Mahasthangarh - Highlights of Some Excavated Sites - Outside The Citadel

Outside The Citadel

Govinda Bhita: Situated 185 m north-east of Jahajghata and opposite the site museum. Remains dated from 3rd century BC to 15th century AD. Base remains of two temples have been exposed.

Totaram Panditer Dhap: Situated in the village Vihara, about 6 km north-west of the ciradel. Structural remains of a damaged monastery have been exposed.

Narapatir Dhap: Situated in the village Basu Vihara, 1.5 km north-west of Totaram Panditer Dhap. Base remains of two monasteries and a temple have been exposed. Cunningham identified this place as the one visited by Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) in the 7th century AD.

Gokul Medh: Also known as Behular Basar Ghar or Lakshindarer Medh, situated in the village Gokul, 3 km to the south of the citadel, off the Bogra-Rangpur road, connected by a narrow motorable road about 1 km. Excavations in 1934-36 revealed a terraced podium with 172 rectangular blind cells. It is dated 6th-7th century. Local mythology associates it with legendary Lakshmindara-Behula. The village Gokul also has several other mound Kansr Dhap has been excavated.

Skandher Dhap: Situated in village Baghopara on the Bogra-Rangpur road, 3.5 km to the south of the citadel, a sandstone Kartika was found and structural vestiges of a damaged building were revealed. It is believed to be the remains of Skandha Mandira (temple consecrated to Kartika), mentioned in Karatoya mahatmya, as well as Kalhan’s Rajatarangin, written in 1149-50. There also are references to Skandhnagara as a suburb of Pundranagara. Baghopara village has three other mounds.

Khulnar Dhap: Situated in village Chenghispur, 700 m west of the north-west corner of the citadel has revealed remains of a temple. The mound is named after Khullana, wife of Chand Sadagar.

From the present findings it can be deduced that there was a city called Pundravardhana at Mahasthangarh with a vast suburb around it, on all sides except the east, where the once mighty Karatoya used to flow. It is evident that the suburbs of Pundravardhana extended at least to Baghopara on the south-west, Gokul on the south, Vamanpara on the west, and Sekendrabad on the north. However, the plan of the city and much of its history are still to be revealed.

Bhimer Jangal This well-known embankment starts from the north-east corner of Bogra town and proceeds northwards for about 30 miles to a marshy place called Damukdaher bit, under police station Govindaganj (Rangpur District) and it is said, goes oil to Ghoraghat. It is made of the red earth of the locality and retains at places even now a height of 20 feet above the level of the country. There is a break ill it of over three miles from Daulatpur (north west of Mahasthan-garh) to Hazaradighi (south-west, of it). About a mile south of Hazradighi. the stream Subil approaches the jangal and runs alongside it down to Bogra town.

Some people think that the Subil is a moat formed by digging the earth for the jangal but as there is no embankment on the northern reach of the Subil now called the Ato nala. which merges in the Kalidaha bil; north of Mahasthan-garh O'Donnell was probably right in saying that the Subil represents the western of the two branches into which the Karatoya divided above Mahasthan.

On the Bogra-Hazradighi section of thee jaligal, there are two cross embankments running down to the Karatoya, about 2 miles and 4 miles respectively north of Bogra town and there is a diagonal embankment connecting these cross bonds and then running along the Karatoya until it meets the main embankment near Bogra.

This jangal or embankment appears to have been of a military character, thrown up to protect the country on its east. The break roar Mahasthan may be due to the embankment having been washed away or to the existence of natural protection by the bit.

The Bhima to whom the embankment is ascribed may be the Kaivarta chief of the eleventh century who according to the Ramcharitam ruled over Varendra in succession to his father Rudraka and uncle Divyoka, who had ousted king Mahipala II of the Pala, dynasty. Bhima in his turn was defeated in battle and billed by Ramapala. Mahipala's son.

Jogir Bhaban South west of Bagtahali (beyond Chak Bariapara) and some 3 miles west of the khetlal road is a settlement of the Natha sect of Saiva sannyasis, known as Yogir-bhavan, forming the eastern section of Arora village. An account of this settlement is given by Beveridge, J.:1.S.T., 1878; p. 94. It occupies about so, bighas of land and forms the headquarters of the sect. of which there are branches at Yogigopha and Gorakh-kui, both in the Dinajpur District, the.former in its south-west part some 5 miles west of Paharpur, J.A.S.B.1875, p. 189, and the latter in its north-west part some 4 miles west of Nekmardan.

The shrines at Yogir-bhavan are situated in the south-west corner of an en¬closure or-math. One of them called Dharmma-dungi, bears a brick inscription, reading scrvva-siddha sana 1148 Sri Suphala ... (the year =1741 A.D.). 'In front of it is another shrine called `Gadighar,' where a fire is kept burn at all hours. Outside the enclose are four temples, dedicated respectively to Kalabhai¬rava, Sarvamangala Durga and Gorakshanatha. The Kalabhairava temple contains a diva linga and bears a brick inscription reading Sri Ramasiddha sana 1173 sala (=1766 A.D.) ample Sri Jayanatha Nara-Narayana. The Sarva¬mangala temple contains three images of Hara-Gauri, one of Mahishamardini, a fragment of an Ashta-matrika slab, a fragment of a three-faced female figure probably Ushnishavijava (Sadhanamala; II. pl.XIV) and a four-armed female figure playing on a vina (evidently Sarasvati, but worshipped here as Sarva¬ mangala). Over the entrance is a brick inscription reading 1089 Meher Natha sadaka sri Abhirama Mehetara (the year =1681 A.D.). In the Durga temple is a stone image of Chamunda, and in the Gorakshanatha one, a Siva lihga. There are three brick built samadhis near the latter temple.

Arora South-west of the Dadhisugar and standing on the Masandighi, in Arora village; is Salvan Rajar bari referred to under Baghahali. This Silvan may possibly be the same as king Salavahan, son of Sahila-deva of the Chamba inscription who won the title of Kari-ghata-varsha (= hunjara-ghata-varsha ?) (R.C. Majumdar, vange kambojadhikara,' vanga-rani,Chaitara, 1330.B.S.p. 251, ind.Ant,XVII.pp. 7–13). Beveridge refers to this mound in JA.S.B., 1878, p 95.

This name of Sahila seems, to occur again in Sahiladitya lakshmam in v. 10 of the Silimpllr inscription (Ep. Ind,XIII, p. 291). If this identification is correct, then the word kaunjanraghatacarshcna in the Bangarh stone inscription (Gauda-raja-mala, p. 35) is really the title or virudha of the Gudapati of the Kumboja family and not the date of the inscription.

Teghar North of Chandnia hat the road skirts the bil and comes to Teghar village Which juts out into the bil 'Near about here are several mounds; such as Naras¬patir dhap. Kacher Angina (or glazed courtyard, a term applied to many ruins in these parts) etc. The biggest of these mounds, Mangal-nather dhap, (Fig. 6) is situated close to the point, from which a road branches off to Bihar. It is said that terra-cotta plaques as well as stone images were found at this site, but were all consigned to the neighbouring dighi.

Rojakpur Proceeding westward along the road from Gokul to Haripur, we pass into the western arm of the latter village, already referred to. and meet the Bogra¬ Khetlal road near the Chandnia hat. West of Haripur and south of the Somrai bil is the village of Rojakpur, into which, as already stated, the elevated ground from Chandnia hat extends. On this ground are two mounds called respectively Chandbhita. (probably referring to the Manasa legend) and Dhanbhandar. A little further west is another mound called Singhinath Dhap.

Mathura East of Bumanpara and extending up to the garh on the east and the Kalidaha bill on the north, is the village of Mathura, in Which there are several tank and on a ridge overlooking the Gilatala moat, two mounds called Parasuramer Sabhabati and Yogir Dhap.

Read more about this topic:  Mahasthangarh, Highlights of Some Excavated Sites

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