Bangladesh Kantaji Temple Travel

First ever images of Kantaji Temple taken in 1871

February 28, 2016
Kantaji temple as of seen on Januaray 1, 2016

First of I would you like to thank John Henry Ravenshaw who took these pictures in and around 1871 and the source of the pictures: British Library where i found the archives in 2009. We are very proud of that our beloved temple was photographed for almost 150 years from now.

Kantaji Temple-South- John Henry Ravenshaw - 1871 - British Library

Kantaji Temple-South- John Henry Ravenshaw – 1871 – British Library

Image of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar in Kaharole PS, taken from the south, by John Henry Ravenshaw by a British serviceman in 1871. Maharaja Pran Nath of Dinajpur built the temple in 1752 and it is one of the most widely elaborate and decorate late medieval brick temples of Bangladesh. The temple stands on a sandstone plinth and has the curved cornice typical of buildings in this area. It had three tiers originally topped by a magnificent tower. There were extra little towers at the four corners of both the lower levels. All nine towers were later demolished during 1897 great Assam earthquake, while the body of the temple was in good shape and still survives today. The inner sanctuary has three passageways and is encompassed by a verandah that has three curved openings on every face. The exterior is adorned with thousands of terracotta plaques of varied floral and figurative motifs.

The south face of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar, photograph by John Henry Ravenshaw in 1871 source: British Library

The south face of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar, photograph by John Henry Ravenshaw in 1871 source: British Library

Photograph of the entrance in the west front of the Kantaji Temple, Kantanagar in Kaharole PS, taken by John Henry Ravenshaw in 1871

Image of the entrance in the west front of the Kantaji Temple, Kantanagar in Kaharole PS, also taken by John Henry Ravenshaw in 1871

Photograph of the entrance in the west front of the Kantaji Temple, Kantanagar, taken by John Henry Ravenshaw in c.1871. The temple stands on a sandstone plinth and has the curved cornice typical of buildings in this area. It comprises three tiers originally topped by an impressive tower.
East front of the Kantaji Temple- John Henry Ravenshaw-1871-British Library

East front of the Temple at Kantanagar, taken by John Henry Ravenshaw around 1871.

Triple-arched entrance of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar, with richly-carved surrounds, taken by John Henry Ravenshaw in c.1871-British Library

Triple-arched entrance of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar, with richly-carved surrounds, taken by John Henry Ravenshaw in c.1871. The series of views of the temple is described by Ravenshaw as follows: ”The eight views of Kantonugger represent different features of a Hindoo temple to Kanti (Vishnu), commenced in 1704 by Rajah Prannath (Martin’s India, page 628). It is in perfect preservation: the ruin prognosticated by Dr Buchanan has not come to pass. It is still kept up by the Rajbaree; and the image, said to have been brought from the Jumna, is still kept in the temple. The building itself is profusely ornamented with sculptures representing the various legends of Hindoo mythology. These sculptures are not mouldings in brick, such as are so common in Gour, but are all chiselled out from the bricks after erection. The bricks themselves are very hard, as may be supposed from the 150 years these sculptures have been remaining in preservation.’

Base of one of the west pillars of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar, taken by John Henry Ravenshaw around 1871-British Library

Photograph of the base of one of the west pillars of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar, taken by John Henry Ravenshaw around 1871. This temple was built in 1752 by Maharaja Pran Nath of Dinajpur and is one of the most elaborate of the late medieval brick temples of Bangladesh. Most of the scenes represented are from the epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. This view shows the richly-carved detail of a pillar of the temple.

Archway on the south face of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar- with Thakurs canopied chair on the verandah-John Henry Ravenshaw -1871-British Library

Archway on the south face of the Kantaji Temple at Kantanagar, with Thakur’s canopied chair on the verandah.

SOURCE: British Library Archieves

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