Friday, March 25, 2011

Govinda bhita mound

The mound called Govinda Bhita is on a bend of the karatoya to the northeast of the fortified city. The mound is across the ditch outside the northern rampart and about a couple of furlongs beyond. It was excavated in 1928-9.According to the Sanskrit text Karatoya Mahatmya or the greatness of the river Karatoya .Which has been dated to the twelfth-thirteenth century, a temple of Govinda of Vishnu marked the northern limit of the city . As the mound is known as Govinda Bhita of the house of Govinda even know in the local tradition. There is no reason to doubt the evidence of this text. The building remains excavated within a massive enclosure wall show four period between the late Gupta period and the Muslim occupational phase of the site. The 6 ft. thick enclosure wall western side where it stands up to a height of 8-11 ft. and is 114 ft. long. There are two distinct sets of buildings inside the enclosure. These have been named eastern and western temples in the archaeological literature. The earlier phase of the western temple goes back possibly to the sixth-seventh century . Its western wall is marked by 16 offsets and is said to bear close affinity with the fabric of the basement wall of the main temple at Paharpur. The western temple was apparently entered from the west. A 30 ft. long and 9 ft. wide porch marked this entrance. The later temple was partly built on the ruins of the earlier one in about the eleventh century .The enclosure wall of the temple complex came to be built during this period. The temples of thee two periods were both constructed on high raised terraces but in the case of the second period temple the excavated evidence is detailed. An elaborate high terrace structure was created in the center after raising the earlier level of the plinth to several feet. The central walls of the upper terrace are connected on their exterior by a series of parallel walls by means of short cross-walls, thus forming an outer row of cells in the foundation. In the same way , a row of 5 superficial cell in the interior on each side except east were found arranged around  a solid rectangular brick platform which must have originally formed the foundation of the high superstructure. In three of these cells ring-wells have been found ,which were also probably of superficial nature. This curious cellular style of construction, we now know from other development in building arts in ancient Bengal. These superficial cells ,arranged in different terraces around a central platform, were filled in with compact earth and rammed so as to strengthen the surrounding area capable of securely raising a towering superstructure of in other words, these cellular structures had the advantage of raising the high structure with high plinth visible from a great distance and thus gained for it a commanding prospect.