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Temples of Ganpur, Birbhm

Updated on December 9, 2012
RASMANDAL - a Vaishnavite symbolic art where several GOPINI-s (Female devotees of Lord Krishna ) are arranged in circles with Lord Krishna at the centre.
RASMANDAL - a Vaishnavite symbolic art where several GOPINI-s (Female devotees of Lord Krishna ) are arranged in circles with Lord Krishna at the centre.
The legend of lord Krishna's birth
The legend of lord Krishna's birth
Chain design in stonework
Chain design in stonework
Temples in cluster
Temples in cluster
Intricate design at the base of a pillar
Intricate design at the base of a pillar
Two persons, one distinctly a lady, engaged in extracting rice from paddy by an indigenous instrument called DHENKI
Two persons, one distinctly a lady, engaged in extracting rice from paddy by an indigenous instrument called DHENKI
DOLMANCHA (a temporary temple where the idols are kept during the festival of DOL or HOLI)
DOLMANCHA (a temporary temple where the idols are kept during the festival of DOL or HOLI)
A scene from the epic Mahabharata ( Duhsashana, the Kaurava brother tryuing to strip Draupadi, the wife of the Pandava brothers while Lord Krishna supplying endless dress material to Draupadi by His divine power)
A scene from the epic Mahabharata ( Duhsashana, the Kaurava brother tryuing to strip Draupadi, the wife of the Pandava brothers while Lord Krishna supplying endless dress material to Draupadi by His divine power)
Floral design
Floral design
Front facade of a temple
Front facade of a temple
Front facade of a temple
Front facade of a temple
Front facade of the Dolmancha
Front facade of the Dolmancha
Geometric design
Geometric design
Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga
Three persons using a saw to cut a wooden plank
Three persons using a saw to cut a wooden plank
Design in stonework
Design in stonework
NABANAARIKUNJARA -- another symbolic Vaishnavite design where nine ladies are placed cleverly to create an elephant upon which Lord Krishna is placed
NABANAARIKUNJARA -- another symbolic Vaishnavite design where nine ladies are placed cleverly to create an elephant upon which Lord Krishna is placed
Ornamental lion
Ornamental lion
Palanquin
Palanquin
Intricate design on a pillar
Intricate design on a pillar
Boat
Boat
Lotus motif
Lotus motif
Lord Vishnu lying on Ananta Naga, the serpent
Lord Vishnu lying on Ananta Naga, the serpent
Another Rasmandal
Another Rasmandal
The demon king Ravana from the epic Ramayana
The demon king Ravana from the epic Ramayana
Lord Shiva on His bull
Lord Shiva on His bull
A scene from the Mashabharata --- Yudhisthira playing dice with Shakuni
A scene from the Mashabharata --- Yudhisthira playing dice with Shakuni
Bhagiratha bringing Goddess Ganga on the earth
Bhagiratha bringing Goddess Ganga on the earth

Temples of Ganpur, Birbhum

Introduction

Ganpur is a small village in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. This village, now just another village of India, was once a centre for indigenous iron extraction factories . The rich in the village founded many temples in the 18th -19th century AD, some of which are still there standing as mute witnesses of their glorious past.

The temples are scattered over the village, with two clusters being prominent. One is a cluster of five temples in a row; two on either side are CHARCHALA (Four-roofed) type & the central one, the tallest of the five, is a modified North Indian PIRHA (Step Pyramid like) type of temple. All five are dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The other cluster is of 15 CHARCHALA temples arranged like the letter U dedicated to Lord Shiva with a single DOCHALA (Two-roofed) type of temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. There is a beautiful DOLMANCHA (a small temple like structure which houses the deities only during some festivals like DOL JATRA) with excellent art work.

Besides these two clusters, there are at least two other clusters, but these are of minor temples, & are ravaged by time.

Specialty :

The unique feature of these temples is the material used for the decorative art works. While the commonest decorative material in these parts of Bengal is Terracotta, in the temples of Ganpur the artists used a special type of stone called FULPATHAR or GIRIPATHAR. This stone is soft in texture & reddish in colour. The resultant art works look strikingly similar to terracotta, but are much finer as stone retains sharpness much better than terracotta.

Subjects of art work

Apart from the traditional figures of gods & goddesses & figures from the Hindu epics Ramayana & Mahabharata, there are many social scenes like boats, palanquin, rural professionals , acrobats & common people.

Besides these, there are floral & geometric designs as well.

How to reach

Ganpur is situated on the NH 60 connecting Dubrajpur with Morgram, & can easily be reached by road from Kolkata, Rampurhat, Santiniketan or Panagarh.

Nearest railway station is at Rampurhat, about 16 km away.

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      Amartya Gupta 

      6 years ago from India

      It's always pleasurable to know new things.

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