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4 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Maheshwarpasha Temple

M Mahmud Ali
Maheshwarpasha Temple

Of the late medieval temples of Bengal, the hut-type is an important variety. The style is further sub-divided into do-chala or ek-bangla, jor-bangla or twin-hut, char-chala or chau-chala, aat-chala or eight segmented. Such temples were constructed between the 18th-19th centuries. Among the hut-type, jor-bangla is the most significant variety. At present, very few jor-bangla temples remain in Bangladesh.  

Maheshwarpasha jor-bangla temple is located at Maheshwarpasha Mahalla at Daulatpur in Khulna city. It is locally known as ‘Radha-Govinda’ temple. There is an inscription on the eastern façade, which says the temple was built in 1749 by Gopinath Goswami, a member of the local Mallick family.

It is a typical example of late medieval temple architecture. Small burnt bricks with lime and shurki (powdered bricks) were used in the temple’s construction. The entire front wall of the temple, which faces the south, is covered with terracotta plaques. They are decorated with numerous mythical figures, such as deities and royalty, speeding horsemen and armed soldiers from the Hindu epic war between Rama and Ravana. Besides these, the plaques also represent everyday life of the common people, birds and animals and scenes depicting social and cultural life of the time. The side and back walls are devoid of any decoration.

The temple sits on a three-tier raised base. The twin-hut type structure is joined together by a common wall and it appears like the alphabet ‘M’ when viewed from the side. Also, the first hut acts as the ‘mandapa’ (porch) and the back one is the ‘garbhagriha’ (womb chamber). Do-chala type roofs with curved cornices cover both parts of the temple, while a thick wall in the middle serves as a common wall of the two huts. The roofs of both temples are capped by three kalasa (water pot) finials.

Maheshwarpasha Jor-bangla temple is an important religious edifice for the Hindu community. The Mallick family still looks after the temple. But unfortunately, there is no government initiative to take care of the old temple. It steps for its maintenance are not taken immediately, we will lose one of the most fascinating temples which is of significant heritage value as well. If the authorities give attention, then this ruinous temple has enormous possibility to attract local tourists as well as visitors from neighbouring countries.

 

References: Late Mediaeval Temples of Bengal: Origins and Classification, David J McCutchion, Asiatic Society, 1972; Bangladesher Mandir, Ratan Lal Chakrabarti, Bangla Academy, 1985; Archaeological Survey Report of Greater Khulna District, DOA, 2004;  Maheshwarpasha Porichoy, Sree Khogendro Nath Basu, 1974.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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