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Know the history of these lost cities of India

By Geetika Raleh . 20th September 2019 09:00am
Know the history of these lost cities of India

These cities which have been lost now were once populated. But because of the wars, natural calamities and climate change the cities have been abandoned. The cities are born, thrive and eventually die, just like mortal beings. Over a period of time, many famous cities have been destroyed, submerged and abandoned.

The beautiful ruins of these once inhabited cities give rise to imaginations of the travelers, and historians.

Many of these were famous but others were discovered after their annihilation.

Here is a list of the cities of India which have been lost with the course of time.


This was an ancient and a prosperous metropolis, the first republic of the world. It was the capital of the Republic of Lichhavis in the 6th century. The place is intimately connected to Buddhism. Lord Buddha visited Vaishali many times and declared his imminent death. If believed traditionally, the city was surrounded by three walls with gates and watchtowers. During the time of Buddha, Vaishali was a heavily populated, rich and prosperous area.


The area was previously famous by the name of Kaveripoompattinamwas the capital of the initial Chola rulers for a few years. The epics and tales of Tamil literature, Silapathikaram, and Manimekalai throw light on the lifestyle of the people. Situated at the mouth of Cauvery river, it is believed that the town was destroyed because of a sea storm, causing extreme soil erosion during the 500AD. An underwater survey was conducted in 20076 which showed the remains of wells near the seashore, Buddha statutes, and other excavated articles are the essential reason why this place is an important part of the Indian history and glory.


Hampi aka old Vijayanagar, it was the capital of Vijayanagar Empire dating from 1336 to 1565. Today found in ruins, Hampi was one of the most beautiful cities of its time. Approximately 500,000 people resided in this place, making it the second-largest city in the world, after Peking-Beijing. Later it was ruled by Muslim armies and was also destroyed by the Muslim armies. Today, the ruins of Hampi are listed under the UNESCO World Heritage sites.


An important city of the Indus Valley Civilisation, Lothal dates back to 3700 BCE and was founded in 1954. The docks in Lothal were the earliest known docks which connected the city to the course of Sabarmati River. It was a flourishing center of trade where gems, beads, and other valuables were traded. The town planning, architecture, science and technology, engineering, and art were famous. Structures like wells, dwarfed walls, baths, and drains can still be seen.


The UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated on the banks of Malprabha and has beautiful Shiva temples and a Jain sanctuary. Temple of Virupaksha is the one architecture that makes this place stand out the rest. It was built by Queen Lokamahadevi as a tribute to her husband’s win over the Pallava kings of Kanchi. Ruins of Sangameshwar temple, Mallikarjuna temple and other buildings which can be said to be the compilation of the earliest experiment are situated here.

With the perfect mixture of Nagara and Dravidian architectural style, Pattadakal in Karnataka is the outcome of continuous motivation and the support which was provided by the Chalukya kings towards their artists.


This is the settlement of the Indus Valley Civilization and was founded by Luigi Pio Tessitori, an Italian Indologist. Kalibangan in literal terms means black bangles and is located on the bank of Ghaggar river which is now completely dry. Other than providing the first-ever ploughed agricultural land, Kalibangan also has many fire altars which point to the fact that Harappans worshipped fire.

In 1983, the Archeological Museum of Kalibangan was established in 1983 to keep the findings from this Harappan site. The items on display revealed that the galleries had Harappan seals, bangles, terracotta items and figures, bricks, grinders and the stone balls.


Dholavira is situated in Khadir island of Rann of Kutch, and happens to be one of the biggest Harappan cities. Prior to becoming a barren land, the city was a well flourishing area for 1200 years. Before the decrease in the sea level, it had access to the sea.

The site is continuously being excavated and has highlighted the planning and architecture of the area. The site has reservoirs, step well, antiques like seals, beads, animal bones, gold, silver and terracotta ornaments. According to the results-driven from the excavations, the city has the oldest instant of rainwater harvesting, which proves the intelligence of our ancestors.


From 1670 to 1814, this was the second capital city of the previous king of Sikkim. Chadok Namgyal established the town in 1670, after being declared as sacred in 1642. Nepalese Army destroyed the city and left behind only the chortens and the leftovers of the palace.

The excavations which are often conducted there have successfully been able to recreate the king’s bedroom, hall, kitchen, assembly hall, public courtyard and even the rooms of the guards.


This is considered to be one of the holiest cities in the country. If the Sanskrit scriptures are to be believed Lord Krishna established the city which eventually submerged underwater. Dwarka has been submerged six times, and the current city is the seventh time that is built in the area.

Majority of the town was flooded because of the sea and the fossils have been found in Bet  Dwarka. Explorations which have been conducted in the area have found to be circular, semi-circular and square. These structures are randomly spread over the area. These establishments suggest that Dwarka has been one of the busiest ports in the past on the western coast of the country.


The Portuguese named it Bacaim, and the Marathas called it Bajipur. The Britishers called it Bassein and today the area is called Vasai. Before the arrival of the Portuguese, Sopara was an important trade center under Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat. The Portuguese captured it, expanded their territory into a vibrant city over a period of twenty years.

With the richness of culture, churches, mosques, temples, tiny villages, beautiful beaches, and also a model of the Sanchi stupa, Vasai is an ultimate microcosm of Mumbai’s history.