Pandu Rajar Dhibi is an ancient archaeological site in Ausgram II block in the Sadar North subdivision of Purba Bardhaman district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It was the first Chalcolithic site discovered in West Bengal. The common man believes that the main mound at Pandu Rajar Dhibi is associated with King Pandu mentioned in the epic Mahabharata, hence the name came into being from the folklore.
It is located near the southern bank of Ajay River and excavations have been made near Rajpotdanga and Panduk villages.
The People and Their Culture
As to the artists of the Chalcolithic culture of Bengal, we are in the dark. They might have been proto-Australoids or Veddoids. From an examination of skeletal remains (14-male, female & children) it appears that they were long-headed and medium to tall in height, resembling the Santals or the Sabaras.
There was perhaps a brisk maritime trade in Chalcolithic Bengal, but unfortunately sufficient evidence is not available. Certainly, the Ajay and her tributaries meeting the Bhagirathi were navigable at that time. The excavation at Pandu Rajar Dhibi has provided evidence for the gradual growth of a Chalcolithic culture and its displacement by iron-using people. There is evidence of a great conflagration in period III, which may be considered as the transitional period. The transition perhaps led to the exit of the Chalcolithic culture and entrance of the Iron Age.
The excavations at Pandu Rajar Dhibi reveal the origin of the Bengalis. The Copper Age civilisation in eastern Indiia but also distant lands such as Crete and the Mediterranean lands. They were predominantly a seafaring people.
The archaeological discoveries at Pandu Rajar Dhibi and the surrounding areas have not yet been properly studied by experts and as such the historical value must be regarded as uncertain.
Polished stone axes from Pandu Rajar Dhibi.
Chattopadhyay, Akkori, Bardhaman Jelar Itihas O Lok Sanskriti (History and Folklore of Bardhaman District.), (in Bengali), Vol I, pp. 125-130, Radical Impression. ISBN 81-85459-36-3
Mukherjee, Shyam Chand (2012). “Pandu Rajar Dhibi”. In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
Majumdar, R.C., History of Ancient Bengal, 2005 edition