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Chandraketugarh :unfold Bengals rich heritage
It is a place with a rich historical past. However, surprisingly very few people even in West Bengal are aware of it. The ruins of Chandraketugarh, a huge fortified township dating back to 4th/3rd century BC is situated just 38 kms from Kolkata. History says that this place in the delta of the Ganga River is the site of one of the oldest cities in Bengal and belonged to the kingdom of a "mighty ruler" with whom Alexander the Great was familiar. In fact the history of the place dates back to the 3rd century BC during the pre-Mauryan era. It is believed that the place was an important urban center, a bustling town during the tenure of King Ashoka and most probably a port city.Artefacts suggests that th site was continuously inhabited and flourished through the Sunga-Kushana period,then the Gupta period and finally the Pala-Sena period.From all indications Chandraketugarh was an important urban centre,and most probably a port city.It had a high encircled wall with a rampart and a moat.The people were engaged in various crafts and mercantile activities.Although the religious inclination of the people are unclear,hints of the beginning of some future cults can be traced in the artefacts.Some of the potteries carry inscriptions in kharosthi and brahmi scripts. In his book Geographia, Claudius Ptolemy mentions a river port called Gange in southwest Bengal. Plutarch wrote about a powerful tribe called Gangaridae living near a prosperous port Gange in the Gangetic delta. Furthermore , an anonymous Greek sailor mentions in his book Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (first century A.D.), a port at the mouth of the Ganga from which Roman ships sailed out with exotic goods. According to the historian Paresh Chandra Dasgupta, Gange most probably was the port town of Chandraketugarh a fact that is corroborated by the large number of ship seals...
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