Sunday, March 5, 2017



When I re-visited my Blog written after a trip to the above places in 2012, I noticed several photos are just not opening.I worked for an hour trying to  re-insert the photos which were part of the blog. Yet , it was found corrupted. Hence, I have re-produced that blog under a fresh title.

A friend of mine  requested me to post 15 best photographs from the ones we have taken during our trip to 'Rarh' Bengal in flickr/kodak/picassa. It is a difficult choice to make.Besides, I am slow about editing and often I work with writing blogs as a target.

Anyway, as I was progressing with listing and PSing the photos, I  picked up a few from our albums for sharing the same with my friends and relatives.I started with  a mosque , which I thought is the best among the Muslim terra cotta architecture we saw.

Among the  work in  Muslim terra cotta architecture of medieval Bengal at Gaur , I have selected two as the most representative ones :

Lottan Masjid. 1475 AD ( 500+ years old !) 
Built @ the behest of a courtesan.
Attributed to Sultan Yusuf Shah.
Slope of the roof domes,extension on the far end and terra cotta motifs very impressive.
( Photo by RC )

Pillars & Arch in a monument under restoration @ Gaur.
( In absence of notice from ASI , no details were available.)
Grand view of such displays, when all the coloured tiles were intact 
can be imagined by the viewers.

Terra cotta decoration on Western wall @ Adina Masjid built by 
Sultan Sikandar Shah between 1364-74 AD,
supposedly the largest in Asia.
Simply majestic !

The history of construction of this huge Masjid stares at your eyes as you come across scores of Hindu deities abounding the structure ! But, this subject can be basis of another blog. Here we  celebrate the great work of the artisans of the medieval Bengal who contributed to aesthetics of our architecture.

No caption needed . 
From one of the pillars of the gate to the Nave.

Terra cotta and other temples of Baronagar were overwhelming .'Char Bangla' - the complex with four temples - demonstrate the height of aesthetics this region reached during tenure of Rani Bhavani.These temples are maintained by ASI. Gangeswar temple, a little away from the Ganges is a small 'JorBangla' temple with intricate details. This one is maintained by CAST. Besides these five, which are well-known , there are a few dilapidated temples which have  remarkable stucco work.

LH - Krsna kills Kansaraj as Balaram looks on & cheers. RH - Krsna kills the 'mahut' of Kubalayapeerh while Balaram tackes the elephant. Later, Krsna would kill the elephant.
Baronagar. 1755 AD . ( Photo by RC)

Ravan had a special place in the heart of the person/s who decided on depiction of Ramayana scenes in Charbangla and Gangeswar temples. Those who are interested in more on this aspect may pl open : View this Ravan, placed separately, armed and dressed regally.

Those at Sribati can be called cute. I must add that villagers of Sribati were very bitter about indifference of Govt regd. support to the maintenance efforts . They do not get even 1 rupee for removal of growth after every monsoon. These temples have panels with lots of stories to tell . Let us try to contribute to the preservation of these temples .

This panel, placed centrally above one of the arches of octagonal panel, has no figure of mythology !

The eternal battle between Shakti & Asura.

Saturday, March 4, 2017



 The ' Three Temples' - Trimandir - of Shiva.

 Among all the terra cotta temples we have visited , the three Shiva temples  of Sribati hold a special place in my heart. When we visited  Sribati in February of 2010, these three temples were managed without Government aid. The villagers  we talked to did regret this indifference , yet were proud that they kept the site clean, arranged for a floodlight - view it atop the Panchratna temple @ the centre - to protect the cluster against vandalism. 

The Octagonal Temple  on our right.
Inset - Insignia of Lion ( ?) - reminded me of Yali of South India !

'MrityuLata', 'Triumvirate' and other gods , KrsnaLeela, a study of  head-gears and dresses. Wonderful vegetal art too.

The site has been maintained carefully for years. I have seen in a photograph taken by Amitabha Gupta during his September,2014 visit , the site was clean as ever. The stack of hay on the left side of the photo taken by me was no longer there.

মানভঞ্জন -  Husband coaxing wife . A bedroom scene.
                        ( Drama -1)

    Drama between an European woman and 
a reluctant Indian male while his wife dozes off.
                                (Drama -2)

                                                   Beauties and the Saint
                                  (Drama -3)

These temples were built by Chandras , a family of traders, during  nineteenth century. Tucked away from  a main road by at least 15/20 minutes drive , a slightly arduous journey to Sribati - these temples would reward travelers handsomely who visit temples for aesthetics and photography.

Kartikeya in battlefield with Asura-s.

The artists and artisans who worked over here have packed the walls with scenes from Epic and Purana, social scenes full of drama , 'MrityuLata', art of grotesque, armed men, figures with different types of head gears and superior vegetal and ornamental  motifs . A visit here is a photographer's delight . Unfortunately, we had less than two hours of afternoon sun. Several portions of the octagonal 'Deul' on our right-hand was somewhat dark . During 2010, we did not possess a DSLR either. Serious photographers should have at least three hours  for photography & noting.

           'Mrityulata' and vegetal/ornamental art.

Chains of human faces, figures and art of Grotesque.

Special mention need be mentioned of social scenes and art of grotesque. These are what elevate this cluster from many 'Me-Too' wall-reliefs of terra cotta temples.

I share here a few samples of the wide variety of  art displayed on the wall-reliefs.  Surely, visitors to my page will enjoy the same. For those who want to visit Sribati, a few note on logistics :
  • By train, reach Katwa. Stay in a hotel, if traveling in the evening. Next morning,  travel to Kurchi More by bus & change to reach Sribati Singhi More.
  • By car from Kolkata,  follow the route to Katwa till Kurchi More. Take a turn towards Sribati. Stay watchful about bumps.


As she peeps out of the window !