Ita Fort

Ita Fort

Ita Fort in Itanagar town, is one of the most important historical sites in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The name literally means "Fort of bricks" (brick being called "Ita" in the Assamese language). It also lends its name to the city Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh. The Ita Fort at Arunachal Pradesh was built as early as the 14th or the 15th century by kings of the Chutia dynasty. The fort has an irregular shape, built mainly with bricks dating back to the 14th-15th Century. The total brickwork is of 16,200 cubic metre lengths which was probably built by kings of the Chutiya kingdom which ruled the region during that time. The fort has three different entrances at three different sides, which are western, the eastern and the southern sides. Archaeological finds from the site are on displayed at the Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, Itanagar. The Ita Fort is thought to be one of the early forts which the great Chutia king Ratnadhwajpal initially built all around his kingdom from Biswanath till Disang. The bricks used in the fort hint to later repairs in the 14th century. According to the historian Sarbananda Rajkumar, the fort was built by the Chutia king Ramachandra/Pratap Raja who had his capital in Ratanpur, Majuli. It is also mentioned that Ramachandra Pratap Narayan was the grandson of king Mayurdhwaj. In the genealogy of the Chutia kings, Mayurdhwaj is believed to have ruled the middle of the 14th century. Thus, it is clear that Karmadhwajpal who was the grandson of Mayurdhwaj was better known as Pratap Narayan. This is also verified by the copper plate belonging to the same period found near present-day North Lakhimpur town issued by Pratap Narayan. He was also known as Nandeswar. According to Ahom Buranjis, in the late half of 14th century, the Ahom king Sutupha planned to attack the Chutia kingdom, but cancelled the plans as his ministers were against it. Later events lead to the death of the Ahom king in the hands of the Chutia king. This king is known to be Pratap Narayan Nandeswar who had a second capital in Ratanpur. According to the Nishi tribal folklore, one of the kings from the plains was charmed by the beauty of Nishi women who then married her and built the Ita fort as a palace for the new queen. The Copper bell which was built during the time of Satyanarayan mentions the name Ramachandra as well, who might have been his father Nandeswar. Thus, it can be stated that the fort was built in around the late 14th century by the Chutia king Nandeswar.




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