Ekdala a medieval mud fort. firuz shah tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi failed to capture it in spite of his repeated attempts. During his two invasions Shamsuddin iliyas shah and his son sikandar shah took shelter in it and baffled the designs of the Delhi sultan. The importance of this fort was further enhanced when Alauddin husain shah transferred his capital from Gaur to Ekdala.
The identification of this fort is a matter of controversy among scholars. According to sirat-i- FIRUZSHAH a branch of the Ganges surrounded Ekdala. Shams-i-Siraj Afif mentioned that the fort was made of mud and situated in an island. According to Ziauddin Barani, Ekdala was surrounded by water on one side and by jungle on the other. By 'water on one side' Barani actually meant a river, because while describing the war between Firuz Tughlaq and his adversaries, Barani mentioned that the sultan ordered his army to build a bridge over the river. Of the modern scholars, Westmacott first identified it with a village of the same name in the Dhanjar Pargana of Dinajpur district. The village lay about 37 km north of pandua in Maldah district, 68 km north of Gaur, 24 km west of Ghoraghat on the Maldah side of the river Tangan. Major Raverty identified Ekdala with Devkot (near Gangarampur) in Dinajpur district. Henry beveridge identified it with a place of the same name in Dhaka district. Abid Ali, on the other hand, held it to be the old fort of Basankot, 13 km west of Pandua.
From a close examination of the topography and archaeology of the site of Ekdala in the Dhanjar Pargana of Dinajpur district HE Stapleton holds that Westmacott's identification of Ekdala is acceptable. He also mentions that the Ekdala fort occupied an area of about 65 sq km, surrounded by a broad moat formed by the Chiramati river on the west and the Balia river on the east.
The mud fort of Ekdala could resist the sultan of Delhi (Firuz Tughlaq) only because of its strategic position. It was the marshy moat and jungles around the fort that kept the Delhi forces at bay. [ABM Shamsuddin Ahmed]