From Bangalore: Suddenly lilte uncle came and appeared. He will spend two days in Kolkata for office work. Christmas holidays. Everyone at home is intoxicated with the joy of the festival. litle aunt makes wonderful cakes. In the morning there was a chat with cake and coffee. In the middle of the conversation, a small announcement was made, “Tomorrow is December 26. The car will be taken on a weekend tour in the morning.”
I asked, where to go?
“Somewhere in the back near this.”
I know litle uncle very well. In fact, a historical place has just come. Playing us a little. Many people made many proposals but all of them were rejected due to ‘no’. In the end it was decided to go to Mayapur. How confused I was. litle uncle and Mayapur? Impossible! History, archeology, ancient art whose meditation-knowledge, he will go to a religious place? I will not believe even if he kills me. I just kept it in my mind and said, then the bag was not packed.
I sat behind the steering wheel. I have little confidence in driving. There are five of us. I and the little uncle in front. Little aunt, Lena and my son are in the back seat. The weather has been bad since morning. Cloudy skies. Occasional drizzle. The condition of the road is more deplorable. I took National Highway No. 12 from Barasat. Road repairs are underway. Going very carefully at a slow pace. After going for an hour, I was anxious for some tea. But it is no longer possible to increase the speed of rain. When the rain came, we reached Krishnanagar. There is a big dhaba “pantha tirtha” on the highway. Someone came running and showed me where to park the car. Kachuri, chhol dal, sarpuria and tea.
After about twenty minutes, the path started again. The rain stopped and the sun shone brightly. From now on the road is very beautiful. I increased the speed of the car. After going quite a bit, I left the national highway or turned around and came to the road to Mayapur. That is why our destination is the ISKCON temple. How all the mess is going to me. I can’t calculate anything.
Then we are really going to the ISKCON temple! Has Chhotakaka become a member of ISKCON? What I do know is that this is how people get older. Tight security in front of the main gate. One hundred rupees waiting charge. Parking fees can also be called. A vast field ahead of the plaintiff. This is the parking lot. lilte uncle detonated the bomb as soon as he came out of the car park.
He said: First we will cut Prasad’s coupon. Then I will take a Toto and cut the whole square. Prasad distribution time from one to two in the afternoon. We will reach the dining hall at half past one. It is twelve o’clock. One and a half hours on hand. Enough.
When we came to the front of the dining hall to see the temples, chariots, gardens, guest houses, cowsheds, etc., it was quarter to one. Fan gatherings have already taken place. The door to the hall is closed. A crowd of five to seven hundred hungry people outside the door. The long line went straight away after eating a buck.
The little aunt said: Impossible. I can’t stand this line. If Thakur is angry, I have nothing to do. I have been wanting to sit in the ISKCON temple for a long time and eat lunch, but that has not happened.
My wife and son are the same.
What will happen to the coupons? Small questions.
Stay in your pocket. And to be honest, I’m not hungry yet.
So let’s go to another place.
Little aunt wanted to know whether she would cross the river and go to Navadvipadham on the other side or see the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and other temples on this side.
None. Short answer. You wanted to see the ISKCON temple in Mayapur. Showed. I also cut the coupon for Prasad but it was ruined due to lack of luck. This time I will go to a place I like. Not too far, near. I hope you like it too.
Oh Hari, say so. This time the calculations matched. Then two and two became five but now it is four. Dilla-Grandi-Mephistopheles. Yak..yak. So now we are going to a historical place. I am feeling a lot of excitement in my mind. I asked with an innocent face like a cowboy: Little uncle, where shall I go?
Dwarf pond. Short answer. You start the car, I’ll tell you the road
More or less a little road. Only four-and-a-half kilometers. Can be reached in eighteen to twenty minutes. Putting his hand on my shoulder, litle uncle added: You follow this devotional Saraswati road.
I reached Bamanpukur market. A Kali temple. The road has gone inside the village on its right side. It is better to say alley than road. Either way a car can go. Very little space outside the wall. You have to park the car here. The whole couple of Totos are already standing. He will not be able to park even if another car arrives.
Little uncle stood in the role of guide and called everyone and said: This time we will enter the palace of Sena dynasty.
We are surprised. Where is the palace? So many rubble.
Aunt said: What is it?
Small answer with a smile, Ballal Dhipi. The best king of the Sena dynasty. Ballal Sena or Ballal Sen. These are the two notice boards you see, the text below is protected by ASI. That is why the place surrounded by this wall is government property. It is the responsibility of the government to maintain it
A high mound. Brick structure. A large one in the middle and many small ones around the ruins of the brick masonry. The stairs went up. We climbed the stairs.
litle uncle began to say again: The first excavation work started here in the eighties. The excavation work is done in two phases. 1982-83 in the first phase and 198-99 in the second phase. The whole place is 13000 square meters. The height of this mound is 9 meters. If you look closely, you will understand how wide the walls are. The shapes of the bricks are different.
According to archaeologists, such a wide wall was built to protect the palace from the Hooghly River.
The little aunt was surprised and said: River! Where is the river here? How far is the bridge?
Short answer: The time we are talking about was the Twelfth Century. Then the Ganges flowed through here. According to the rules of time, it changes direction and moves about four kilometers away. This is one of the possible reasons for widening the wall. Now let’s talk about brick shape. According to archaeologists, the structure is built on another structure that was built in the eighth to ninth centuries. At that time this place was the courtyard of education. “A Seat of Learning”.
Well, who ruled Bengal before the Sen dynasty? Aunt wanted to know.
Pala dynasty. Origin of Sen or Army to Karnataka. In the Pala Empire, soldiers were in high positions. Later the army seized power and established the feudal army of the Sen dynasty. His son Hemant Sena ascended the throne after Samant Sena. After Hemantasena, Vijayasena and then the king of Bengal became Ballalsena, the worthy son of Vijayasena, whom all the people of Bengal know as Ballalsena. Ballalsen was as well-educated as he was a good ruler. His book “Dansagar” is quite popular. Then he started writing another book. The name of the book is “Strange Sea”. But could not finish writing. Towards the end of his life, he enthroned his son Lakshman Sen and took his wife Ramadevi to Trivandrum and spent the rest of his life there.
Well, where are all the things that were found in this excavation now?
At the Ashutosh Museum in Kolkata.
What was found?
Stucco heads, terracotta working limbs of human and animal bodies, copper utensils and much more. Look, if you didn’t come here today, such a historical place so close to Kolkata would be unseen. Yet many people are not aware enough about it. One tenth of the number of people seen in Iskcon does not come here. Such as “Mughalmari” in West Midnapore, such as “Ballaldhipi” in Nadia district. From a historical and archeological point of view, their value is immeasurable. Nowadays, however, an extraordinary effort has been made to bring students from different schools to these places and make history more interesting and alive to them. This effort is truly commendable.
Now it’s time to go back. But on the way I will have lunch at “Pantha Tirtha”. Very hungry. Let’s go.