Chandara is the capital city of Dinotopia’s southeastern quadrant, and the seat of an ancient empire of the same name. By the time of Arthur Denison’s arrival in 1862, Chandara had fallen out of contact with the west. Leaders in Sauropolis, deploring Chandara’s lack of a democratic round table, officially closed the Belt Road to trade caravans, thus dooming cities like Ruhmsburg that had thrived on the flow of goods. Desert guards on giant flightless birds called Diatrymas patrolled the western fringes of the empire to evict strangers.
The city’s origins go back to 3855 BC, when it began as a fortified palisade on the promontory above the Zhengtao River. An era of monument building began a few centuries later, culminating in masterworks like the Temple of Ballakaloosh and the Dengahari Gates, designed by the saurian architect-scribe Djhuty, who escaped Dinotopia in 3107 and retired to Egypt, where he became known as “Thoth.” Several times in Chandara’s history, waves of invaders have tried to plunder its riches, but each group has been converted and absorbed by the magic of the city. A group of giant carnivorous warrior-monks lives in a monastery on Pungdok and Shaoling Islands.
Within its city limits, Chandara has Dinotopia’s largest population of both humans and saurians, including many of the exotic feathered maniraptors like Caudipteryx and Microraptor. Concentric canals and broad avenues radiate like spokes around the central hub of the Imperial Palace. The exterior of this remarkable edifice is carved from white marble, while the interior is lavishly painted with mythological scenes and exotic forms of calligraphy. In this remote and lofty height lives the beloved and elusive emperor Hugo Khan.