“It is a rich archaeological site"
An ancient well dating back as early as the 13th century has been rediscovered in a forest.
Debjit Singh Deo discovered the well in Ambilijhari village inside Odisha’s Dalijoda Forest Ranges.
Deo, of the Panchakot Royal Family, cleaned up the wild vegetation around the well, leading to its exposure.
The well had been in local folklore in the past. However, its exact location became lost due to the overgrown vegetation.
After the discovery of the well, a team from the Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) visited the spot to survey the monument.
The team comprised of members Anil Dhir, Dr Biswajit Mohanty, Deepak Nayak and Suman Prakesh Swain.
The team found that the well is built in a square plan, and has steps leading to its sunken shaft.
The structure is a geometric shape, with neatly chiselled sandstone blocks on the lower level. Laterite stone blocks make up the upper levels.
The laterite stone blocks in the stairway are from an earlier period. The Dalijoda region, where the well is located, was part of Pancha Kataka in ancient times.
The locals know the area as ‘Bhai Bohu Dedhasura Kuo’, and legends are still told about the curative properties of the well’s water.
According to Anil Dhir, the well has unique decorative features.
When examining the well, he found that the sunken shaft is 35 feet deep and has a 25 foot-deep water level.
The historian also said that the old stone blocks of earlier temples indicate the presence of an ancient settlement.
According to Dhir, the only damage to the well is due to the thick vegetation that grew around it.
Speaking of the find, Dr Biswajit Mohanty said that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) should make a proper survey and order for the protection of the area.
“It is a rich archaeological site, and proper excavations will reveal many more aspects.
“The well can be easily restored with little efforts.”
Also speaking of the well’s discovery, Deepak Nayak said that the find should be included in INTACH‘s project of ‘Documentation of the Monuments of the Mahanadi Valley’.
The ancient well is not the only age-old artefact to be discovered in India in 2021.
In January 2021, the ASI unearthed a stone structure suspected to be the floor of a 10th-century temple.