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Photographer's Note

Panchkot was a part of an ancient East Indian kingdom known as Rajchakla Panchkot, locally known as Panchet. Damodar Sekhar, established Panchkot Raj probably during early 90 AD with the help of Sardars of Jhalda and expanded his kingdom over several other parganas. To give recognition to the main five (panch) clans (khunt) of the locals the kingdom assumed the name Panchkot.

Panchkot Giri has its references in the Puranas also. The place was then known as Sekhar bhum from which the founder king of Singh Deo Dynasty Damodar Sekhar derived his name. The kingdom was probably a part of old ‘Tilakampa’ Kingdom. The ruins of Telkupi, the said capital of Tilakampa (submerged) went under water after the construction of Panchet Dam.

The ruins of the Garh (Fort) of Singh Deo Dynasty located at the southern foothills and a group of temples is still standing as mute spectators of the rise & fall of the dynasty. The temples are of different architectural styles, the principal one being a ‘Pancharatna’ temple accompanied by ‘Jor-Bangla’type and more than one ‘Pirha’ type temples made of stone. The Pancharatna temple still carries some depleted but exquisite piece of presumably pre-muslim period terracotta work on its arches and pillars. 500 meters away and a bit uphill from the main ruins of the Garh Panchkot, lies ‘Dhara’ a perennial spring channeled through a ‘Cow mouth’ made of stone.

Around 1600 AD, Garhpanchkot came under the rule of the famous king Bir Hambir of Bishnupur Malla Dynasty, but for how long that could not be ascertained. One of the two inscriptions located by J.D Beglar beside the ruined gateway of Panchkot fort mentioned of Hambir. Beglar went to Panchkot in 1862 and wrote an essay called ‘Panchet’. The great poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta visited the place during 1872 for a short period as an estate manager of Singh Deo dynasty. He wrote three poems on Panchkot namely, ‘Panchkot giri’, ‘Panchkotoshyo Rajosree’ & ‘Panchkot Giri Biday Sangeet’.

source - http://www.wbfdc.com/gpkt/historical-ruins.h

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Additional Photos by debabrata hazra (knowdebu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 148 W: 0 N: 90] (964)
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