Saturday, March 4, 2017

TERRA COTTA TEMPLES OF BENGAL - VIII

RECALLING OUR VISIT TO SRIBATI



 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 !






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