Home > Bengal Archeology, General > Dihar ~ Ruined Twin Temples

Dihar ~ Ruined Twin Temples

Dihar ~ Ruined Twin Temples

Near Bishnupur, Bankura, West Bengal

Also see: Beyond Bishnupur ~ Brick and Stone Temples

Saileswar and Sareswar Temples, Dihar (near Bishnupur), Bankura

Saileswar and Sareswar Temples, Dihar (near Bishnupur), Bankura

Located 8 km from Bishnupur, on the Bishnupur – Sonamukhi highway, the village of Dihar houses two ruined but majestic temples. Both the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and are known as Sareswar and Saileswar. A Nandi Bull guards the entrance of Sareswar Temple.

Stucco Work, Dihar

Stucco Work, Dihar

In the early part of the 19th century D B Sooner, then superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Eastern Region, took interest in the two temples. Today the Sareswar and Saileswar Temples are protected monuments under ASI and the area around the structure is fenced off and landscaped.

Located atop a small mound the Sareswar and Saileswar Temples are built of laterite stones. Built in 1346 by the Malla King Pritvi Malla, the temples follow the typical Oriya Deul style architecture. The towering spires of both Sareswar and Saileswar have long collapsed, but they still commands majestic presence. The Temple contains beautiful floral and geometric stucco work on its outer walls, but most of it has been wiped out by the forces of nature and centuries of human neglect.

A stone Nandi bull in front of the Sareswar Temple, may have given the temple its name (Sar literally means bull). Sadly the elements of nature  has its effect on the laterite stone bull, its heavily eroded and in the process loosing most of its intricate features. The temples attracts a large number of pilgrims, from the neighboring region, during the shivaratri festival.

Nandi Bull, Dihar

Nandi Bull, Dihar

But the region around the Sareswar and Saileswar Temple dates far beyond the days of King Privi Malla. The Archaeological Department of the Calcutta University has carried out several digs in the Dihar village. Several artifacts and articles have been excavated, some of them  dating back to the neolithic (new stone) and chalcolithic (copper) age.

A trip to Bishnupur, the famed tourist spot of West Bengal, will always remain incomplete without a visit to the Sareswar and Saileswar Temples of Dihar.

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