Dishonored History of India /Dr. Buchanon Hamilton’s account on Kamtapur state Rajpat 1809

Dr. Franchis Buchanon Hamilton (15 February 1762 – 15 June 1829) was a Scotish physician and made significant contributions as botanist, zoologist and geographer while leaving in India.

Dr. Francis Buchanon Hamilton

From 1807 to 1814, under the instructions of the government of Bengal, he made a comprehensive survey of the areas within the jurisdiction of the British East India Company. He was asked to report on topography, history, antiquities, the condition of the inhabitants, religion, natural productions. In 1809 he visited Kamta Coochbehar state and collected the informations of earlier Kamtapur state’s ruined Rajpat or capital of Kamtapur state (presently Gosanimari area of Dinhata subdivision).

The following detailed description of these extensive ruins is quoted from Dr. Buchanan Hamilton, who visited (1809 AD) Kamtapur / Cooch Behar in the beginning of the nineteenth century –

“Kamatapur was situated on the west bank of the Dharla, which formed the defence on one side. The river has now shifted its course further east, but the old channel, which now occupies the east side of the old city, shows that formerly it was of great magnitude. The town was intersected by a small river, the Singimari, which has destroyed a considerable portion of the works, both where it enters and leaves the city, but was probably kept within bounds, when the city was inhabited.

Top of Rajpat mound

” The city is of an oblong form ; and, so far as I could judge by riding round it on the inside of the inner ditch, is in that line about 19 miles in circumference, of which perhaps five were defended by the Dharla. The remainder was fortified by an immense bank of earth, and by a double ditch. The earth from the inner ditch seems to have formed the rampart, and that from the outer ditch was thrown towards the country, so as to form a kind of glacis, but without a covered way. By this means the rampart and outer ditch were made of the greatest possible dimensions, with perhaps the smallest labours; nor in such a kind of fortification would the inner ditch be useless. In its present state the inner ditch is of very various width, and never seems to have been regular ; but the encroachments of agriculture no doubt have occasioned an appearance of more irregularity than existed, when the works were perfect.

” The rampart at present is in general about 130 feet in width at the base, and from 20 to 30ft. in perpendicular height, but it probably lost much of its elevation and the base has widened by the earth washed down on a counterscarp, of which, however, there is now no trace. The rampart has no doubt been chiefly of earth, and there is no trace of its having even been faced with brick ; but from the number of bricks, everywhere scattered about it, there probably has been a brick parapet, on the summit of the earthen rampart. The outer ditch has been about 250 feet wide; no estimate, from its present state, can be formed of what its depth has been ; but from the greatness of the slope towards the country, formed of the earth thrown out, the depth must have been very considerable.

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