Amadpur, a village in Memari – I block of Bardhaman Sadar South subdivision offers a unique collection of terracotta temples of varying shapes and sizes.
One of the oldest temples of the village is the Madan Gopal Temple which dates back to 1730 A.D. During my visit to Amadpur way back in 2018, I found a number of temples of which Madan Gopal Temple is the oldest. It is an aatchala temple with porch on triple entrance placed on a slightly raised platform. The foundation plaque shows the dates both in Saka era and in Bangabda. It depicts 1652 as per Sakabda and 1137 as per Bangabda.
Like most aatchala temples, it has a triple arched entrance. The panels depict terracotta works from floral motifs and designs to Rasmandal. There are also a number of idols in the side panels; though some got damaged. To me, the temple previously has rich terracotta works; but during restoration, a considerable amount of such decoration got damaged. The temple has got the only entrance from the front.
David McCutchion in his book “Brick Temples of Bengal” mentioned about ‘aquatic monsters’ and he went on to say that In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century temples, makara heads often terminate the zig-zag decorated moldings that curve over the entrance frame as a secondary cornice. Makaras are also sometimes employed at the corners of the principal cornice (…Amadpur Madana-Gopala temple,…)’.
Brick Temples of Bengal by David McCutchion.
Date of Posting: 14th May, 2020.