Chandraketugarh – the name sounds mythical. Yes, Chandraketu was a mythical king probably during the middle ages and his fort was known as Chandraketu Garh(fort). The place itself is no less mythical and mysterious either.
Experts believe there were clear links between the Indus Valley civilization and Chandraketugarh in the ancient ages – probably around 2500 years back. With efforts by Rakhaldas Bandopadhyay the excavation had been done and it came to public knowledge in the modern time. Below are some fascinating facts about the place, although no detailed history could be found and most of the facts are still unknown about one of the oldest cities of India. I have tried to put some facts below that I could collect from various sources:
1) The civilization dates back to around 300 BCE
2) It was mentioned by Greek author Ptolemy as
3) “Khana Mihirer Dhibi” – this was found at this place and it is hence believed that Barahamihir and Khana(a mythical character) were somehow related to this place
4) The place thrived through the time period of around 7 dynasties
5) efforts are under way to declare it as a world heritage site
6) The river Ganga used to flow near this place and hence the place is also called Deganga – some experts are trying to establish this belief
Last saturday I was talking to my fried about this place and he became so interested that we made a sudden plan to visit the spot. We started around noon and took Rajarhat main road and drove for around 20 km to reach Taki road. The road condition was bad. After around 3 hours drive we finally reached Berachampa. From Berachampa more we turned right and in a few hundred meters there was a left turn and the road was not made of pitch and a person came forward and warned us of big potholes on that road. We thought for a moment but finally decided to go there. In a few minutes time we reached a place where we could see an entrance on the left side. There were signboards prohibiting picnics there. The road inside was on a high ground. It looked wonderful with tall trees on both sides. However, we could not see any building there. There was no caretaker or security guard whom we could ask about the place. Only a few young boys were playing football on a ground on the leftside. After walking around two hundred meters and decided to leave as we had to visit the other side and it was already 4pm.
The place on the right side of berachampa More: Above- View near the gate, Below- the inside view
The licals had told us there were two sides-one on the right side from the more and the other on the left. So we crossed the more and went to the other side. In around a hundred meters or so we saw it.
The entrance and signboards-the left side of the site (from Berachampa more if you are going from Rajarhat)
It was just the remnants of a very old structure. It survived only upto around two feet from the ground. We parked our car nearby and entered gated premise. It was a temple in ancient times. Unfortunately, most of the relics were stolen and sold to foreign owners – as newspaper and other reports suggest. A local told us there is a museum nearby where some of the relics could still be found. However, we did not have enough time in hand to visit it.
Although it is not a very large structure, just by being at the place took us to an unknown era when things were different. It can only be imagined what the surroundings were like, what used to happen there and what life was like in those times. Today a few tea stalls and stationary shops are on one side and residential buildings are on the other. Some local boys were sitting and chatting in the premises.
Chandraketugarh bears more mystery than history as detailed facts have been lost over time. Due to the lack of exact history one is surely bound to enter the realm of imagination and that makes the place more interesting than most of the other old cities around the world.
N.B. the facts mentioned above were taken from different reports and blogs by different authors. In case any fact is incorrect, please provide your comment and reference so that we can rectify it.