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Temple of Dakshin Rai, Dhapdhapi

October 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Temple of Dakshin Rai

Dhapdhapi, 24 Parganas (South)

Dakshin Rai or Dakshin Ray, literally meaning the King of the South, is the local deity of Sundarban and rules over beast and daemons. He is worshiped by all those who enter the Sunderban forest, for subsistence, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion.

Dhapdhapi 1

Idol of Dakshin Rai, Dakshineswar Temple, Dhapdhapi

There are lot of controversies regarding Dakshin Rai, although considered and worshiped as god by many but many other considered him as a demon with a uncanny curving for human flesh.

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Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

July 17, 2019 5 comments

Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh)

Chandannagar

See also: Rath Yatras of West Bengal

When it comes to Rath (or Ratha) Yatra (Chariot Festival) the first thing that comes into mind is Puri, Orissa (Odissa). The towering raths (chariots) of Puri have almost become synonymous with Ratha Yatra.

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Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

But West Bengal, the neighbouring state of Orissa, also houses several Rath Yatra festivals, complete with towering raths. Some of this rath yatras dates back a couple of centuries and attracts devotees from far and wide.

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Jora Deul, Baidyapur, Kalna, Bardhaman

April 24, 2019 4 comments

Jora Deul, Baidyapur

Kalna, Bardhaman

Stone has always been in short supply in the vast flood plains of Bengal. Hence the architects had to restore to other substitute. As clay was easily available the burnt clay bricks soon became a good substitute of stone.

Baydapur Joradeul 1

Jore Deul (or two adjacent temple), Baidyapur

This gave rise to a new form of temple architecture and lead to the construction of elaborately decorated terracotta temples. Terracotta literally means baked earth in Italian but West Bengal has the distinction of housing some of the finest terracotta art in the world.

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Sat Deul, Towering Brick Temple, Memari, Burdwan District, West Bengal

April 4, 2019 2 comments

Sat Deul, Towering Brick Temple

Memari, Burdwan District, West Bengal

Stone has always been in short supply in the vast flood plains of Bengal. Hence the architects had to restore to other substitute. As clay was easily available the burnt clay bricks soon became a good substitute of stone.

Sat Deul 5

Sat Deul, near Memari, Burdwan District

This gave rise to a new form of temple architecture and lead to the construction of elaborately decorated terracotta temples. Terracotta literally means baked earth in Italian but West Bengal has the distinction of housing some of the finest terracotta art in the world.

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Dhanyakuria, Palaces and a Cinderella styled Castle

January 24, 2019 16 comments

Dhanyakuria

Palaces and a Cinderella styled Castle

If you are travelling on the Barasat – Basirat road about 7 km after the Berachampa crossing (known for Chandraketugarh) you will come across a magnificent gate way, which seems to come straight out of the pages of the fairy tales of Cinderella.

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Gayen Garden House (Gayen Bagan Bari), Dhanyakuria

Sadly the gates generally remains closed but a peep inside revels a Cinderella styled castle, complete with tower, turrets, battlements and oriel windows. The castle is surrounded by a huge open space, which was once a manicured lawn intercepted by tree line pathways. The compound was once complete with decorative fountains and huge ponds.

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Pakbirra, remains of a temple town in Purulia District

December 14, 2018 2 comments

Pakbirra

Remains of a temple town in Purulia District

See also: Wiki Explores Purulia

Historical records suggest that during the 10th – 13th century a flourishing Jain settlement flourished in the western part of West Bengal covering the present districts of Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram. During this period they have built numerous brick and stone temples, following the Oriya Duel style architecture.

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The giant Jain Tirthankara statue in Pakbirra, Purulia District

Purulia had the largest concentration of these Jain Temples although many of them have crumbled to dust but a hand full have survived the test of time and still towers above the rural landscape of Purulia district. These towering temples, built of both brick and stone, can still be seen in the villages of Para, Deulghata, Deuli and Banda.

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Temples of Para, Purulia

August 22, 2018 2 comments

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.

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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.

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