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Baidyapur is a small town in the Kalna sub-division of Bardhaman district of West Bengal. This ancient town boasts of a number of ancient temples with exquisite terracotta works. Ravaged by the relentless onslaught of time coupled with human indifference much of the beautiful terracotta works are destroyed & some of the temples are also at the verge of collapse.
However, the amount of rich terracotta works which can be viewed even today is simply amazing.
The main temples are :
- JORA DEUL (Twin Deul type of temples) :
These two temples, protected now by ASI (archeological Survey of India) was constructed in c.1550 A.D. by one Shubhananda Pal. Their facades are of curved bricks. The larger main temple faces east & the smaller one faces north. The two are interconnected with a passage. The walls are decorated with intricate terracotta works depicting social scenes & tales from the great Hindu epics.
- Twin Shiva temples :
Here, one can see two distinctly separate types of Bengal temple architecture, viz. AATCHALA & NABARATNA side by side.
The taller one with nine spires or pinnacles is the Navaratna temple & the shorter one is Aatchala type. Both are decorated with beautiful terracotta work. However, the conditions of these two temples are bad & they need urgent repair & restoration job.
- BURO SHIVA Temple :
This temple is the least attended, as evident from its look. Beautiful terracotta arts are covered with cobweb, moss & dust. The scenes from the great Hindu epics like Ramayana & Krishna Leela are still lively, & some of them are of the finest quality.
- Raj Rajeswar temple :
Situated inside the local landlord’s palace, there is a small but a very important temple of Lord Vishnu or Narayana. Here, the idol is a NARAYANA SHILA (a small stone with sacred markings of Lord Vishnu or Narayana) of a rare variety (with seven holes, each with a Chakra, a weapon looking like a discus with serrated edge) called Raj Rajeswar Shila.
Besides these, there are several other temples like Brindavan Chandra Temple, Krishna temple, Rash Mancha etc.
Types of terracotta works :
The terracotta scenes are basically grouped into three groups :
a) Social scenes including hunting scenes & the life style of the rich.
b) Scenes from Krishna Leela, the life story of Lord Krishna.
c) Scenes from the great Indian epic Ramayana, depicting battle scenes between the demon soldiers of the demon king Ravana of Sri Lanka & the monkey soldiers of Lord Rama.
How to go there :
Baidyapur can be approached easily from BOINCHI railway station of Howrah-Bardhaman main line by buses that ply regularly in that route. The distance is only 8 km, & the road condition is good.
Baidyapur is about 60 km from Calcutta.