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Cities are mortal just like humans. They are born, thrive, and eventually die one day. Throughout vast human history, you get to know and see various astonishing cities that have been lost, submerged, abandoned, and destroyed. However, the ruins of lost cities sparkled the imagination and beauty of the forgotten.
Since India holds the oldest and prehistoric settlements, you can see spectacular caves, monuments, and the belonging of ancient lost cities. Some of them are as early as 6000 BC and others as old as 3700 BC.
Here’s a list of 8 lost cities of India that have been found and excavated by archaeologists and historians.
Vijayanagar city lies on the south bank of the Tungabhadra River of northern Karnataka. This city got built around “Virupaksha Temple” which is titled “world’s famous heritage site” by UNESCO.
This lost Indian city was once home to the Vijayanagar Kingdom which was ruled by “Krishnadevaraya” You can find here the remains of Hindu civilizations.
Location: Hampi, Karnataka
Established in 1336 AD
Abandoned in 1565 AD
Discovered in 1800 AD by Colonel Colin Mackenzie
Nagarjunakonda is the former capital of the Buddhist town and the Ikshvaku dynasty. It is basically an island situated in the middle of Nagarjuna Sagar dam of Andhra Pradesh district Guntur.
The city showcases Buddhist ruins, viharas (monastery complexes), mandapams (pillared pavilions), stupas, chaityas (temples), and other white marble depictions.
Location: Macherla, Andhra Pradesh
Established in 225 AD
Abandoned in 325 AD
Discovered in 1926 AD by AR Saraswat & S Venkataramaiah
Muziris is a port city located on the banks of the Periyar River of Kerala. It’s one of those 10 legendary lost cities that have actually been found and excavated.
It’s surprising to know that archaeologists successfully gathered artifacts belonging to popular ancient countries like Roman, Yemen, Egypt, and West Asia.
Location: Kondungallur, Kerala
Established in 100 BC
Abandoned in 1341 AD
Discovered in 1945 with subsequent discoveries in 1969, 1983 & 2007
Sanchi needs no introduction. It’s one of the most famous and popular historical sites in India which is best known for its Ashoka pillar & Greco-Buddhist style. It was also depicted in scenes from stories of Buddha's life and Jataka Tales.
This relic of Buddha was one of the lost cities of India. It was painted using Mauryan Polish so that it glows like glass. People considered it the oldest ruins.
Located: Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
Established in 300 BC
Abandoned in 1300 AD
Discovered in 1818 AD by General Taylor
Dwarka is considered the sacred city of “Lord Krishna”. Huge pillars, massive stone walls, and antiques can be seen undersea. Carbon dating traced ruins of famous lost cities up to the 15th century BC.
Location: Dwarka, Gujarat
Established in 1500 BC
Abandoned in 1443 BC
Discovered in 1983 AD
Surkotada showcases ancient ruins and mounds. Being one of the legendary lost cities since the time of Indus Valley Civilization, it was estimated Surkotada got discovered in 1964 by Shri Jagat Pati Joshi.
The mounds and ruins are hidden and covered by sandstone hills and red laterite soil respectively. So, the entire area looks reddish-brown.
Location: Rapar Taluka, Gujarat
Established in 2100 BC
Abandoned in 1700 BC
Discovered in 1964
Dholavira is one of those legendary lost cities of India which got admired by many archaeologists. The excavated site has a stepwell, reservoirs, and other antiquities like animal bones, silver, gold, seals, beads, vessels, & terracotta ornaments.
The excavation also displays a well-planned and organized design of construction of those times. Soon, it became the best place to visit in India.
Location: Khadir Bet, Gujarat
Established in 2650 BC
Abandoned in 1450 BC
Discovered in 1967 AD to 1968 AD by JP Joshi
Lothal is another ancient lost city of India that belongs to the Indus Valley Civilization. You can see the remaining drains, dwarfed walls, wells, paved floors which were wiped off by floods during that time. However, the strong structure still holds some belongings as it is. Being the oldest ruins in India, it becomes a house of attention for worldwide tourists.
Location: Saragwala Village, Gujarat
Established in 3700 BC
Abandoned in 1900 BC
Discovered in 1954 AD
These are some lost cities that have been found and discovered by the archaeological survey of India.