Kantaji Temple>> This ancient and very beautiful temple named Kantaji Mandir is located in Dinajpur, Bangladesh. The temple is known as Kant or Krishna temple in Hinduism which is popular in Bengal as a religious practice of worldly Radha-Krishna. It is believed that Maharaja Sumit Har Kant was born here. The Bangladesh Pavilion was made on the model of this temple at the 2017 Kolkata Book Fair. Before the temple was destroyed in the heart-shattering earthquake of 1897 AD, Rabaneshu, a photograph taken by John Henry in 1871 AD clearly shows the exact nine gems of the temple.
Location of Kantaji Temple
This ancient temple is located in Kantnagar, a village on the bank of river Dhenpa, midway in Sundarpur union, west of the main Tentulia highway from Dinajpur, specifically 20 km north of Dinajpur town and seven km southeast of Kaharol upazila Sadar.
Puthia Pancharatna Temple: The Ratna Mandir is an elaborate replica of Chala Mandir. If the temple is topped with Chala art then it is called Ratna Mandir. The special feature of Ratna Mandir is the curved cornice of the chala. According to the number of vertices it is divided into seven parts.
Historical information of Kantaji Temple
Kantaji Temple! The brilliant examples of decoration are hunting scenes in forests, royal processions with elephants, horses, camels and elaborate bullock carts for the elite. They were wearing Mughal clothes and weapons. Beautifully decorated elephants and horses. The chariots associated with them were rich in craftsmanship. Nadus-nudus-bodied zamindar sitting in an ornate palanquin, his luxurious hookah in hand. On the other side of the hookah is a long tube of smoke. On the other side there is a river scene, with long boats crowded with people, all rejoicing. A small troop in European dress, with drawn swords and helmets, marches forward.
Illustration of Mythology
Kantaji temple is here, which is the image of Lord Krishna. The terracotta decorations of this phase include the demon king Kamsa slaying the young Krishna, the slaying of the demon Patna and the crane-throated demon Bakasura by Krishna, the slaying of Kesi by throwing Govardhana Parvata atop Mount Govardhana; Swarpa defeating the demon Kaliya and Krishna’s joyous journey in a long narrow boat etc.
The south face of Kantaji temple depicts the story of Ramayana with some confusing scenes. The story of the Ramayana extended to the frontiers of the East. There are depictions of Ram Chandra, Sita and Lakshmana’s exile in the Panchavati forest, Lakshmana hitting Surpankha’s nose, Ravana’s abduction of Sita from the Dandaka forest; Jatayu’s failed attempt to block Ravana’s chariot, Sita’s captivity in Ashoka forest; Battle of Sugriva with Bali and monkey followers for the throne of Kishkindya.
Also interestingly depicted is Rama Chandra’s Saptala Veda and Sugriva was in conversation with Rama Chandra along with his monkey followers.
Krishna Balarama predominates among the images on the northern side. Notable among these are various wedding images of Krishna; Gwalini is carrying milk and curd in shikas (jute bags) hung on two ends of sticks. A second phase of decoration has an interesting European warship carved into it.
Kantaji temple has soldiers and cannons visible in fine detail. The entire west side is decorated with fine decoration of the third phase depicting various aspects of the Krishna story. The decoration ends with the slaying of the demon king Kamsa of Madhura. It includes the destruction of the elephant Kavallapida in the killing of Kamsa’s demonic form, the loss of consciousness of Radha after failing to prevent Krishna from participating in the duel with Kamsa at Mathura. These images include the carrying of milk and butter on the shikas suspended from the two ends of the staff. The image of Goala is very interesting, still a very familiar scene of rural Bengal. The elaborate panel above the spandrel of the multi-grooved arch is beautifully visualized.
Vivid battle scenes of epics
It also shows a dancing Radhakrishna in a circle with a rasa-mandala with double shurti and other supporting figures. The imagination and energy of the local folk-artists has been expressed in depicting the scenes of the fierce battles of Kurukshetra and Lanka. Apparently many of the folk-artists who decorated the temple walls extensively with terracotta paintings came from Krishnanagar. They reflected the influence of their familiar environment in artwork.
The likenesses of the deities finely depicted on the panels were sometimes surprisingly closely matched to known members of their society. An example is the terracotta decorations on the lower panels of the west facade.
Here Krishna is plucking a coconut from a tree and handing it to one of his companions who has climbed halfway up the tree and to another companion who is waiting below. It was a familiar scene in Bengal. Here the deity is shown as a familiar and intimate member of this society. There are also some individual plaques that reflect natural features. For example, there is a panel on the inner side of the south porch showing Radha-Krishna dancing on an elephant, along with a dozen human figures that are skillfully carved. ) is sitting.
Fine Terracotta Decoration of Kantaji’s Temple
A characteristic feature of the fine terracotta decoration of Kantaji’s temple is that it does not depict cupid scenes, as seen in Orissa and South Indian temples. This huge terracotta decoration on the wall of Kantji’s temple was an expression of the life and vitality of the time and the art grew out of the energy nurtured in the silty soil of Bangladesh for thousands of years. Due to lack of stone in such vast fertile alluvial land like Bangladesh, the development of indigenous terracotta industry took place logically.
This decorative art flourished in the early historical period, especially during the Pala Chandra dynasty when Buddhist temples and other buildings at Paharpur, Mainamati, Vasu Vihar and Sitakote were enlivened with vines and terracotta images. All these terracotta tablets were of large size and of somewhat archaic type. But the walls of the Kantnagar temple are of a completely different nature. The artists developed a highly sophisticated and sophisticated art, where decoration was done with great care in the coordinated style.
In contrast to the earlier art traditions in isolated trends and in a somewhat disjointed arrangement, the art of this temple is composed of a number of individual plaques and a kind of rhythm can be observed in the overall expression of the art form. Due to this effect, the use of this rich decoration is often observed in carpets and other decorative arts.
Kantaji temple is the best example of terracotta art in Bangladesh
Doubts about the construction date of the temple are removed from a chronological inscription in Sanskrit attached to the foundation wall of the eastern corner of the temple. According to sources, Maharaja Pranath of Dinajpur started the construction of this temple in 1722 and his adopted son Maharaj Ramnath completed the construction of the temple in 1674 (1752) on the orders of his wife Rukmini to fulfill his father’s wishes. The temple was extensively reconstructed except for the nine peaks. (Kantaji Temple Fair)
The black pyramid-shaped temple rises up in three steps and there are a total of nine ornate sikharas or jewels on the corners of the three steps which look like huge ornate chariots standing on a raised plinth. The temple is surrounded by open archways so that worshipers can enter from any direction. Sees the deity placed in the holy place.
View of temple wall decoration
If one looks closely at the temple wall decoration from any angle and compares the subject matter, one will be amazed at the variety of subjects. Typical of the terracotta decoration on the outer walls of the temple, the figures on the lower part of the surrounding base panels are parallel to the four entrances. moved on
A little above the plinth on this side are a) rose blooms between vine leaves and alternately four metal leaf designs b) portraits carved on pillar cornices, contemporary social figures and hunting scenes of landed gentry c. ) on the upper parallel panel was a blooming rose amidst delicate intricate ornamentation, commonly seen on the Sixty Dome Mosque, Bagha Mosque, Kusumba Mosque and Chhota Sona Mosque.
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