Written by Tushar Kanti Dutta
The small village of the Habibpur block of Malda is Jagajivanpur. A farmer of this village, Jagadish Chandra Gayain, suddenly found a ‘copper-plated inscription’ while digging the soil mound. On which there was the royal seal. And on the top of it there was the Buddhist ‘Dharmachakra’ in the blooming lotus, umbrella was on the head and two deer on both sides. And that was the symbol of the Pala dynasty. After seeing this, the farmer dug some other parts of the mound. Today the whole subsequent incident became a history…
The copper-plaque that was recovered, on which it was mentioned the reference of King Mahendra Pal. Prior to this, the researchers knew the kingdom of Pala dynasty till the time of Dev Pal. The founder of the dynasty was Gopal. Later, Dharm Pala, Dev Pala ruled the state as the dynasty. Then Mahendra Pal’s name was unknown to everyone. After getting the news, Archaeological Survey of India carried excavation in the mound in Jagajivanpur. But the first phase of excavation did not last long. But in this period, “Nandadirghee Bihar” came out in public.
Gradually History researchers began research on the retrieved copper-plaque. On one side of the plate, there was the carving was 40 lines, and 33 lines on the other in a particular inscription. Each line had 50 characters. The following is written “Sri Mahendra Pal Deva” in the bottom part of it. Researchers learned to read the plaque, that on the request of the commander, Vajraydev, in pursuit of Gautam Buddha and monastery for the worship of monks, Raja Mahendra contributed for the construction of Mahavihara. After the Mahavihara that was known in the whole world as “Nandadirghee Buddhist Mahavihara”.
In the second phase, the excavation work of Jagajibanpur has done by ASI. That work ended in 2004. The debris of ancient Buddhist monastery arises from the bottom of the ground. From there they found burned-soiled-seals, terracotta statues, pots and much more, which is currently in the Malda and Calcutta museum respectively.
On regarding the condition of this ‘Bouddho-bihar’, there was a dissatisfaction in the sound of the security guard Jagdish Gayain. It is said that in 2009-2010, the state government had worked to reform ‘Bihar’ for the last time. After that there was no other work had done. In the rainy season, water has entered into the various parts of ‘Bihar’ and causes destruction. Now there is jungle around this. Fencing is not good either. As a result, there are about 1,200 years old “Bouddho-bihar” in a great crisis.
Punarbhaba river flows by the side of Jagajivanpur. On the other side of the river there are several archaeological sites scattered in the present-day in Bangladesh.
The copper-plaque of Mahendra Dev is the most important historical document in this region. In the ninth century of Christianity it was a “Bouddha-Bihar”. And that was known as “Nandadirghika Mahavihara”. Still there are high mounds in this region. Of which the 5 meter tall “Tulai Vita” or “Salaidanga” is the largest. Besides, “Akhridanga”, “Nimdanga”, “Rajar maa-ar Dhibi” and “Nandagara” are notable. Although only a small part of 9432 square meters of “Tulai Vita” was excavated.
First Nalagola from Malda or Balurghat. Then from Nalagola to Kandapukur via Pakuakhat. Jagjivanpur with a soil made road from here. The road of Kendapukur is in bad condition, so it may be possible to reach via Pukuakhat – Khiripara – 11 miles – Tapasahara – Dall – Bahadurpur – Baikail.
An important historic place of Pala era is in Jagjivanpur in Habibpur block of Malda district. To see these ruins, located 41 km from English Bazar, you have to go to Nandagola-Pekuahat, Kendapukur serially.
Photo courtesy : Tushar Kanti Dutta.
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