Written by Pradeep Mukherjee
In different parts of Burdwan, there are scattered historical materials of Rarh Bengal. There are so many undiscovered invaluable historical things. And those have been recovered, for lack of its proper maintenance, the history around us is being unrevealed. If all the fields from where the things are discovered and the invaluable things itself would be deeply researched, we will be able to know the exact history from them. From which we will be able to find out our increasing civilization and appropriate time format.
In Burdwan district, through excavation, we come to know that the Ajay-Damadar area of Rarh Bengal is a quite older witness of history. In Different time, with separate excavations of this area, we come to know that, from around thousand years back the human being are living here. There is like many evidences that states pre-Iron Age and Iron Age was there. The name of this area is known, not only from the things discovered through excavations, but also in literature and religious scriptures. One such archaeological area is ‘Pandu Rajar Dhibi’ or local peoples call it ‘Raja Potter Danga’. There is a controversy in the name of the place.
Reportedly, being tired by family drama, angry Pandu Shakya once left Kapilavastu and entered the centre of Bengal, Hoogly and established the capital. From Pandua to the banks of Ajay was ruled by his kingdom. The mound of pandu king is the destroyed debris of the King Pandu’s palace. According to many, a ruler named Pandu was the owner of the existing mound. However, local people believed that there was a Pandu king’s kingdom in this corridor and later it became ruined and destroyed. The location of the place on the geographic map is 23.25 north latitude and 87.39 degrees east longitude. Its spread is two hundred meters along the east-west length and one hundred seventy meters along the width of the north-south. The height is almost five meters.
Its position on the political map is in Ramnagar panchayat area of Ausagram-II block of Burdwan district. For a long time, this huge pile of ‘Raja Potar Danga’ was a wonder among the people of the area. The local people had a doubt that this ‘Raja Potar Danga’ was not merely a clay pile. It has a special history in it. And after that massive flood of 1318th year of Bengal, it stimulated the curiosity. Due to the water flooded, some part of the mound was uncovered, and some pots, gray pots, and several black red clay pots or clay jars are found here. After seeing these, the wise people of the area came forward to unravel the true mystery of the mound. After being informed by the local sources, then the Deputy Director of the Archeology Department, Dev Kumar Chakraborty and Dr. Shyamadas Mukhopadhyay visited this mound and from there, collected priceless archaeological patterns and brought the attention of Paresh Dasgupta, then the Director of ASI. After this, the remarkable archaeological findings of the papers show similarity with the pre-historic copper stone civilization of Central India and Rajasthan. As a result, it decided to undertake the excavation work of this place in the Ajay Valley in the archaeological section of West Bengal.
This mound was excavated four times on four stages between 1962 and 1965. During this time many prominent archaeologists visited the mound. The evidence of the evolution of rural civilization has been found in all the monuments found in the mound of Pandua king of Rarh region. It was here that Harappa was contemporary of Mohanjodaro civilization. Here iron, copper use, foreign trade, industrial action, and even the funeral procedures have also been reflected. The burnt rice obtained by the excavation provides proof of the agricultural area. Besides, red black-colored pottery, painted pottery, head-shaped pottery, and various ornaments made of bones and copper, different types of tools, cotton cloth piece, skeletons of man and animal, broken statues of burnt soil etc. were found.
Apart from this, the seal engraving on the Styatite stone has significantly marked this place for researchers and has found new horizons that are rich in information. These patterns were certified by the Radio Carbon Test, in this region around 4000 years ago, there was a cemetery of civilization, which was destroyed at different times. It is believed to be the cause of destruction, severe flooding, fires, or attacks of foreign forces. The materials from here are kept in the Indian Museum.
It is estimated that the architectural works of brick burned in a fire on the southeast corner above the mound are seen as the remains of Buddhists or Hindu worship. A little away, there are two Vishnu statues in the east. But in the lower part of a statue looks like they are Laxmi and Saraswati. Since the top of the statue is broken, it is difficult to recognize the nature. The upper leaves have a sliding leaf. It is being worshiped as ‘Barae Chandi’ for Hindus. The current name of this place is Barai Chandi Tola. On dit, this goddess was Pandu’s household goddess.
There is a hanged notice board surrounded by barbed wire fencing all over Indian archaeology. Local people complained, despite the historic importance of the place, it still remains neglected. The thorn wire fence has been opened in many places. The mound has now become grazing land. Local boys uses it as playground. Considering the historic and archaeological importance of the place, government should take appropriate initiatives and highlight the importance of this place to the tourists.