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Monday, June 5, 2023

NMA says origins of Delhi’s name linked to King Anangpal II Tomar, further research planned

Has Delhi derived its name from Anangpal II Tomar, the Rajput who ruled the region in the 11th century CE? What do archaeological and other discoveries indicate? Was it Anangpal II Tomar who laid the foundation of Dhillika or Dhilli as suggested by inscriptions discovered by historians? These and more such questions are set to be answered by the National Monuments Authority (NMA) in the time to come.

As per a TOI (Times of India) report, NMA which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Culture will now carry out further research to firmly establish that it was indeed Anangpal II who gave the country’s capital its name as suggested by some of the inscriptions discovered so far.

In this pursuit, scholars from IIT, JNU, BHU, Punjab University as well as renowned archaeologists from ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) held a two-day seminar on Thursday on the city’s glorious past calling Anangpal-II Delhi’s founder.

The NMA has asked for a pilot project to be conducted in order to discover more coins belonging to Anangpal II’s time so that the numismatic discoveries help them in further research. They’ve also decided to conduct vertical excavations in Delhi’s Lalkot area for this.

So far information regarding Anangpal II Tomar’s rule comes from epigraphic evidence and bardic tales. This includes the Mehrauli iron pillar inscription that was excavated by then ASI archaeologist BR Mani during the period 1992-1995.

TOI quotes Shri Mani as saying:

“Story of the loose pillar (Killi-Dhilli Katha) mentioned by a number of authorities becomes very relevant as it gives an inscriptional evidence. The truth is Anangpal-II established the city and wanted to uproot the iron pillar, which was supposed to be nail of the earth. It was colloquially called Killi. And the iron pillar mentions the date 1102. The then scholars warned him if he uprooted the pillar, he would lose kingdom. The pillar then loosely called to be known as Dhilli. That later became Dhillika or Dhillkapuri.”

Further, it also quotes NMA Chairman Tarun Vijay who opined:

“That’s why we had three sessions. First was based on tradition and literature, another on coins and epigraphs and third on archaeological evidences. The attempt was to find out the actual picture. The objective is to fortify research apart from excavations and inscriptions on tracing Delhi’s name to Anangpal-II.”

According to NMA officials, the event aimed to obtain views of different scholars with regard to Anangpal’s contributions. Historians believe that research on Delhi’s origins is essential in order to establish the textual, epigraphic, and genealogical details of Rajput rulers.

Bharatiya President Shri Ram Nath Kovind appreciated the efforts while expressing his happiness and extending his best wishes. Stating that this is a significant move Shri Kovind said “Delhi has an enriching historical legacy since its inception as Indraprastha till Dhillika, later founded by Tomar Kings. It’s a significant move to have scholars from different academic hues like history and archaeology to sit and together and contemplate on the various aspects of our glorious past.”

Speaking to The Organiser on the significance and need for this initiative Shri Tarun Vijay quoted PM Modi and said they were rectifying the mistakes with regard to Bharatiya history. The PM had earlier said, “Injustices against the makers of history by the writers of history is being corrected.”

While speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial, PM Modi opined “The history of India is not just what was written by those who enslaved this country and those with a slave mentality. India’s history is that too which the common people of India have kept in the folk stories of India, that which has been carried forward by generations.”

Ruing that we Bharatiyas (read Hindus) are more prone to glorifying our defeats rather than celebrating our victories and glorious past like the Vishnu Dhwaj Sthamb installed by Anangpal II Tomar, Shri Vijay said that they intended to trace the true history of the country’s capital and to place before the people its journey from Indraprastha to Yoginipuri to Dhillika and finally Delhi.

(Featured Image Source: Times of India)

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