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Ayodhya  

B. B. Lal

[Ayodhyā]

City in Faizabad District, Uttar Pradesh, India. Located on the right bank of the River Sarayu, it was the capital of the ancient Kosala kingdom, one of whose kings, Rama, is regarded by Hindus as an incarnation of Vishnu.

Excavations in 17 different parts of the ancient mounds have revealed that the first occupation at Ayodhya commenced c. 700 bc, as is indicated by the occurrence of the earliest variety of Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) and a few sherds assignable to a late stage in the production of Painted Grey Ware (PGW). The NBPW is very well fired, thin-sectioned, with a shining surface and showing a variety of colours: steel grey, coal black, indigo, silver, even gold. In the earliest levels the houses were of wattle and daub, but later they began to be constructed of kiln-fired bricks. Terracotta ringwells were used for disposing of sullage water. Concomitantly, systems of coinage (punch-marked and uninscribed cast coins) and weights (cylindrical pieces of jasper, chert etc) also came into being, laying the foundation of urbanization in the Ganga Valley around the middle of the 1st millennium ...

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Tala  

Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty

Hindu temple site 25 km south of Bilaspur in Madhya Pradesh, India. It was excavated and cleared by Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty for the Madhya Pradesh Department of Archaeology and Museums. Its two temples, known as Jethani and Deorani (or Devarani), are datable respectively to the late 5th century ad and the early 6th. The Jethani Temple has entrances on the south, east and west, the southern entrance being the largest. Other notable features include huge sculpted slabs forming the side walls on either side of the southern entrance, enormous four-sided pillars faced with carved slabs on the southern steps and a cyclopean elephant plinth (Skt gajapīṭha) that substitutes for an entrance on the northern side of the temple. The Deorani Temple, a more compact structure equipped with only one entrance, comprises a sanctum (garbhagṛha) and a vestibule (antarāla) of almost equal size fronted by a small hall (...