Friday, April 29, 2011

Patharghata complex of paharpur

The site, or rather, a complex of sites, located in a large and undulating valley on both sides of the Tulsi-Ganga rivers, is in the panchbibi police station in the Bagura district and about 15 miles to the northeast of Paharpur. The remains apparently comprise some small mounds and a main settlement site. A number of solid stone blocks scattered along and in the vicinity of the river banks imply the existence of a stone-built bridge or a landing stage at this point. This has been dated to the pala period, although there is no positive proof in support of this dating. The reference point in the exploration report on Patharghata is a modern catholic mission, and a number of mounds have been reported in its vicinity. One of these mounds is 25 ft high and the whole area is strewn with ancient potsherds, bricks-bats, fragments of terracotta plaques and stone sculptural and architectural pieces. A small mound 50 ft across also near the Catholic mission, shows traces of a small temple with basement walls made of dressed and polished stone blocks. The carvings on the surviving architectural fragments suggest the pala period. A stone lintel piece with a frieze of garland-bearing dwarfs was found lying on the other side of the river. In the same area a mound called the Kasia Bari seems to be important both because of its size high and the number of Brahmanical black-stone images lying under a banyan tree on its top. The mound of Naupukuria is a little away from the mission to its west. It has been called an extensive settlement site. ‘Here extensive remains of stone and bricks walls, foundations, landing stages and probably a workshop for dressed and squared stone blocks are found ruthlessly exposed and mercilessly damaged and removed by brick-hunters, thus revealing some plans of large buildings one called Dhanabhandar potsherds, brickbats, terracotta and worked stone fragments are found all over the ruins. Recovery of some stone images from here mounds are also found in the neighbouring villages, and one of them, called the Uchai mound, perhaps shows the basement of a Buddhist stupa or shrine. This circular mound is almost fully occupied by a solid structure with thick cross-walls, the core being solidly filled with brick-bats.What is significant from the point of view of the present chapter is that in the collection of antiquities kept in the catholic mission house one could see pieces of gadrooned NBP pottery. What is of further interest is that the Dhaka museums shows in its sculpture gallery a female torso which is listed from Patharghata and rendered unmistakably in the kushan style. This seems to be an unpublished specimen. The NBP pieces and this female torso unmistakably establish an early historic antiquity for Patharghata some where below the mass of later structural ruins.