GUWAHATI, March 28 – Relics of centuries-old decorated terracotta plaques, believed to be parts of a temple that existed at the site about 1,300 or 1,400 years back, have been found at Gobindapur on the western fringe of Goalpara town, leading to the belief that a site of historical importance is lying buried under an earthen mound there.
Disclosing this, former Director General of the National Museum Prof Rabin Dev Choudhury, who visited the site a few days back, pleaded for immediate steps by the Goalpara district administration to stop earth cutting at the site. He also called for urgent steps to undertake archaeological excavation by the State Archaeology Directorate and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for unearthing the assets at the site.
Moreover, the Museum Directorate should collect the archaeological artifacts found so far at the site, he added.
Talking to this correspondent, Dev Choudhury said the site is located on a high mound and it is now popularly known as Karabalapur. Remnants of many idols of gods and goddesses have been collected from the site by many people of Goalpara town and they are now worshipping those idols at their houses, he said.
The broken pieces of the terracotta plaques found so far at the site suggest that around 7th to 8th century AD, there was a temple and the plaques were used to decorate the walls of that temple. One of the plaques has a male figure, while another has a female figure. Both the figures are in dancing postures. Some of the plaques do not have anything depicted on them.
The sculptures found at this site have no link with those of the Bhaitbari site, which is located near Phulbari area in Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.
Dev Choudhury, who was assisted by the State’s Museum Directorate, the Deputy Commissioner of Goalpara and two local journalists Nitesh Ranjan Goswami and Ashraful Alam to collect data from the site, said the information on the terracotta relics was first made public by Nitesh Ranjan Goswami.
The relics of the terracotta items first came to public view during a bid made by Alam to fill up some low-lying portions of his residential campus with earth from Gobindapur area, Choudhury said.