In Search of the Matsya Mahajanapada

Around 66 km north of Jaipur, in Rajasthan is the site of Bairat or Viratnagar which is home to one of the oldest known remains of a freestanding Buddhist chaityagriha or prayer hall found in India. Located high above a rocky hill known as Bijak-ki-Pahadi, these ruins are quite striking. But this is not the only thing that makes Bairat so fascinating.

It was the capital of the Matsya Mahajanapada that emerged as a powerful republic in the Indo Gangetic plains, between 700–300 BCE. But what made Bairat so significant in those times?

Through a film, author and historian Rima Hooja tells us how the Matsya Mahajanapada was born and how its legacy lives on even today!