Lakshmi Janardhan Temple, Debipur
A towering rekh deul temple
The nondescript village of Debipur, located on the Howrah – Bardhman main line has a distinction of housing a towering temple.
For the most comfortable journey it is best to take the Bardhman Local (Main) from Howrah. It takes about one and half hour to reach Debipur.
A short bus or trekker ride from Debipur station takes you to Shivtala, where the towering Lakshmi Janardhan Temple (Lakshmi Janardan Temple) is located.
Before reaching the Lakshmi Kanardhan Temple the visitors will be welcomed by a unique structure at the Shivtala bus stop.
This structure consists of three connected structures built on a single raised platform. The structures on the side are aat – chal (8 sloped roof) shiva temples.
The central structure is a dol mancha. The open dol mancha, stands on a elevated platform and towers above both the temples.
The structure contains beautiful terracotta ornamentation on its front surface, including a false door way, below the dol mancha. A marble plaque on the doorway indicates that the structure was constructed in 1283 of Bengali calendar which is equivalent to 1836.
Sukharia, Somra Bazar, Hooghly
Restoration of Harsudari and Nistarini Kali Temple
See also: My blog post Mitra Mustafi Trilogy
The quint little village of Sukharia, located next to the Somra Bazar station, on the Bandel – Katwa rail line houses an amazing collection of temples and huge mansions.
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.
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. 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. The terracotta art reached its pinnacle under the patronage of the Malla Kings of Bishnupur during the seventeenth century.
Rebirth of a Temple Town
Located in the Dumka District of Jharkhand the non descriptive village of Maluti houses several temple with intricate art work.
Sribati, Katwa, Burdwan
West Bengal’s Hidden Terracotta Gem
Once upon a time a family from far of Gujrat migrated the entire length of the country to settle near the present day town of Katwa in Burdwan district. Belonging to the trader class they soon exhaled in trade & commerce.
Their huge barges sailed up and down the Hooghly and it’s tributaries and distributaries carrying merchandise from far off lands. In a very short span of time the Chandra family earned enough to build themselves a huge mansion, and several temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Rajrajeshwar Temple ~ Kotalpur, Hooghly
~ Unusual Terracotta Panels ~
The Parsis leave their dead bodies for the vulture to eat but for the Hindus vultures have always been considered as a symbol of misfortune and bad luck. So the image of vultures is the last thing you expect to see on the walls of a Hindu temple but the Rajrajeshwar Temple, in the remote village of Kotalpur, have a distinction of housing several images of vultures. One of the terracotta panels on the temple walls shows two vultures feasting on a human corpse and several other panels show vultures in different postures.
Bengal is known for its terracotta temples. Starting from temple complex Bishnupur to the temples of Aatpur, Bansberia, Guptipara and Kalna West Bengal has the distinction of housing some of the finest terracotta works in the world. But apart from these well known temples West Bengal is also home to hundreds of lesser known terracotta temples scattered in the remote villages of South Bengal. Kotolpur, in the Jangipara block of the Hooghly district, is one such village which has the distinction of housing one such terracotta temple.