Khalkattapatna- The port of Konark
It is located on the northern bank of the river Kusabhadra near the sea mouth and situated at a distance of abt 9 km from Konark. It flourished during 12th-15th cen esp during the reign of the Eastern Gangas.
Port type- Dronamukhi (river-sea)
ASI excavations (‘84) revealed a brick jelly floor, which served as a loading-unloading platform.
Recovered objects- Chinese celadon & porcelain with blue floral motifs, egg-white glazed pottery from Arabia, indigenous dark gray & red striped wares, terracotta beads, wares etc.
Site findings list:
a. Terracotta ring well
b. Chinese copper coin
d. Bricks, potsherds
e. Ring wells
f. Stamped ware
g. Chinese ware
h. Celadon ware
i. Terracotta beads
j,k,l. Site location
Types of pottery collected during excavation
It was an imp port of the Eastern Gangas & was active during the rule of Narasimhadeva who built the Konark Sun temple. Its likely that the stones used in the construction was transported through here.
The Martanda Bhairava motif of Konark also points to its maritime importance.
The sherds & wares discovered at the site throws light on the nature of the maritime trade which existed during the time and the polities with which Kalinga traded like Sumatra, Burma in SE Asia, Yuan & Ming dynasties of China, Arabia etc.
-rapid river migrations wrt oceanographic processes & in response of intensity of natural disasters
-erosion, shoreline changes
-effects of severe cyclones, heavy flooding
-lack of royal patronage later, shift of trade to other ports
Below data on shifting of river
*Khalkattapatna port: The lost archaeological heritage of Odisha, east coast of India- Sila Tripati & others, NIO, 2015
*Ports & Port Towns of Early Odisha: Text, Archaeology & Identification, Benudhar Patra, IHC, 2013, p-56
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