Home > Bengal Archeology, Bengal History, General > Chandraketugarh & Khana Mihirer Dhipi

Chandraketugarh & Khana Mihirer Dhipi

Chandraketugarh & Khana Mihirer Dhipi

~ Fort of the Mythical King & Mound of the Legendary Mathematicians ~

In 1907 a young Bengali archaeologist made an extensive survey of the Berachampa region near Barasat. He submitted a report and suggested an extensive excavation. A decade and half later the he made history by excavating the ruins of Mohenjo daro. Yes its Rakhal Das Bandyopadhyay!!! But sadly the mound of Chandraketugarh still lies unexcavated even after a century after its discovery.

Khana Mihir er Dhipi (Mound)

Khana Mihir er Dhipi (Mound)

According to archaeologists Chandraketugarh was a prosperous urban settlement that flourished during the 4th century BC to the 12 century AD. The period ranged from the yearly Mauryan to the late Pala rule.

Khana Mihir er Dhipi (Mound)

Khana Mihir er Dhipi (Mound)

Located just about 5o km from Calcutta (Kolkata) the twin mounds of Khana Mihir and Chandraketugarh are located at Barchampa, near Barasat and can be comfortably covered in a day trip from Kolkata (Calcutta).

Khana Mihir er Dhipi the mound named after the legendary mathematicians is located just off the Barachampa More {crossing). Luckily this mound has been excavated by the Archaeological Department of the Calcutta University in 1956. It reveled a temple belonging to the Pala period.

Khana Mihir er Dhipi (Mound)

Khana Mihir er Dhipi (Mound)

Today a protected site under the Archaeological Survey of India it is enclosed by bribed wire fencing.

A blue board at the entrance declares the ruins as a protected monument and two more similar boards provides the brief history in English and Bengali.

Nothing much is left of the temple which once consisted of a polygonal structure connected to a square vestibule.

The roof of the structure has long collapsed and fragments of thick walls, a flight of stairs and a few scattered structures is all that left of the 1000 year old temple. The walls measuring over 4 feet in thickness, in certain region, is enough to explain the grandeur of the temple.

Panorama of agriculture fields, Chandraketugarh, Berachampa

Panorama of agriculture fields, Chandraketugarh, Berachampa

Next stop in the Chandraketugarh Mound, a huge mound which has been awaiting excavation for over a century.

ASI Board at Chandraketugarh

ASI Board at Chandraketugarh

In order to reach the Chandraketugarh Mound from the Khana Mihir er Dhipi it is best to retrace your steps back to the Berachampa More (Crossing) and head towards Haroa.

Soon you will be out of the the Berachampa town and lush green agricultural fields will appear on both sides of the road. After about 20 minutes of walk a ASI board on the left points to the Chnadraketugarh Mound. Leave the meatelled road and follow the dirt road which meanders towards the mound. Here also there are similar blue boards of ASI.

The elongated mound is surrounded on all sides by lush green agricultural fields. Scattered fragments of brickbat and shredded potteries dot the mound surface.

Chandraketugarh Artifacts Collection

Collection of Dilip Kr Maite and Asad uj Jamman

No trip to Chandraketugarh is complete with out the visit to the private collection of Dilip Kr. Maite and Asad uj Jamman. Dailip Kr. Maite houses his collection in his house just off the Berachampa More (Crossing). Maite’s drawing room is filled with artifacts ranging from potteries, clay statues, wood work and even metal and ivory works.

Chandraketugarh Artifacts (L: Dilip Kr. Maite, R: Asad uj Jaman)

Chandraketugarh Artifacts (L: Dilip Kr. Maite, R: Asad uj Jaman)

Asad uj Jamman who stays close to the Chnadrketugarh mound houses his collection of 1500 + pieces in plastic boxes. Carefully wrapped in cotton wool and bits of news paper Jamman’s collection should never be missed.

  1. indrani
    September 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Very interesting! Hope excavations are done and we get something new to see.

    • September 25, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Thanks Indrani, excavation really needs to be done.

      In the recent years there have been a few surveys and trial excavation but a the Chandraketugarh Mound requires a full fledged excavation.

      Hope it happens soon.

  2. Ranajit
    September 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    There is another site that the ASI has kept sealed near Ilam Bazar (Birbhum), on the banks of River Ajay (Ajoy in Bengali). This site is said to have remnants of artefacts from Mohenjodaro.

    • September 25, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Yes Ranajit you are right. This site is also a mound and is known as “Pandu Raja r Dhipi.”

      Dr P C Dasgupta did some excavation in 1960s but till then the mound remains unattended.

  3. September 26, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    I’ve visited this place as a student. Very nice and informative. It is really necessary that we should write about this more and more..

    • October 3, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      Thanks, nice to know that you have visited place.

      I will definitely come up with more such articles.

      Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. September 29, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    I think these artifacts are property of Government of India. It is surprising that Dilip Kr. Maite and Asad uj Jamman are allowed to have a private collection.

  5. October 3, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Dear Mr Das, you are “technically” right these antiques are Govt. of India property and Dilip Kr. Maite and Asad uj Jaman has no right to keep them, but the Govt. and respective bodies are aware of the collection and have even documented most of it.

    Probably the respective depts. don’t want the responsibility of keeping the antiques.

  6. Alivia Pramanik
    August 2, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    I,ve visited this site recently,but I thik this site is disturbed by local people.I am a student of anthropology,sir,if you people give ur kind attention on this matter it will be helpful for a lot of student.

    • December 2, 2015 at 11:09 PM

      Thanks Alivia, you are right the site has been disturbed for ages. As a blogger I have little to do.

  7. Debika Banerji
    November 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Berachampa is my maternal grandmother’s ancestral village. I have heard a lot of stories about the Chadraketu garh which she says is infested with snakes. A lot of the artifacts have been stolen or removed by unauthorized local people/villagers…speaks of huge urns and similar vessels. Such monuments should be protected and preserved! Thank you for the well written article Sir.

    • December 2, 2015 at 11:12 PM

      Thanks Debika for sharing your experience. Chandraketugarh is a story of utter archaeological neglect. Loads of antiques have been smuggled out of Chandraketugarh. Its really a sad story.

  8. December 2, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    Very informative piece. I’ve been a fan of your excursions and write-ups ever since they were published in the Sunday Telegraph. I even check your website logs every now and then while planning tours. So, a big thank you for sharing these and enlightening us. 🙂

    • December 2, 2015 at 11:13 PM

      Thankyou Sonali, great to know that someone still remembers my Telegraph Sunday travelogues.

      Keep travelling and do share your experience.

  9. April 10, 2016 at 1:23 AM

    Could you please provide the details, how could i travel to this place..

    • October 28, 2017 at 10:48 AM

      Dear Rupayan. There are direct buses from Kolkata Esplanade to Barachampa. Trains are available from Sealdah, get down at Horoa Road and take a motorvan to Barachampa.

  10. March 26, 2021 at 4:45 PM

    Thank you. I have great memories of Berhachanpa. It came on the way from our ancestral home in Basirhat and mamabari in Kolkata. We would certainly have singaras in Berhachanpa. When I go next time, I shall see the site and the collection’s.

    Archeological investigations have leaped forward in technology. Now you preserve the sites as it is and reconsruct it using scammers and visualization tools. I was associated with another fascinating Harappan site, Dholavira. We started to do some of the scanning with ASI, but I moved out after the initial phase. I would recommend that site to anyone visiting Kutch.

  1. January 14, 2019 at 3:09 PM

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