Hadal Narayanpur ~ Amazing Terracotta Beyond Bishnupur
Amazing Terracotta Beyond Bishnupur
Bushnupur has always been considered as the Terracotta capital of West Bengal. But the terracotta temple art have spread far beyonds the limits of Bishnupur and several of the villages surrounding Bishnupur houses many spectacular terracotta temples.
Joypur, Dihar, Bahulara, Gokulnagar and Sonamukhi definitely deserves a mention but the village thats stands out is Hadal Narayanpur. This twin villages has the distinction of housing several terracotta temples with the most intricate and delicate carvings.
Located about 48 km north East of Bishnupur and 5 km from the nearest railhead Dhagaria the twin villages of Hadal and Narayanpur are situated on the banks of Bodai River.
The temples of Hadal Narayanpur belong to the Mondal family and are classified in three clusters, namely Bara Taraf, Mejoo Taraf and Choto Taraf.
As one enters the village of hadal Narayanpur from Bishnupur he is greated by the Temple of Bramhani Devi, an incarnation of Parvati.
The stone idol dates back several centuries but the temple that houses it is a recent structure with no traces of terracotta.
The terracotta temple starts with choto taraf. Approached through a entrance flanked by lion statues, the first stop is the towering church like temple.
Although tall and slender in appearance it follows the traditional naba ratna (nine pinnacled) from of Bengal temple Architecture.
The temple has amazing terracotta panels and the panels that definitely stands out is that of Arjuna aiming the fish eye at the sawanbhar of Draupadi.
Mahabaharta panels are quiet rare in Bengal Terracotta Temples and this panels definitely stands out among the few Mahabharata terracotta panels.
A thakur dalan stands next to the temple and just outside the choto taraf complex is a dilapidated temple, with some remarkable terracotta panels.
A panel of Bishnu in Anantyasaya is definitely the prime attraction.
The next stop in the temples of Bara Taraf, where a towering Ras Mancha stands out.
The 17 pinnacled Ras Mancha contains spectacular terracotta motifs in each of the eight arch panels.
The arch panels depicts religious scenes like Mahisasuramardini, Gajalakshmi, marriage of Shiva, etc.
Next to the Ras Mancha is the Mondal palace, with its distinctive European influence.
Inside the palace is a big thakur dalan, where durga puja is still being celebrated.
A smaller courtyard leads to a complex of three temples, although the 1806 built temples are well maintained they have limited terracotta.
Next to the Mondal Palace, crammed in a small shed, is a bell metal chariot (rath). The rath with intricate metal carvings is taken out on the day of Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival).
Next and final stop in the Mejo Taraf, containing the Radha Damodar Temple. This Naba Ratna (nine pinnacled) temple contains some remarkable terracotta.
The freeze above the central arch panel depicts the Rama Ravana war with Devi Durga, in Mahisasuramardini posture, in the middle.
The entire background studded with monkeys and demons engaged in the great war.
A terracotta panel of Bishnu in ananta sajya and Lord Ganesha resting on a giant mouse also stands out.
Hadal Narayanpur has no place to stay. It is best covered from Bishnupur, including several other villages with spectacular terracotta temples. For more see Beyond Bishnupur.