archeological site in West Bengal, India

Bangarh (Bengali: বাণগড়) is the historical place situated in Gangarampur, West Bengal, India. Bangarh was the ancient city which was the administrative centre of Kotivarsha Vishaya (territorial division), itself part of the wider administrative unit of Pundravardhana Bhukti, which had Mahasthangarh as its capital in the period of Chandras, Varmans and Senas. After the Senas were defeated by the Muslims under Bakhtiar Khilji, Devkot was established as their capital were Bakhtiar breathed his last. The earliest mentions about the Kotivarsha town are found in the Vayu Purana (XXIII,209) and the Brihat Samhita (XI,II). Lexicographers, Hemchandra (the Abhidhanachintamani IV,977) and Purushottama (in his Trikandashesha) have mentioned the city by several names – Uma(Usha?)vana, Banapura, and Shonitapura. Sandhyakara Nandi in his Ramacharita described at length about the temples and the lakes of the city.


  • This is a very significant site as far as the ancient history of India is concerned. .... “It shows that the entire area has a number of places of historical and mythological importance. If all these areas are developed, it will be a tourist circuit.”
    • Eight eras of Indian history unearthed in Bangarh, The Telegraph. [1]
  • So far as the antiquity of the site of Bangarh is concerned, local tradition has it that it was the capital of Bana the King of Demons In Hemachandra and Kelava, the terms DeVi\ola XJmavana (or Ushavana), Kotivarsha, Banapura, and Somlapura are synonymous and are supposed to be identical with the ruined site of Bangarh.
  • One of the kings of this Kamboja dynasty built a large and beautiful temple of Siva. It was erected in 966 (?) at a place now called Bangarh, in the Dinajpur District of North Bengal.
  • “The ancient city of Kotivarsha, which was the seat of a district (vishaya) under Pundra-vardhana province (bhukti) at the time of the Guptas… is now represented by extensive mounds of Bangarh or Ban Rajar Garh… The older site was in continuous occupation till the invasion of the Muhammadans in the thirteenth century to whom it was known as Devkot or Devikot. It possesses Muhammadan records ranging from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century… “The Rajbari mound at the South-east corner is one of the highest mounds at Bangarh and. must contain some important remains. The Dargah of Sultan Pir is a Muhammadan shrine built on the site of an old Hindu temple of which four granite pillars… are still standing in the centre of the enclosure, the door jambs having been used in the construction of the gateway....“The Dargah of Shah Ata on the north bank of the Dhal-dighi tank is another building built on the ruins of an older Hindu or Buddhist structure… The female figure on the lintels of the doorway now, fixed in the east wall of the Dargah appears to be Tara, from which it would appear that the temple destroyed was Buddhist…”
    • Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report 1921-22, p. 83-84 Quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1990). Hindu temples: What happened to them. [4]

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