Location of Devikota
The ruins of the Devikota can be observed in Bangarh, which is situated in Dakshin Dinajpur district (South Dinajpur Ditsrict) of West Bengal state of India.
History of Devikota
As per scholars, there are various facts that mention about Devikota. Lexicographers, Hemchandra and Purushottama have mentioned the city by several names including Banapura, Shonitapura etc. Ramacharita, penned down by Sandhyakara Nandi, describes at length about the temples and the lakes of the city. Some of the historical facts define the city as Umavana or Usavana, Kotivarsa, Shonitapura, Banapura etc. These names appear to be identical with the ruined city of Bangarh which is the capital of the legendary demon king Bana. Interestingly, in the Vaijayanti of Yadava Prakasha, Devikotta and Kotivarsa are considered to be names of the same city. Some other ancient texts like Kalpasutra, Visnu Purana, Shrimadbhagavata, Vayu Purana and Brihat Sanghita have also mentioned about Kotivarsa.
Devikota as an Administrative Centre
It is also believed that Kotivarsa served as an important administrative centre during the Guptas. Their land grant inscriptions, where there was headquarter of a district under the Pundravardhana Bhukti that mentions about this fact. During the early period of the Bengal sultans, Devkot played the role of a significant outpost on the northern frontier of their kingdom. In fact, it also enjoyed an important position at the time of bakhtiyar khalji and later Khalji Maliks.
Devikota in Modern India
Famous historian Cunningham too has mentioned about Devkot and has given a precise image of this place. As per him, it was a place of great significance in the beginning of the Muslim period in Bengal. He defined that the old fort of Devkot was positioned on the left or eastern bank of the Punarbhava. The north of Devkot comprised of a walled enclosure of about the same size while, the south the 'Muhammadan quarter of Damdama'. According to Cunningham, from this point there was an embanked road which led to the east past the two great lakes called Dahal Dighi and Kala Dighi.