Chariot of Rautara

Rautara, a village in Amta II block of Howrah district about 57 kilometres from Kolkata can be reached in just less than two hours time. The village has a number of terracotta temples of which Damodar Temple of Sarkarpara deserves mention. The south-facing barochala (twelve roofed) temple has an adjoining nahabatkhana, an aatchala dolmancha and an octagonal rasmancha in the same compound.

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Temples of Jhikira, Howrah

This year in February I had been to the village of Jhikira in Amta II block of Howrah district to witness the terracotta temples of the region. After visiting the temples of Rautara, I crossed the road and came to the other side. I had to walk through the village road in search of temples. This area has a number of temples and according to David McCutchion “the temples of Howrah are an extension of those predominating in the adjoining district of Hooghly”.

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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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Manchas are of three types – dolmancha, rasmancha and tulsimancha. Of these tulsimanchas are present not only in domestic households but also in many temples of West Bengal. Of the three a rasmancha is larger than a dolmancha while the latter is larger than a tulsimancha. According to David McCutchion, “The dolmancha was most commonly built in the eighteenth century, …… they are spread over the whole of Bengal, wherever Krishna was worshipped.”

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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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Rasbari Garden House, Belur, Howrah

Belur Rashbari

Belur Rasbari in Howrah district of West Bengal is located close to Belur Math and just opposite to Kuthi Ghat in Baranagar on the other side of the Ganges. This Rasbari was founded by Purna Chandra Dawn, eldest son of Shiv Krishna Dawn of Jorasanko on 21st Jaistha, 1297 and according to Gregorian calendar it was in June, 1890.

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Durga Puja of Howrah’s ‘Bonedi’ families (Part-II)

In my first blog on Howrah’s ‘bonedi‘ families published a few days back, I have covered the houses of Bally, Belur and Salkia. But there are also some houses in Andul and Shibpur, where Durga Puja is not only old but also equally famous. In Part-II of my blog on Durga Puja of Howrah’s ‘bonedi‘ families, I try to include them.

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