Temples in and around Joypur, Bankura

Bishnupur in Bankura district of West Bengal is famous for terracotta temples. But the temples of Joypur roughly 16 kilometers away has slipped into oblivion. The most prominent temple – Gokulchand Temple (an ASI protected monument) of Gokulnagar deserves mention. It is the largest laterite stone temple of the district.

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Manchas are of three types – rasmancha, dolmancha and tulsimancha. In my previous blog posts I have written about Rasmancha and Dolmancha. Today I will concentrate on tulsimancha. Of the three manchas, tulsimancha is the smallest and is mainly found in domestic households and also in many temples of West Bengal. A tulsimancha is built centering a tulsi tree.

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Temples of Hadal Narayanpur

When we speak of terracotta temples, the first thing that comes to our mind is Bishnupur in Bankura district of West Bengal. But terracotta temples are spread in different districts of the state and, in particular, in many areas of Bankura district namely Kotulpur, Gokulnagar, Joypur, Hadal Narayanpur to name a few. The twin villages of Hadal Narayanpur is located about five kilometres from the nearest railway station Dhagaria in the Bankura Damodar Railway (BDR) of South-Eastern section of the Indian Railways. It is situated on the southern banks of Bodai river, a tributary of River Damodar.

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Manchas are of three types – rasmancha, dolmancha and tulsimancha. A rasmancha (a temple-like structure generally octagonal in shape with the sides open and situated on a raised-platform) is the largest among the three. It was very common in the nineteenth century Bengal. The rasmancha is normally smaller in size than the main temple where the Radha Krishna deities reside throughout the year. The main purpose of building the rasmancha is to enable the people to witness the deities (here Radha Krishna) from all the sides on a special occasion (Rashyatra).

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