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Jor Bangla Temple

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Jor-bangla Temple is also known as ‘Yorubangala’. This temple is designed as per Hindu temple architecture that arose in Bengal. The style involves two structures that resemble the traditional village huts of the region, one that serves as a porch, in front of the other that serves as a shrine. Each structure has a roof of the ek-bangla (or do-chala) style, with two curved segments that meet at a curved ridge. Jor Bangla Mandir is one of the few temples of Bishnupur which is in good condition. The fondness with which my guide explained the Jor Bangla Mandir, I could make out it was his favorite Chala style temple. I too felt this is one of the must see temples of Bishnupur. The terracotta panels are undamaged and effect of wearing out is not prominent yet. It was built by Raghunath Singha II in 1655 A.D. The temple platform is squarish and measures 12m by 12m we were told. These panels have detailed scenes from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Krishna-Leela. The prayer room was shut. It houses the idol of Shadbhuja (6 hands) of Shri Chaitanya. The idol is not worshiped anymore.

The do-chala (two roofs) style was used by Muslims and exported to other parts of India. The 17th century architecture of Delhi, Lahore, Gulbarg has monuments with this style. By 18th century this style became popular in parts of Rajasthan and can be seen in the palace balconie sand garden pavilions there. There is another ‘Chala style’ temple which I hope to see in future and that is in Bangladesh. It is the ‘Gopinath Jor-Bangla’, a Hindu temple located 1km (0.62 mi) east of Pabna District in Bangladesh.

History

Jor Bangla Temple is situated two kilometres north-east to Pabna town. This is one of the most remarkable historical and architectural structures of Bengal. The construction of this temple is somewhat different from that of other temples.

Built by Raghunath Singha II in 1655 A.D., the temple is greatly influenced by classical Bengali architecture. The temple is also known as the Kasha Raya Temple and is famous for its construction and terracotta sculptures. The Temple resembles two hut-like structures with separate angled roofs held together by a chala(tower) at the crown. The Temple platform measures 11.8m in length and 11.7 m in breadth. Some of the most exquisite terracotta carvings on walls and sculptures can be found here. These carvings depict scenes from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Krishna-Leela. In the prayer room is the idol of Shadbhuja (6 hands) of Shri Chaitanya who is not worshiped anymore. Due to its terracotta art, this temple is placed among the best in Bishnupur.

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  Rajdarbar, Dalmadal Para, Bishnupur, Bankura, West Bengal 722122, India