Vikrampur

Vikrampur is the oldest, historically recorded, capital city in the neighbourhood of Dhaka. It was an important place during the hey- days of the Great Pala rulers of Bengal. According to some historians, the name Vikrampur is derived from the title, Vikramaditya, said to have been assumed by Dharmapaladeva, the second and greatest ruler of the Pala dynasty, who built here a Buddhist monastery. Another Buddhist dynasty of rulers, the Chandras, had their capital at this place. The last Hindu kings, the Semis had also their administrative headquarter at this spot. After they lost Northwest Bengal to the Muslims, they fixed their permanent residence here, and this town saw for nearly a century the see-saw battle between the Hindus and the Muslims.

 

Today the ruins of this city lie buried in the silt of the Dhaleswari River. They are about fifteen miles from Dhaka, and can be approached from Narayanganj by a steamer going up to Qadamtali. From this ghat one has to walk on foot for more than a mile to reach the first monument of’ old. It is a mosque of Baba Adam Shahid at Rampal. About a mile and half still further lie the ruins of Ballal Ban, now levelled to the field. Half a mile to the west of Ballal Bari there is a small square tank, called Pushkarini and Agnikund. About a mile to the south of Ballal Ban is the great lake called Rampal Dighi, on the northern bank of which is an old dried up tree, of which fantastic stories are told. Further beyond is the tank of Harishchandra, which was excavated by the archaeological department some years back. In the neighbourhood there are many other villages, where one can see old sculptural relics, generally kept in modern temples.

 

Cunningham writes: “The ruins of Ballalbari consist of a large earthen fort 750 feet square; with a broad ditch of about 200 feet all round. The entrance is on the east side by a causeway leading through an oblong outwork 300 feet in breadth, which was most probably the site of the servant’s houses. The whole circuit of the enclosure, with its ditches and outwork, is just one mile. No bricks are now to be seen; but Dr. Taylor states that there are “mounds of bricks and the foundations of walls” both in the vicinity and in the country around, to the distance of many miles.”


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