Kantajir Mandir, a terracotta beauty!
Historical sites have always fascinated me. Every time I visit any historical site, it makes me imaginative and nostalgic. As a northerner, it was always my wish to visit all the important historical places of the north and among them the Kantajir Mandir was on the top of the wish-list. My wish came true in 2015, when I paid a visit to this Kantajir Mandir- an excellent terracotta beauty of Bangladesh. After reaching my desired place, I was simply astonished to see the architecture. If you have not seen the Kantaji temple of Dinajpur yet, you have not seen how artistic the late-medieval community of Bengal had been.
This beautiful temple is a magnificent emblem of medieval era. It was built in late 18th century. 'Maharaja Pran Nath' started the construction and it was ended during the reign of his son 'Raja Ramnath'. 'Kanta' is the childhood name of 'Lord Krishna' (Hindu religious God). This temple is dedicated to worship 'Krishna'.
We all know that the best example of Bengali medieval literature is Sri Krishna Kirtan which is written by Boru Chandidas. The verses composed by him are engraved in terracotta throughout the temple.
The temple is decorated with plenty of interesting terracotta. It is said that some plots of the 'Ramayan', the 'Mahabharat' and some glorious stories on Emperor Akbar are reflected on those terracotta. Earlier the temple had nine domes but those were destroyed due to earthquake in 1897. But, still it looks beautiful. The temple is also called 'Navaratnam' due to the nine domes of it.
Aparna Banik, a visitor of this temple, says, "It is small but you need to stand back and appreciate the temple and all of its detailed carvings and great work. I wondered how long it took for them to create this. "
Nayeema Rahman, a businesswoman, says, "It looks amazing and breathtakingly beautiful with its detailed intricate terracotta work. For history lovers, it's a must visit."
To visit this temple, first you have to take a bus or train to Dinajpur. Upon arrival, you have to take a bus towards Thakurgaon. You have to tell them that you want to go to Kantajir temple so that they can drop you at the nearest bus stop. You can take a rickshaw or an auto-rickshaw to Kantajir temple from there.
By visiting this place, one can dive into the mythical stories of Krishna, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. You can't believe unless you see it yourself, how beautifully those have been depicted through terracotta plaques. Each brick bears witness to our enriched culture and heritage. Overall, this place may remind you how sophisticated the civilization of Bengal was.