The individual mounds which have been excavated in mahasthangarh and its vicinity have generally revealed structures which are not earlier in any case than the late Gupta period . most of these structures in fact belong to the later periods. The Gupta-post-Gupta and later structural evidence from these mounds will be considered in a later chapter .Here we are concerned with the excavated data from the earlier levels.In an excavated fortified city the history of the defence wall is a major item of interest.The published literature on Mahasthangarh does not suggest that any co-ordinated and determined effort has ever been made to know the history of its fortification wall. The following extract from the published literature will support our inference . the nature of the fortress wall and its bastion was ascertained by operations on a high mound at one of the re-entrant angles of the eastern rampart, locally known as mnunir ghon, situated not far from sila Devi’s ghat .The rampart wall here was found standing to a height of 10 feet and at least 11 feet broad , of which about 2 feet on either face was brick work and the core built up of brick bats laid in mud mortar . The general direction of the wall is north-south but before it turns to the west for a distance of 100 feet and resumes its course to the north.The outwork at the re-entrant angular projection consisted of two semi-circular bastions , both of which were later encased in a superficial brick-work.The floor associated with the great wall, which points to the bastioin’s later date of construction.The structure was probably intended to serve as a watch tower to guard the river bank.A terrace was also constructed along the inner side of the outwork. The date of the rampart wall here was ascertained by associated antiquities ans characteristics of the pala period.The foregoing is Nazimuddin ahmed’s summary of the work done on the rampart in the archaeological survey of India excavations at the site in 1928-9.This earlier defense composed of conspicuously large sized bricks has a pronounced barrier on the outside.An inscribed clay seal of the Gupta period found associated with the earlier defense wall indicates its date , but their mutual relation remains yet obscure . considerable extent of the northern fortification wall, dated to eighth century was exposed during the operation. It shows several repair and rebuilding phases, and in average measures about 13 feet width and still stands to general height of about 4 to 5 feet Deep digging seems to have been done Lin two area ahmed .The Govinda Bhita area outside the northeastern corner of the fortification and the north eastern area within the fortification . In the Govina Bhita area the virgin soil was reached at a depth of 25 feet from the surface.
Friday, March 18, 2011
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There is a third opening which which leads directly to a bathing place called the sila Bevir Ghat the ghat pt the bathing place called of sila Devi on the river karatoya . On the north there are two opening snatan sabeber Galy and the unnamed one leasing to Ghararduar village across the kalusaha bil. The southern entrance is known as Burir Darwaza (the door of gate of he old woman), Some isolated mounds , each known by its local name , are sprwas over the eastern half of the fortified area .The western half is devoid of any such conspicuous mound . At the southeastern corner we have a dargarh and a mosque commemorating shah sultan Balkhi Mahisawae who conquered the area for Islam possibly in fourteen -fifteenth century A.d. of earlier . About 200 yard to the northwest of the dargah there is a mound which is known as khoda -ra-pathar because an enormous door -sill of granite stone is lying on it . About 400 ft.to the north of manrbalir Dhap with a well near it. Further north is Baiagir Bhita. A high mound at one of he re-entrant angles of the eastern rampart is not far from sila Devir Ghat and is known as munir Ghon . Outside the fortification but lyind close to its northeasrern cormer on a bend of the karatoya is the mounds ansd have been at least partially explored , throeind light n the archiercural history of the site .The issue of identification in the perface to the 15 volume of his Reports ,Cunnindham wrires that one of his obkects in visiting northern Bengal in1879-80 was to look for the anciend caputal called paundravarddbana by look for the site of the ancient city at mahasthan on the bank of the kararoya river .According to him the proof of the identification rest partly on the agreement of the distance and bearind from the neighbourhood of Rakmahal.
The site is located about 8 miles to the north of the district town of Bagura .It is a large and rectangular fortified enclose on the west bank of the Karatoya river .It measures 5000 ft. from the north to the south,4500 ft. form the east to west and rises 15ft. high on the average from the level of the surrounding plain. At the corner bastoons the rampant rises to a height of 15ft. there are a few isolated mounds insides the area surrounded by the brick ramparts but the area as a whole has been reduced to agricultural fields. when Alexander Cunningham visited the site in 1779-80 he observed :The rampant generally are covered with rather thick jungle and so also are most of the brick mound, but all the rest of the place has been cleared and divided into fields .Within a radius of five miles from Mahastangarh there are more than 30 mounds of various sizes. This feature lends a great interest to the site, and as Nazimuddin Ahmed writes,'the present extent of its ruins with its suburbs is unparalleled by any other ancient site in Bengal .The Karatoy was once a major river .There is an early mediaeval text called the karatoya-mahatmyam of the greatness of the karatoy,which sings the praises of the river and the sacredness of the site of Mahastangarh and its environs on its bank . The place is still held sacred by the Hindus and is visited by thousands planets, known as the Narayani-yoga, which occurs in the north of Pasha or December once in about twelve years. And the fair is also held here every the last day of the Bengali year,about the middle of April. On the eastern side the site was protected by the karatoya and on the other three sides by a moat the remains of which are still visible .The moat on the south is now known as the Baranari Khal, that on the west as the Gilatola Khal, and that on the north as the Kalidaba sagar the last being an offshoot of an extensive bill of that name khal in Bengali means a canal whatever bil denote a large swampy tract. There are traces of gateways of entrances on all side of the ramparts the main one is on the west and called the Tamrasvara or Tamba entrance probably of later date. There are at present three entrance on the eastern side The main one which is Known as the Dorab shah gate is almost at the southeast corner,but at the southwest corner it salt inside the fortification at this spot.