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Radhavinod temple of Joydev-Kenduli
RADHAVINOD TEMPLE OF JOYDEV-KENDULI
Joydev-Kenduli is a small village by the river Ajoy in the district of Birbhum in West Bengal, India. The village is famous mainly for three reasons :
- a) It was the home-village of famous poet JOYDEV who was the Poet Royal at the court of the King of Bengal Lakshman Sen of the SEN dynasty (11th-12th century AD).
- b) It is here that Joydev wrote his famous book “Geet Govindam”. There are several myths associated with the writing of this book, the most famous of which states that Lord Krishna Himself helped the poet finish this epic.
- c) The famous temple of Radhavinod (another name for Lord Krishna) is situated in this village.
c) Every year on the auspicious occasion of MAKAR SANKRANTI (14th/15th January) a big fair is held here which is attended by thousands of devotees, among them the BAUL-s who are called the Roaming Minstrels of Bengal are conspicuous by their numbers & their characteristic dress of saffron clothes & the ever-present ektara (a single-stringrd instrument) in hand.
The temple :
Radhavinod temple is a brick-built NAVA RATNA temple with nine pinnacles (called Ratna-s in Bengali), the nine pinnacles are Rekh –Shikhar type. The façade of the temple is decorated with terracotta bricks with beautiful engravings .
The temple is two storied. The cornices of the first roof is curved . There are four Ratna-s or pinnacles on the four corners of this roof. On top of this there is the second smaller floor with curved roof. There are four smaller Ratna-s at the four corners of this roof too, with a central big Ratna, thus making the number of Ratna-s 4+5 =9 in total.
The upper floor was badly damaged & is repaired recently, but with plain cement work, which looks rather ugly on this grand old beauty with exquisite terracotta works in front.
The terracotta decorations include :
- a) the traditional 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu ;
- b) scenes from the Hindu epic RAMAYANA depicting scenes of battle between the soldiers of the demon King of Sri Lanka RAVANA & the monkey soldiers of Lord RAMA . A depiction of the demon king Ravana is eye catching, with ten heads & twenty arms & a fierce look on the face ;
- c) many social scenes, amongst which there is a unique art work of two village ladies performing the morning ritual of rural Bengal called BASIPAAT ( Sweeping the household area after sprinkling cow-dung mixed water which is considered very holy & auspicious still today).
The fineness of the intricate terracotta works is truly mind boggling.
The temple was constructed in 1683 AD by the King of Bardhaman Maharaj Kirti Chand Bahadur.
How to reach :
Joydev-Kenduli can be reached by road from Bolpur & Santi Niketan , or from Durgapur along the Durgapur – Shivpur road which passes through a beautiful forest thickly populated by trees, mainly Saal, & then by crossing the river Ajoy along a fair- weather bridge.
The roads are reasonably good, & buses ply regularly along the roads.