Dr. V. S. Wakankar

Life sketch of Dr. Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar

Padma Shri Dr. V. S. Wakankar Birth : 4th May 1919. Neemach (M. P.)

Education : Primary education (Dhar); G. D. Art (Mumbai); M. A., Ph. D. (History / Archaeology - Deccan College, Pune)

Founder : Bharati Kala Bhavan at Ujjain - a centre for study of drawing, painting, sculpturing, carving etc.)

Papers & Publications :

He presented several papers at national and international conferences.

He has more than 6 books, 400 publications to his credit and has delivered invited lectured at more than 16 places abroad.

He has travelled widely in India and abroad (UK, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Egypt and USA) for study tours, visiting museums and important historical / archaeological sites, conferences, delivering lectures, holding exhibitions, etc.

Archaeological surveys & excavations :

Dr. Wakankar discovered and studied more than 4000 rock shelters in India.

He carried out extensive excavations at Maheshwar (1954), Navada Toli (1955), Indragarh (1959), Manoti (1960), Awara (1960), Kayatha (1966), Mandsaur (1974, 76), Azadnagar (1974), Dangwada (1974), Runija (1980), as well as Verconium Roman sites in England (1961) and Incoliev in France (1962).

Star contributions :

Major contributions in terms of importance and worldwide impact have been the discovery of Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Tracing of lost River Saraswati and discovery of astronomically significant spot at Donglagram near Ujjain.

Padma Shri Dr. V. S. Wakankar Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka :

Amidst the Ratapani Wild Life Sanctuary in District Bhiyanpur (55 km from Bhopal) are the rock shelters with man-made rock paintings at least 10,000 years old. They are well preserved till date and give us a glimpse of the lifestyle of the inhabitants of these rock shelters.

It is a collection of ~750 rock shelters and is the only of its kind in terms of continuity and density. It has since been inscribed as "World Heritage Site" by the UNESCO and has placed India on the top of the World Map of Rock Art.

Padma Shri Dr. V. S. Wakankar River Saraswati :

Another very significant contribution is the tracing of the lost River Saraswati. A team led by Dr. V. S. Wakankar traced the path of this river and discovered several sites belonging to the Indus-Saraswati Civilization. As Vedic literature and the civilization flourished on the banks of this river, he has proposed that our civilization should be really termed as "Saraswat Civilization" instead of Indus Valley Civilisation.

Padma Shri Dr. V. S. Wakankar Donglagram :

At village Dongla near Ujjain Madhya Pradesh, Dr. V. S. Wakankar identified the exact spot where the Tropic of Cancer and the local longitude intersect each other. During summer solstice as the sun is exactly overhead at noon, rolex replica watches no shadow is cast. This spot has great astronomical significance. He was of the opinion that this spot and the corresponding longitude could have been the key position for all Vedic astronomical calculations in India. Madhya Pradesh Government has recently laid the foundation stone of an modern observatory to be constructed near this spot rolex replica watches and expects this to become a centre for advanced studies by Indian and foreign experts in the field of astronomy.

He proposed that due to its unique position and India's contribution to the knowledge of Astronomy, the local meridian should be named as Prime Meridian (zero meridian) instead of the one at Greenwich UK and that international timing should be based on DMT (Dongla Meridian Time) instead of GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time).

His contributions to the study of history, archaeology and rock art and his discovery of the now famous - Bhimbetka painted rock shelter's near Bhopal - a world heritage site declared by UNESCO earned him the coveted "Padma shri" in 1975.

Significant Discoveries :

  1. 23 Parmar inscriptions at Dhar.
  2. More than 68 Chalcolithic sites in Malwa.
  3. More than 4000 painted rock shelters throughout India.
  4. Mahudi Copper plate of King Bhoja at Dhar.
  5. Indragadh inscription of King Nannappa of Rashtrakut dynasty of Manyakheta.
  6. Bilpank prashasti of Siddharaj Jaysinnh of Gujarat.
  7. Elephant capital of Maurayan period at Soudhanga.
  8. Remains of Harappan culture at Manoti.
  9. Black and Red ware culture at Awara.
  10. Earliest remains of a culture now known as Kayatha culture at Chalcolithic sites at 'Kayatha' near Ujjain.
  11. Shaka inscription at Ujjain.
  12. Inscription of Vijaysinh at Ujjain.
  13. Discovered and classified 15000 coins of Ujjain.
  14. Discovered and deciphered 2 Brahmi inscriptions outside India (one being at Quassein on Red Sea and other being a tablet from Babylon).
  15. Glass seal and 4 Greek amulets at Ujjain.
  16. New sites at Arryo Hando; Rio Grande Canyon and Macon Georgia in USA.