Temples of Para, Purulia

Temples of Para

Purulia

See also: Wiki Explores Purulia

Para is a small village in Purulia District located about 30 km north east of the district head quarters Purulia Town. Para lies on the route to Banda Deul, one of the most preserved ancient temple of Purulia District.

Para 1

Brick Temple (front) and Stone Temple of Para, Purulia

According to historical records Para probably served as the capital of Panchakot kings and probably before that it was the capital of the Manrajas. Today only three dilapidated temples are the only traces of Para’s royal lineage.

Para 2

Brick Temple of Para, Purulia

Among the three temples the, first is made up of stone and the second is of bricks. The third, which is in the most dilapidated state consists of a mixture of stone and brick. The first two temples are located next to each other, while the third one is located a liitle further away.

Para 3

Top part of Brick Temple, Para, Purulia

The present structure of the Para Brick Temple rises to a height of 45 feet, but the top part including the finial had long collapsed, so the exact height of the temple can no longer be determined. But expert expect it to be a couple of feet higher.

The temple contains no foundation plaque but expert believe it was constructed during the 10 -11th century AD. The brick temple has remarkable resemblance with the two existing temples of Deulghata, which was probably constructed during the same period.

The brick temple probably was covered with lime stone plaster with stucco motifs, sadly not trace of the plaster remains to this day. But the extensive ornamentation of decorative bricks have survived the test of time and can be seen to this day.

Para 4

Decorative Brick Ornamentation, Brick Temple, Para

The spire of the brick temple is richly ornamented with floral and geometric design. The body contains relief work of decorative deuls.

The entrance of the Para Brick Temple is through a narrow gateway topped with a triangular corbel arch.

The interior contains a small ancient small circular sculpture. It is almost obliterate but the locals call it Udaychandi, and is worshiped every Tuesday.

Next to the brick temple is the Para Stone Temple, which probably predates the brick temple. Like the brick temple the stone temple has also lost its finial. Today the temple stands at about 40 feet, expert opine that the original height was probably about 45 feet.

Para 5

Stone Temple of Para, Purulia

Once every inch on the outer surface of the temple was covered with the most intricate stone work, sadly the elements of nature, lack of conservation and utter neglect have eternally wiped them out.

Para 6

Stone work from Para Stone Temple

Only traces of this amazing stone work remains, consisting of dancing ladies, galloping horses coupled with geometric and floral motifs.

The few remaining sculptures can remind one of the remarkable stone work of the Sun Temple of Konarak.

The temple has remarkable resemblance with the Banda Deul but is more run down condition.

The reason for the decay can be attributed to the fact that the Para Stone Deul predates the Banda Deul. The second reason for the decay was probably the use of softer stones, which made the intricate ornamentation easier but it was subject to rapid decay.

Para 7

Raghunath Ji Mandir, Para, Purulia

The entrance of the stone temple is through the south through a rectangular doorway, but unlike Banda Deul the door lacks the ornamental stone door frame.

The remaining four walls contains shalllow rectangular depression. The depressions probably housed stone statues, which have long vanished.

The third temple of Para is located slightly further away and is on the western edge of the village. It consists of two adjoining structure, which at first glance may appear as two separate temples.

The lower part of the temple is built of stone, but the collapsed spires were brick built. The front portion contains a foundation plaque but it is illegible, so nothing much known about the construction period. Although expert opine that the temple was constructed in 10 – 11 th century AD.

According to another theory the entire temple was stone built and it collapsed. Later it was rebuild with brick and that too collapsed. Whatever be the reason the present structure is in a sorry state and is overgrown with vegetation. The temple is presently abandoned but on Janmashtami is celebrated at the temple.

Note:

This tour was part of Wiki Explores Purulia and was funded by Wikipedia West Bengal User Group

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  1. August 25, 2018 at 5:14 PM
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