A JOURNEY THROUGH THE STRING OF BEAUTIFUL TERRA COTTA TEMPLES
Our dear Loken'sir' (Administrtor of group 'Banga' in flickr.com) suggested that I write about my current trips to Guptipara and Kalna after he read my last blog in przmm.blogspot.com. I wrote out the following note in the 'Discussion ' tread of 'Banga'.
WESTERN PILLAR OF RAMACANDRA TEMPLE @ GUPTIPARA
Hooghly district has a very rich heritage of terra cotta temples : Antpur, Bansberia, Guptipara and Kotulpur ( different from the village with near-identical name in Bankura district).
WESTERN FACE OF RAMACANDRA TEMPLE @ GUPTIPARA
Bansberia, Guptipara and Kalna ( of Burdwan district) are on the same rail ( Eastern Rail: Katwa section ) and road (Delhi Road -> Assam Road ) route. With careful planning, one can cover two of these three places in one day. But, Kalna has a large numbers of temples spread across the township…..in fact, Kalna has a very deep religious history. Though a good no of these temples are located in the same area, yet an ardent student of Bengal's religious structures can keep him/herself engaged for one full day.
BRINDABANCANDRA TEMPLE @ GUPTIPARA
Ananta Vasudev Temple @ Bansberia was constructed on 1679 AD . Ramcandra Temple @ Guptipara was constructed on AD . Pratepswar Temple @ Kalna was constructed on 1849 AD . All these temples have excellent terra cotta work on them, based on scripture as well as depicting the social scenes of those days. BrindabanCandra Temple @ Guptipara was constructed on 1810 AD. An aatcala temple with imposing size ( 60’ height) , it has paintings on the pillars, inside walls and ceiling ( beautiful painting of Saraswati) of the inside verandah and garbhagriha. The Temples’ complex @ Guptipara has two other temples, one of them being an early example of Jor-Bangla style.
Laljiu’s Temple as well as KrsnaCandra Temple have awe-inspiring structures with 25 spires. The later has terra cotta work of good quality too. They were constructed on 1739 AD and 1751 AD respectively.
KRSNACANDRA TEMPLE @ KAL, VIEWED THROUGH OUTER ARCHES OF RASAMANCA
Beyond these facts lie treasures of work….. of artists who created the oeuvre and those who ‘planned and visualised’ the same. We know little about these persons . I marveled at the Ramayana scenes , Rama-Krsna-Caitanya and the boats of Bansberia’s temple ; Nikumbhila yagna of Indrajit with Laxman and Bibheeshan stealthily approaching the site of yagna,gods viewing the Rama-Ravana battle from the sky, angry horses , Ruma ( ?) cowering under phallic prowess of Bali, monkeys toiling to construct bridge across the sea of Ramcandra temple ; Durga flanked by Ravana-in-prayer and Rama-in-harness postures , Kirtan singers of Navadwip, Krsna-Gopis reveling in Rasa-leela @ the top level of Pratepswar temple and the social scenes of Pratepswar and KrsnaCandra temples .
KRSNA-RADHA & GOPIS IN ATTENDANCE : PRATAPESWAR TEMPLE @ KALNA.
NORTH-EAST CORNER,PRATAPESWAR TEMPLE @ KALNA.
While I am working on editing of the 450+ photos we have taken during these two trips, I share a few of with my friends here and flickr.com. I shall be very happy to render any help to a visitor of these places.