Putia Temple Complex
Bangladesh, Rajshahi

Putia Temple Complex is located in the west of Bangladesh, 23 kilometers from the city of Rajshahi. Fourteen Hindu temples of different architectural styles (most of them are in the traditional Bengali style) are built around the Putia Palace, which belonged to the wealthy and noble Raja Putia Raj and his family. The founder of the dynasty received the land from the king of Bangladesh back in the 16th century, but most of the buildings that have survived to this day date back to the 18th-19th centuries. In the center of the temple complex is the Puthia Rajbari Palace, built in 1895. The palace is a vivid example of the architecture of the Indo-Saracen Renaissance, or the so-called Hindu Gothic, very popular during British rule in Bangladesh. The palace was damaged during an earthquake at the end of the 20th century; now this once majestic building is abandoned. Next to the palace is one of Putia’s most beautiful temples, the Pancharatna Gobinda Temple, built in the mid-19th century. The temple is dedicated to the god Krishna. It was erected on a high stone platform - a high tower in the center and four smaller towers in the corners. The facade is decorated with three large arches, the walls are covered with ornaments of terracotta tiles depicting love scenes of the god Krishna and his beloved Radha. Unfortunately, the temple was badly damaged at the hands of Muslims; several of the buildings that surrounded it were almost completely destroyed. The largest temple in Bangladesh dedicated to the god Shiva, the temple of Shiva Bhubaneshwar (Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple), is also located on the territory of the complex. A snow-white temple with carved domes stands on a high stone platform, on the shores of Lake Shiv Sagar. The temple was built in 1823 in the famous Jaipur style, the height of its central tower is 35 meters, on four sides it is surrounded by smaller towers. He was once adorned with numerous statues of Hindu gods who were destroyed or disfigured by Pakistani soldiers during the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence. Inside the temple there is a huge Shiva lingam made of black basalt - a massive sculpture could not be taken out of the temple or broken by the vandals. The Putia temple complex also houses the Jagannath Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Jagannath, the Bara Ahnik Mandir Temple and other temples and shrines. Despite the fact that most of them are in a dilapidated state, visitors, having seen these structures, can imagine the former greatness and beauty of Putia. Putia Temple Complex is an integral part of Bangladesh’s rich cultural history, is protected by the state, and Bangladesh’s government plans include a full-scale reconstruction of the architectural monument, Putia’s unique heritage.

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