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Early Medieval Temples of Rāḍh Bengal

History, Dates, Location, Style

 

Sun temple, Sonatopol

  • An example of Rekha deul temple in terms of architecture, that follows the Orissan pattern
  • Lies on the Dwarakeswar river in Bankura district, West Bengal
  •  It is a brick temple, pancha ratha in plan
  • Usually dated to the 10th or 11th century CE
  • Relief on the wall resembles chaitya decorations along with floral motifs

 

Parsvanath Temple, Deulbhira

  • A rekha deul temple of the Orissan shikhara type
  • Lies on the Jaypanda river in Bankura district, West Bengal
  • The adjoining hamlet of Panchmura is known as a centre of terracotta production
  • It is triratha in plan, with simple mouldings and vaulting roof
  • Assumed to be constructed around 11th-12th century
  • The Image of Parsvanath, after whom the temple is named, is now in the Indian Museum, Kolkata

 

Siddheswar Temple, Bahulara

  • Lies on the Dwarakeswar river
  • Enshrines a Shive linga, along with sculptures of Mahisasuramardini Durga, Ganesha and Jain tirthankara Parsvanath, which are still worshipped today
  • It is a brick temple of the rekha deul type
  • The shikhara is intricately carved with ornamental designs and beautiful mouldings
  • Alternatively dated between 10th-12th centuries by various scholars
  • There are multiple stupa bases adjacent to the temple, dated much earlier than the temple at Bahulara

 

The Sareswar and Saileswar Temples, Dihar

  • The twin temples dedicated to Shiva stand along an old dried up course of the Dwarakeswar river in Bankura, West Bengal
  • Both temples are made of stone and their shikharas are no longer extant
  • They follow the rekha deul pattern of the Orissan variety
  • They are not highly ornamented, but there are some anthropomorphic figures sculpted on temple walls
  • Scholars have suggested the date of construction to be between 11th and 14th centuries
  • The temples serve as the site of Gajan every year when thousands of devotees gather to pay homage to Shiva.