|Terracotta temple, baranagar.Tale of 2 Backpackers|
|Terracotta temple, baranagar. Tale of 2 Backpackers|
Among the temples the Char Bangla Temple at Baranagar in Azimganj is one of the finest specimens of Bengal style of architecture and is the most interesting one. It is a cluster of four temples on raised platforms forming an inner courtyard. ‘Char Bangla’ suggests the number of structures that were built in the form of a typical Bengal village. Char (four in Bengali) implies there are four houses. Each one is built on a 1.5 feet high foundation and is dochala (2 roofed) hut shaped. Each temple has three doors and three Shiva Lingas inside. The Northern and the Western temples are most exquisitely decorated with terracotta. The eastern temple is decorated with lime and mortar reliefs. Three temples except the northern one have a common platform while the northern temple is built on a separate platform behind another old building which perhaps served as the kachari bari or administrative wing of Rani Bhabani.
|Char Bangla temple baranagar, W. Bengal .taleof2backpackers.com|
|Terracotta Hindu temple, Baranagar. taleof2backpackers.com|
The crux of the matter is, much publicity is not given to these unique temple, hence tourists coming to this town miss them.
As for Rani Rani Bhabani, she is best remembered as the ‘Zamindar of Natore’. Natore was so thriving a place often referred to as the ‘estate of 52 lakhs’. Rani Bhabani was married to Raja Ramkanta, the Zamindar of Natore who was a poor administrator. After his death in 1748, Rani Bhabani took over the adminitration of the Zamindari, ran it well and improved the financial conditions of the estate with well planning and business instincts. In this regard Dewan Dayaram was of great help to him and managed the surplus revenue well. Most importantly, she never failed to maintain a good relationship with the British East India Company operating there.
Besides being a good administrator, Rani Bhabani was a woman of charitable disposition and donated a huge sum of money to philanthropic activities. She was also a celebrated patron in Benares (now Varanasi). She had built 380 asylums in Benares, guest houses and temples. She encouraged Hindu learning and bestowed large endowment for the spread of education. She had also erected a number of temples in Murshidabad and Natore. From 1755, she began building Hindu temples on the banks of Bhagirathi at Baranagar and during her reign this town became an important center of trading activities.
The crux of the matter is, much publicity is not given to these unique temple, hence tourists coming to Murshidabad have no idea about these terracotta Hindu temples and miss them.