If history and archaeology excites you or if you find Buddhism fascinating, then book a day trip to Moghalmari right away.
A village located in the Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal, Moghalmari (place where Mughals were killed) is known to throw up surprises once in a while ever since excavations began in 2003. The place, apparently got its name in the 16th century following a battle between Mughals and a local ruler. The former one but lost many soldiers.
Several artefacts, idols, a Buddhist monastery and stupas have been dug out since 2003, about 40 artefacts as recent as 2016. Bronze statues of Buddhist deities dating back to the 6th century have been found at the state-protected Sakhisena mound in the village.
You’ll find glimpses into history everywhere. The mound forms the entrance to the ruins of the Buddhist monastery. The monastery’s western wall has human figures, floral motifs, votive tablets and decorative bricks all over it along with life-size stucco figures dating back to the late 5th or early 6th century. The area stands as a testimony to the rich and flourishing Buddhist enclave dating back to the 6th-7th century.
As soon as you enter the arched gateway known as Mogalmari Boudhha Mahavihara, you’ll get to see brick structures, stucco plastered wall and images, terracotta tablets, several stupas, bronze idols of Buddha, Bodhisattva and a Buddhist goddess, seals bearing post-Gupta Brahmi scripts, mixed metal and gold coins bearing the name of King Samachardeva of the pre-Pala dynasty, gold pendant and parts of the gold crown believed to have been worn by a Crown Buddha.
There’s a small primary school around as well as a pond beyond which you’ll be able to see a part of an ancient brick wall on one side and a lot of foliage on the other. Visit the small museum located close to the ruins for a glimpse of the ancient artefacts influenced by the Gupta art tradition. Go along with a member of the local club to understand the place and its history better.
With so much of our cultural heritage found in such close proximity to us, Moghalmari deserves a visit. Take a day-trip to this village and marvel at these structures and the high level of craftsmanship that must have gone into creating them.