr. Gates said, “The story of ancient Dwarka is an important religious tale, but as we examine submerged ruins surrounding the modern city by the same name, we’re discovering that the legend may be based on something historic.”

In the episode, Mr. Gates will lead a team of Indian archaeologists to an excavation site on Bet Dwarka, an island to the north of where the city is said to have been located. The archaeologists had recently discovered intriguing relics, including the remains of a wall, pottery, and an intriguing stamping-seal. Mr. Gates said, “Archaeologists have barely scratched the surface on this island, but the evidence is already mounting that there was a significant settlement here.”

Vibrant culture

In the 45-minute episode, Mr. Gates will discuss the possibility of the existence of the submerged city. The items uncovered, especially the ancient seal, demonstrate a vibrant culture with strong indications of ritual and ceremony in the region, raising the question if it is actually Dwarka. The show will air at 9 p.m. on Friday on Discovery Channel.

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