Decorations throughout the walls. Burn well on burnt soil. The events of the three myths are perfectly drawn at the touch of the artist’s hand. The whole story of Mahabharata, Ramayana has been depicted. At the same time, the picture of the intimacy of the hearts of many lovers and the reality of the social life of that time has come to light. These terracotta works look wonderful in the eyes of travel and art lovers. It is more beautiful than any other architectural art of Bangladesh. The name is Kantajew Temple.
Dinajpur is a district in the northern part of Bangladesh.
This temple attracts travel thirsty people all the time. Visually pleasing is the artistic pattern that catches the eye.
Construction of Kantajew Temple: Upen Roy, a local writer from Dinajpur, has written a book on the history and heritage of Kantajew Temple. Named ‘Brick Epic: Kantajew Temple’. The book mentions the construction period of Kantajew Temple. In 1804 AD, the then Maharaja Prannath started the construction work of the temple. He died in 1822 before the work was completed.
Later, Maharaja Ramnath, the adopted son of the Maharaja, completed the construction of the temple in 1652 AD. The construction period is also known from the plaques on the walls of the temple. A chronological inscription in Sanskrit attached to the foundation wall of the eastern corner of the temple mentions the date of construction.
History of naming of temples: Maharaja Prannath was a devotee of Lord Krishna. And because of the various qualities of Lord Krishna, he was called by about 108 names. One of these names is Srikanth. Maharaja Prannath chose the name ‘Kant’ of Lord Krishna and added the honorary title of ‘Jiu’ to it, naming the temple ‘Kantajew Mandir’. As a result, this historic temple came to be known as Kantajew Temple. Later, the area was named Kantnagar after the temple.
Architectural Artifacts of Kantajew Temple: The temple has been built mainly on the basis of three mythological stories. Human statues and landscapes have been displayed on the temple in various ways. Along with the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana, various stories of Krishna, various pictures of contemporary social life and entertainment of zamindar aristocracy have been made artistic. The wonderful abundance of these terracotta artefacts, the delicate texture and beauty of the sculptures have been so meticulously displayed that the Kantajew Temple is superior to any other mural in Bengal. It is amazing to see the decoration of the temple walls in depth. Visitors marvel at its artistry.
One of the idols on the north side of the outer wall of the temple is Krishna Balarama. Krishna’s various wedding pictures; Scene of milk and yoghurt hanging on the two ends of the Goalini bar. Also various battles have been subtly visualized here. Included here is the destruction of the slaying elephant Kaballapira in the form of a bronze monster. Radha loses consciousness as she cannot stop Krishna from participating in the battle with Kangsa in Mathura. It also shows Ras-mandal and other supporting idols of Radhakrishna dancing in a circle.
The architects of the Kantajew temple were of a very high standard. They combine their talents and thinking to create these remarkable architectural patterns. Developed sophisticated and mature art, where the integrated style has been carefully decorated.
A terrible earthquake in 1897 destroyed nine peaks of the temple. At that time the temple was slightly damaged. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Maharaja Girijanath Bahadur extensively rebuilt the temple, except for the nine peaks that had been destroyed. The pyramid-shaped temple rises three steps to the top and has a total of nine ornate peaks at the corners of the three steps. There are open arched paths around the temple so that the worshipers can see the idol inside the holy place from any direction. The square temple is situated on a rectangular courtyard. It is surrounded by places for worshipers. Standing on a stone foundation, the temple is more than 50 feet high.
Festivals at Kantajew Temple: Kant Chatterjee, a former assistant priest of the temple, told Manbajmin that all religious festivals are celebrated with dignity at Kantajew Temple. Rasmeela is one of these festivals. Throughout the Kartik of the Bengali month, Rasmeela is held at the Kantajew temple. The festival begins on the full moon day of the month of Kartik on the occasion of Raslila. Thousands of pilgrims from home and abroad flocked to the temple premises. During the festival, drumming, flute playing and women’s uludhvani rasmela jam.
Then on the full moon day of the month of Falgun, Dolpurnima festival is celebrated in the temple. This day is celebrated by the devotees by lighting fires in the house and sprinkling Holi. This festival also attracts a large number of visitors. Kant Chatterjee also said that Tarakabrahma Namayagna festival, Shivaratri vow festival, Slanyatra festival are celebrated at Kantajew temple.
Tourist walks: During the festival, tourists from neighboring India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries visit the Kantajew Temple. There are also walks by domestic tourists almost all the time of the year. It is an interesting place for those who are thirsty for travel and history. Shafiqul Islam Kantajew, an official of the government office in Brahmanbaria, came to visit the temple and expressed his feelings to Manabjamin in this way. I was amazed and enjoyed the architecture of the temple. I have come to see the temple again.