Govinda Bhita

Overview of Govinda Bhita

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Location Type: Archaeological Place

Govinda Bhita a high mound, traditionally ascribed to be the site of a Govinda temple and is located outside the northern rampart of mahasthanagarh (Pundranagar) of Bogra district. On its eastern and northern sides flows the moribund Karatoya. KN Dikshit excavated the mound in 1928-29 and Nazimuddin Ahmed conducted a deep digging here in 1960. Excavations by Dikshit exposed two temple remains: one western and the other eastern. These belong to different periods and are enclosed within a 6-0 thick perimeter wall. The western temple, erected probably in the 6th century, is larger than the eastern smaller one, built about 11th century, partly on the ruins of the western temple. The western temple seems to have been built on a high central shaft, solidly filled with earth, and surrounded by three graded terraces, each buttressed by a series of blind cells packed with infilling of earth, intended to strengthen the foundation of a massive superstructure. Approach to this cellular podium was from the west.
The building remains on the eastern area revealed four periods of building and rebuilding; the latest is represented by a non-descript pavement of the Sultanate period from where 18 coins of the independent Sultans of Bengal were salvaged. The period from the top was represented by fragmentary walls of the late Pala period and the third period exposed a complex of walls and a polygonal stone pedestal of the early Pala period. The fourth and the earliest period revealed a square temple with 56 sides, having an altar in the centre, and surrounded by a procession path of the late Gupta period.
These two temple complexes are situated on the high bank of the Karatoya, once a much larger river, they were thus exposed to annual inundation and scouring. As a precaution against the river's action, a series of elaborate paralled revetment walls and cross-walls were erected at different levels, including a 150 long semi-circular stone wall. However, this wall was completely swept away by the great flood of 1922 AD.

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