Lucknow: A mural in Iraq, dated circa 2000 BC, is said to represent an image of Lord Ram.
According to the Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, an Indian delegation that recently visited Iraq has confirmed this.
The mural is etched into the Darband-i-Belula cliff, overlooks a narrow pass in Iraq’s Horen Shekhan area.
It depicts a bare-chested king holding a bow, a quiver of arrows at his side and a dagger or short sword in his belt, and a supplicant with folded hands which resembles the image of Hanuman.
Iraqi scholars, however, are of opinion that the mural depicts Tardunni, the head of a mountain tribe.
Similar etchings elsewhere in Iraq show kings and kneeling supplicants believed to be slaves.
The delegation, headed by Indian ambassador to Iraq Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit, acted on a request by the Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, a research body under the Uttar Pradesh Department of Culture.
An Indian diplomat at the Ebril consulate, Chandramouli Karn, historians from the University of Sulaimania and the Iraqi Governor of Kurdistan also joined the expedition.
Yogendra Pratap Singh, Director, Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, said: “There is anecdotal evidence on imprints of Ram in Belula pass, but this delegation collected graphical proof to undertake a detailed study to establish a link between the Indian and Mesopotamian cultures.”
He said: “The king and the supplicant in the mural is an unintentional reminder of Ram and Hanuman to many of us.”
Archaeologists and historians in Iraq, however, have not found any links of the mural with Indian mythology or Lord Ram.
“The missing link could be explored once we get permission from the Iraq government. We have sought their approval,” said the Director.
He said that this was the first official attempt to establish a connection between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamian civilizations.
“Lower Mesopotamia was ruled by Sumerians between 4500 and 1900 BCE and claimed there was evidence to suggest they may have come from India and were genetically linked to the Indus Valley civilization,” he explained.
The state culture department has also prepared a proposal to get a replica of the same mural made in Ayodhya.