In the 7th century, the prosperous town of Vidisha, suddenly, pulled up its roots and shifted to the far bank of the great river Betwa. It was an inexplicable migration because there is no doubt that the old Vidisha was one of the richest cities in India and was closely associated with Sanchi and the Emperor who erected the first monument in that Buddhist centre.
Much of Vidishas continuing prosperity arose from the fact that it was both on the river Betwa and that it straddled two important trade routes. One linked the weaving town of Paithan, to the ancient capital of Ujjain, then through Vidisha and on to the Buddhist pilgrim centre of Kausambi. The other one started from the and led to the holy city of Mathura. A branch of this road stretched out from Vidisha through the valley of the Betwa river to the Mauryan capital of Pataliputra. India's Milton, the poet Kalidas, described Vidisha as a place where everybody could become as rich as his heart desired.
At first people thought that the relocation tale was just a myth. Then, a few years ago - and fourteen centuries later - new evidence emerged, quite literally. A civic official, intending to increase the depth of the Narmadas bed, to control is annual flooding, was confronted with a bonanza of antiquities dredged from the river. It was such an amazingly rich find that, to this day, they have had to be sacked in its open yard and have not, as yet, been classified.