Exploring the Possibilities of Cultural and Archaeological Tourism at Dantan and its Surrounding Areas

History of Dantan needs to be rewritten. Many scholars like Haraprasad Sastri, Nagendranath Basu, A. K. Banerjee, B. N. Mukherjee made a number of guesses on Dantan. Long ago Nihar Ranjan Ray clearly identified Dantan with the ancient and medieval province Dandabhukti, the capital of which must have been in a few places of Dantan. For, a number of provincial rulers—sometimes in the status of independent monarch, ruled here and built their settlements. The archaeological remains of those sites are still visible here and there. The entire region of Dantan has yielded large number of ancient artefacts which are still to be studied academically. In fact, Dantan remained a neglected place for a long period—culturally and economically. It is high time now that we reconsider the historical and academic importance of Dantan in a new era of information technology.

Discovery of Moghalmari Buddhist Monastery

It was Prof. Asok Dutta who—through his intensive research for over a decade and scientific excavation—unearthed a Buddhist Monastery at Moghalmari. The monastery occupies a small area of an entire Buddhist settlement scattered at the Moghalmari village. Many structures are either unexplored or buried beneath the earth. Unearthing them will also open up a new chapter in the history of Bengal. But Moghalmari is not the only archaeological site here. In fact the entire region from Raibania (Orissa) through Dantan to Keshiary (even it can be extended to Daintikuri where still stands a pre-Muslim brick-temple) has a glorious history and is rich in archaeological artefacts.

Below are brief descriptions of the possible sites which need to be explored:

Satdeulia (Ektarpur-Takinagar and the so-called “High School Maidan)

Satdeulia, a small village is situated on slightly elevated land at Ektarpur village of Dantan. The place derives its name probably from seven temples or ‘Deul’. From the archaeological remains it is clear that the seven temples really existed. The temples are all gone and only seven small ditches exist around a big pond. However, we still could see foundations and debris of massive walls around the village in rectangular shape. It is found in Harrison’s report that 2600000 bricks from this place were taken away from this place to make Rajghat Road. He wrote:

On the occasion of excavating earth to get out bricks and stone for the use of Rajghat Road under construction several magnificent remains of the old buildings have been discovered at Satdeula and Moghalmari, and bricks, and stones, it is estimated have been dug out, numbering about 26 lakhs and some crores yet lie buried under the ground. From these it appears that the above place were once the residence of the ancient Rajas and exceedingly populous”.

Some big stone statues have been recovered. One of them is a big life-size statue of some unidentified deity. May be this huge statue was left unfinished or it was deliberately defaced and damaged by some humans. The same is the case with a huge Bhairaba statue, the remains of which are found in parts. Definitely some destruction activity was there and one may relate this to the misdeeds of Kalapaharh. The pond still contains many statues and waits to be unearthed.

Just in parallel with this elevated space there is another place, which is now used as a playground. Interestingly the place is a circular one and remains of trenches are still found…Access the Full Text of the Article>>