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Pathra, rebirth of the temple town

July 8, 2020 3 comments

Pathra

Rebirth of the temple town

Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore

West Bengal is nothing unknown to temple villages and towns. Towns like Bishnupur and Ambika Kalna are well known temple towns in the state. Pathra, a nondescript village near Midnapore town, is another temple village of the state.

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Kalachand Temple Complex

But Pathra is different and what makes Pathra unique is the conservation effort of a single man named Yashin Pathan. Yashin Pathan, now aged almost 70 is a Muslim resident of the Pathra. He took up the mammoth task of protecting the 18th century temples way back in 1970.

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Kurumbera, A fortified Temple Complex

May 20, 2020 5 comments

Kurumbera

A fortified Temple Complex

Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore

The  fortified temple complex of Kurumbera lies in the village of Gaganeshwar, which is 4 km from Keshiari and 30 km from Kharagpur. The structure resembles the medieval architecture of Odisha, while also incorporating elements of later Mughal architecture.

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Fortified complex of Kurumbera, West Midnapore

Kurumbera means stone wall (kurum = stone, bera = fence) and refers to the 12 feet high wall enclosing the complex. The wall complex measured 253 feet by 173 feet and has a gateway on the northern side.

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Gangani, a scaled down version of the Grand Canyon

April 29, 2020 3 comments

Gangani

A scaled down version of the Grand Canyon

See also: Kurumbera, Moghalmari, Gangani and Pathra, Weekend Family Tour

The wind and water have carved and chiselled the landscape for millions of years creating a unique landscape. The layers of colourful mud and rocks exposes a records of millions of years.

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Gangani Canyon

It is not the Grand Canyon but a scale down version of it is located just four hours drive from Kolkata. Gangani or Gongoni, located in the outskirts of the Garhbeta town in West Medinipur district of West Bengal, houses a canyon loving known as the Grand Canyon of West Bengal.

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Kurumbera, Moghalmari, Gangani and Pathra, Weekend Family Tour

March 25, 2020 6 comments

Kurumbera, Moghalmari, Gangani and Pathra

Weekend Family Tour from Salboni, West Midnapore

Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore

A fortified temple complex, an excavated Buddhist Vihar, a canyon not as grand as the Grand Canyon and finally a village of brick built temples and all this in a single weekend tour from Kolkata

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Weekend tour of West Midnapore. Clockwise from top left: Kurumbera (fortified temple complex), Moghalmari (an excavated Buddhist Vihar), Gangani (canyon) and Pathra (temple village)

Dol and Holi 9 March (Monday) and 10 March (Tuesday) 2020 provided a extended weekend and an excellent opportunity for a weekend tour to explore the hidden natural and historical treasures of West Midnapore.

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Bari Kothi, Azimganj, a boutique heritage hotel

November 7, 2019 9 comments

Bari Kothi, Azimganj

A Boutique Heritage Hotel

Also see: FAM Tour of Bari Kothi, Azimganj

After a tiring train journey and at the very dead of the night the light up facade of the Bari Kothi was enough to ignite your spirits. The doric and corinthian columns, the lit up pediments, the black and white chequered floor and the chandelier lined corridors welcomed us into the lap of luxury.

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Bari Kothi at night, Azimganj

Located in Azimganj, near Murshidabad, Bari Kothi, which means house of the elder brother, is a two hundred and fifty year old mansion of the Dudhoria family. Recently it has been restored and renovated into a boutique heritage hotel.

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

April 4, 2019 4 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.

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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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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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Deuli, Harup and Suisa, Crumbling Temples, Scattered Statues and Single Room Museum, Purulia District

April 25, 2018 4 comments

Deuli, Harup and Suisa

Crumbling Temples, Scattered Statues and Museum, 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.

Panoramic view of the three Jain Temples of Deuli, Purulia District

Panoramic view of the three Jain Temples of Deuli, 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, Pakbira, Deulghata, Deuli and Banda.

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Banda Deul, Most Preserved Stone Temple of Purulia District

April 19, 2018 6 comments

Banda Deul

Most Preserved Stone Temple of 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.

Banda Deul, Purulia District, West Bengal

Banda Deul, Purulia District, West Bengal

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, Pakbira, Deulghata, Deuli and Banda.

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Achipur Barood Ghar, A Gunpowder Magazine en route Kolkata Port

February 21, 2018 22 comments

Achipur Barood Ghar

A Gunpowder Magazine en route Kolkata Port

Today Achipur is a quiet little village on the banks of the Hooghly River near Budge Budge about 33 km south of Kolkata. The place has an interesting history and is named after Tong Achew, the first official Chinese settler in the country.

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Warehouses of Achipur Barood Ghar with a dead tree, Achipur, Budge Budge

According to historical records in the late 18th century a Chinese tea trader by the name of Tong Achew landed on the banks of Hooghly, somewhere near present day Budge – Budge, never to return again.

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