BANGLADESH, August 28, 2013 (Dhaka Tribune): Archaeologists from Jahangirnagar University (JU) have excavated an ancient Hindu temple at Belwa village of Ghoraghat upazila in Dinajpur. The massive brick structure has been identified as a Hindu temple from the Pala dynasty. The chief of the project, Professor Syed Mohammad Kamrul, told journalists that the excavated site was under threat of destruction.
Swadhin Sen, associate professor of archaeology at JU, said the temple, approximately 1,100-years-old, was a major archaeological discovery in Bangladesh. “Multiple deities were worshiped at the temple at the same time,” said Prof Sen.
He added that several fragments of black sandstone sculptures had been identified and documented from the excavation. Among the three carvings that have been identified are the pedestal of the Brahmanic sun God Surya, a fragment of the Gada (mace) depicted in the hand of the Hindu God Vishnu, and a fragment of a Visnupatta (a type of dedicatory plaque used to worship Vishnu).
A miniature bronze statue of Hindu God Ganesha has also been found, said Swadhin Sen. “The worship of these three Gods – Surya, Vishnu and Ganesha – has been attested by these evidences. This is quite unique in the context of undivided Bengal,” said Swadhin Sen.
The excavation has already revealed the massive architectural layout of the temple, which is divided into two parts: the core temple area is rectangular, measuring 69 feet from east to west and 42.5 feet from north to south. The other part on the western side contains a solid square brick platform measuring 22 feet on all sides, which is the garbhagriha, or inner sanctum.