An ancient myth, a powerful kingdom, a grand city, an important legacy- all sacrificed at the altar of a mega infrastructural project. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) aptly described the disappearance of the 3rd-4th century CE Ikshvaku capital of Vijayapuri, under the waters of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, 50 years back, as an ‘Archaeological tragedy’. And it was.
Thanks to popular writer Amish Tripathy’s work the ‘Scion of Ikshvaku‘, the term Ikshvaku is familiar to many. In Hindu mythology, Lord Ram is said to a descendant of King Ikshvaku, the grandson of Surya, the Sun God. But, leaving mythology and fantasy aside, the fact is that there was a historic Ikshvaku dynasty, which ruled large parts of Andhra Pradesh between the 3rd and 4th centuries CE.