There is fantastic Hindu architecture in Bangladesh. I visited several historic Hindu temples with extraordinary terracotta decorations.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Dhakeshwari Temple

From the Dhakeshwari Temple entry in Wikipedia:

Dhakeshwari National Temple is a Hindu temple in Dhaka. It is state-owned, giving it the distinction of being Bangladesh's "National Temple". The name "Dhakeshwari" means "Goddess of Dhaka". Since the destruction of Ramna Kali Mandir in 1971 by the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War, the Dhakeshwari Temple has assumed status as the most important Hindu place of worship in Bangladesh.

The Dhakeshwari temple was built in the 12th century by Ballal Sen, a king of the Sena dynasty, and it is said that the city was named after the Goddess. The current architectural style of the temple cannot be dated to that period because of the numerous repairs, renovations and rebuilding which have taken place over time. It is considered an essential part of Dhaka's cultural heritage.

There are four small Shiva shrines with Shiva Lingams in the temple complex. The main part of the temple has an image of the Goddess Durga as the main focus. In another part of the temple complex are six statues of various Gods and Goddesses, again with Durga as the main focus.

Dhakeshwari National Temple
Dhakeshwari National Temple. (676k)
Main Part Temple
Main part of the temple. (622k)
Interior Temple
Interior of the temple. (647k)
Doors Temple Swastika Symbols
Doors of the temple with swastika symbols. In Hinduism, the symbol with arms pointing clockwise is called swastika, symbolizing Surya (sun), prosperity and good luck, while the counterclockwise symbol is called sauvastika, symbolizing night or tantric aspects of Kali. (652k)
Statue Durga Main Focus
Statue of Durga, the main focus of the temple. (1007k)
Closer View Statue Durga
Closer view of the statue of Durga. (1012k)
Worshiper Front Statue Durga
Worshiper in front of the statue of Durga. (761k)
Relief Monkey God Hanuman
Relief of the Monkey God Hanuman. (694k)
Relief Kartik Son Durga
Relief of Kartik, son of Durga. (730k)
Shiva Statue Main Temple
Shiva statue in the main temple, showing the symbols of Shiva, Nandi (bull), lower left, Trishula (trident), Candraśekhara (crescent moon), Damaru (drum), on the trident. (986k)
Shiva Lingam
Shiva Lingam. (469k)
Shiva Lingam Cobra Behind
Shiva Lingam with a cobra behind it. (641k)
Shiva Lingam Small Statue
Shiva Lingam with a small statue of Nandi, the bull, the vehicle of Shiva. (495k)
Newer Addition Temple Complex
Newer addition to the temple complex with six statues of Hindu Gods. Shiva is cut off in upper left, Durga in the center, to her left is Lakshmi and Ganesh (far left). To her right is Saraswati and Kartik (Durga's son, far right). (910k)
Durga
Durga. (918k)
Saraswati
Saraswati. (990k)
Lakshmi
Lakshmi. (961k)
Kartik
Kartik. (926k)
Ganesha
Ganesha. (849k)
Shiva
Shiva. (624k)

Kodla Math

Kodla Math is located at a little village Ajodhya in the Bagerhat district. It is 18.29 m (60.01 ft) high and has 2.75 m (9.02 ft) thick walls. It has three entrances, one on each side except for the north side, with the main doorway facing south. It is decorated with brick ornamentation. A fragmentary Bengali inscription on a brick fixed over the cornice records that the Kodla Math was erected by a Brahmana and dedicated to Taraka Brahma, probably in the early 17th century.

Kodla Math
Kodla Math. (1085k)
East Entrance Kodla Math
East entrance of the Kodla Math. (1060k)
Closed North Side Kodla
Closed north side of the Kodla Math. (1149k)
Interior Dome
Interior dome. (709k)
Terracotta Brick Decorations
Terracotta brick decorations. (1374k)
Terracotta Brick Decorations
Terracotta brick decorations. (1208k)
Terracotta Brick Decorations
Terracotta brick decorations. (987k)
Bengali Inscription
Bengali inscription. (1025k)

Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple

From the Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple entry in Wikipedia:

The Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple is the largest Shiva temple in Bangladesh. Built in 1823 by Rani Bhubonmoyee Devi, the widow of Raja Jagat Narayan Roy, it overlooks the Shiv Sagar lake. It is a square shape, 19.8 m (65.0 ft) on the side, with a height of 35 m (115 ft), This ornate temple is an imposing and excellent example of the five spire style (Pancha Ratna) temple architecture common in northern India. The corridors have a touch of Jaipuri architecture and in the sanctuary, lies a very large black basalt Shiva Lingam, the largest in the country. It is decorated with stone carvings and sculptural works, which were disfigured during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The invading Pakistani army attempted to displace and break the Shiva Lingam, but were unable to move it from its position. The temple is now a protected monument.

View Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple
View of the Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple across the pond. (678k)
South Side Bhubaneshwar Shiva
South side of the Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple with the main entrance stairway. (693k)
East Side Bhubaneshwar Shiva
East side of the Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple. (622k)
Inside Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple
Inside the Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temple. (778k)
Full View Shiva Lingam
Full view of the Shiva Lingam, made of black basalt, the largest in Bangladesh. (750k)
Picture God Shiva Temple
Picture of the God Shiva in the temple. (858k)
Picture God Shiva Temple
Picture of the God Shiva in the temple. (724k)
Hallway Temple
Hallway in the temple. (623k)
Statue Temple Disfigured During
Statue on the temple, disfigured during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. (635k)

Jagannath Temple

From the Puthia Temple Complex entry in Wikipedia:

The Jagannath Temple (also known as the Roth Temple) is dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath, a form of Krishna. It is a fine example of Bengali architecture, having intricate embellishments and terracotta reliefs, it measures 5 x 5 m (16 x 16 ft).

Jagannath Temple
Jagannath Temple. (626k)
Jagannath Temple
Jagannath Temple. (669k)

Dimla Kali Temple

The Dimla Kali Temple in Rangpur is an octagonal structure.

Dimla Kali Temple
Dimla Kali Temple. (705k)
Closer View Dimla Kali
Closer view of the Dimla Kali Temple, with a Vishnu statue in the center. (792k)
Entrance Dimla Kali Temple
Entrance to the Dimla Kali Temple. (496k)
Inside Dimla Kali Temple
Inside the Dimla Kali Temple, with a Kali statue in the center, and a Shiva Lingam on the left. (711k)
Kali Statue Temple
Kali statue in the temple. (774k)
Painting Goddess Kali Necklace
Painting of the Goddess Kali, with the necklace of human skulls and the skirt of human arms, sticking out her tongue, standing on the God Shiva. (662k)
Goddess Kali Temple Roof
Goddess Kali on the temple roof. (578k)
God Shiva Temple Roof
God Shiva on the temple roof. Shiva is sitting on his vehicle, Nandi, the bull. (733k)
God Vishnu Temple Roof
God Vishnu on the temple roof. Vishnu is sitting on his vehicle, the Garuda. (763k)
Goddess Saraswati Temple Roof
Goddess Saraswati on the temple roof. Saraswati is sitting on her vehicle, the peacock. (613k)
Goddess Saraswati Temple Roof
Goddess Saraswati on the temple roof. Saraswati is sitting on a swan. (621k)
Statue Goddess Varahi Temple
Statue of the Goddess Varahi on the temple roof. (762k)
Statue Goddess Varahi Temple
Statue of the Goddess Varahi on the temple roof. (639k)
Roof Decorations Kali Temple
Roof decorations on the Kali temple. (708k)

Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple

From the Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple entry in Wikipedia:

The Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple is a striking monument, which was built in the 19th century. It has the architectural feature of five ratnas or spires. It is located within the inner precincts of the Puthia Rajbari or palace.

It was built between 1823 and 1895. It was built by one of the maharani (queens) of the Puthia Royal family.

The temple is large square edifice with five decorated ratnas or spires. The feature in the lower portion of the spires consists of ridges while the upper part is tapered upward. It is built in brick masonry over a raised platform. The temple's interior has a square sanctum sanctorum (garbagriha), with four square chambers in the corners, narrow passages on all four sides and has cusped arched openings. The roof of the sanctum and the chambers is formed by semi-circular domes, while the roof over the passages is vaulted. It has simple surface plastering but with fine detailing with red colored terracotta patterns on all four outer walls. The sanctum in the temple has a Krishna image which is worshipped by local Hindus.

The terracotta decorations are very detailed. Most of the panels are only less than about 20 cm (8") on a side.

Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple
Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple. (651k)
Front West Side Pancha
Front (west side) of the Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple. (723k)
South Side Pancha Ratna
South side of the Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple. (1068k)
Large Center Spire Temple
Large center spire of the temple. (957k)
Smaller Corner Spires
One of the smaller corner spires. (699k)
View Into Inner Sanctum
View into the inner sanctum with the Krishna image. (869k)
Inner Sanctum Krishna Image
Inner sanctum with the Krishna image. (1008k)
Detailed Terracotta Decorations Over
Detailed terracotta decorations over one of the doorways. (1096k)
Detailed Terracotta Decorations Over
Detailed terracotta decorations over one of the doorways. (1034k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (1048k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (986k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (1054k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (1070k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (1047k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (1037k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (856k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (905k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (932k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (1076k)
Details Terracotta Decorations
Details of terracotta decorations. (887k)

Chota Anhik Mandir

From the Chota Anhik Mandir entry in Wikipedia:

Chota Anhik Mandir (Small Anhik Temple) is a Hindu temple of the Puthia Temple Complex in Puthia Upazila. It is located near the Pancha Ratna Govinda Temple.

It was built between 1823 and 1895.

Chota Anhik Mandir
Chota Anhik Mandir. (953k)
Entrance Little Anhik Temple
Entrance to the Little Anhik Temple with terracotta decorations. (1163k)
Detail Detailed Terracotta Decorations
Detail of the detailed terracotta decorations over the entrance. (1147k)
Detail Detailed Terracotta Decorations
Detail of the detailed terracotta decorations over the entrance. (1111k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1088k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1153k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1020k)
Detailed Terracotta Decorations
Detailed terracotta decorations. (1043k)
Detailed Terracotta Decorations
Detailed terracotta decorations. (870k)
Detailed Terracotta Decorations
Detailed terracotta decorations. (930k)
Detailed Terracotta Decorations
Detailed terracotta decorations. (990k)
Detailed Terracotta Decorations
Detailed terracotta decorations. (901k)

Bara Anhik Mandir

From the Bara Anhik Mandir entry in Wikipedia:

Bara Anhik Mandir (Big Anhik Temple) is a Hindu temple of the Puthia Temple Complex in Puthia Upazila, Rajshahi Division, Bangladesh. It stands next to Chauchala Chhota Govinda Mandir and faces east. Architecturally it is exceptional for Bangladesh, the only other of known existence of this type being Rajaram Mandir in Faridpur District. It was built by the Rajas of Puthia.

The terracotta decorations on this temple are more eroded than on the other temples in the Puthia Temple Complex.

Bara Anhik Mandir Left
Bara Anhik Mandir (left) and Chauchala Chota Govinda Mandir (right). (792k)
Bara Anhik Mandir
Bara Anhik Mandir. (922k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1063k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (891k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1015k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1043k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (957k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (834k)

Chauchala Chota Govinda Mandir

From the Chauchala Chota Govinda Mandir entry in Wikipedia:

Chauchala Chota Govinda Mandir (Small Govinda Temple) is a Hindu temple of the Puthia Temple Complex in Puthia Upazila, Rajshahi Division, Bangladesh. The temple is believed to date to the 1790's-1800's period.

The temple stands next to the Bara Anhik Mandir on a high platform, covered with a pyramid shaped vault. The temple's interior has one chamber with porches on the eastern and southern directions. The southern frontage is extensively decorated with terracotta plaques, which depict ten incarnations Avatars of Vishnu, Lankakanda a chapter in the epic Ramayana legend, Radha-Krishna epic stories, flower designs and geometric art and scenes of the civic life of the period.

Bara Anhik Mandir Left
Bara Anhik Mandir (left) and Chauchala Chota Govinda Mandir (right). (792k)
Chauchala Chota Govinda Mandir
Chauchala Chota Govinda Mandir. (878k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1081k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (883k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (1076k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (957k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (973k)
Terracotta Decorations
Terracotta decorations. (974k)

Tarokeshwar Shiva Mandir

Tarokeshwar Shiva Mandir is a small Shiva temple in the Natore Rajbari complex.

Tarokeshwar Shiva Mandir
Tarokeshwar Shiva Mandir. (1079k)
Statue Shiva Temple
Statue at the Shiva temple. (800k)
Five-headed Cobra Statue Shiva
Five-headed cobra statue at the Shiva temple. (878k)
Shiva Statues
Shiva statues. (1140k)
Shiva Picture
Shiva picture. (799k)
Hanuman Statue Shiva Temple
Hanuman statue at the Shiva temple. (658k)

Kantajew Temple

From the Kantajew Temple entry in Wikipedia:

Kantajew Temple is a late-medieval Hindu temple in Dinajpur. The Kantajew Temple is one of the most magnificent religious edifices belonging to the 18th century. The temple belongs to the popular Hindu Kanta or Krishna and this is most popular with the Radha-Krishna cult (assemble of memorable love) in Bengal. This beautiful temple is dedicated to Krishna and his wife Rukmini. Built by Maharaja Pran Nath, its construction started in 1704 and ended in the reign of his son Raja Ramnath in 1722. It boasts one of the greatest examples on terracotta architecture in Bangladesh and once had nine spires, but all were destroyed in an earthquake that took place in 1897.

Kantajew Temple Every Space
Kantajew Temple. Every space is decorated with terracotta figures. (994k)
Main Entrance Kantajew Temple
Main entrance to the Kantajew Temple. (1374k)
Traveling Boat
Traveling by boat. (1187k)
Traveling Boat
Traveling by boat. (1077k)
Traveling Convoy
Traveling convoy. (1255k)
Traveling Convoy
Traveling convoy. (1096k)
Traveling Convoy
Traveling convoy. (979k)
Going Hunt
Going on a hunt. (1235k)
Hunting Elephant
Hunting on an elephant. (939k)
Hunting Elephant
Hunting on an elephant. (1054k)
Hunting Horse
Hunting on a horse. (1021k)
Hunting Horse
Hunting on a horse. (1075k)
Hunting Horse
Hunting on a horse. (1155k)
Returning Hunt
Returning from a hunt. (1102k)
Traveling Camel
Traveling on a camel. (1087k)
Traveling Horse
Traveling on a horse. (1104k)
Servants Around King
Servants around a king. (1049k)
Terracotta Figures
Terracotta figures. (1122k)
Terracotta Figure
Terracotta figure. (965k)
Wall Terracotta Figures
Wall with terracotta figures. (1392k)

Single Terracotta Panels in the Kantajew Temple

There are thousands of these panels on the Kantajew Temple. Each panel is about 15 x 25 cm (6 x 10") in size. They are incredibly detailed.

Terracotta Figure Matsya First
Terracotta figure of Matsya, the first incarnation of Vishnu with a fish tail. (1211k)
Terracotta Figure Kurma Second
Terracotta figure of Kurma, the second incarnation of Vishnu with a tortoise body. (1123k)
Terracotta Panel Showing God
Terracotta panel showing the God Ganesha. (919k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (881k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (897k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (886k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (782k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (944k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (871k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (1151k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (1114k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (1162k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (979k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (877k)
Terracotta Panel
Terracotta panel. (869k)

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Bangladesh
Main page for বাংলাদেশ (Bangladesh)

Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:02 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


Hindu Architecture in Bangladesh on guenther-eichhorn.com


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