The exploration of Bengal continues, and this time I found myself travelling to another gem of Bengal Heritage. The town of Guptipara, which is credited with a unique aspect associated with the initiation of Barowari Durga Puja. So coming back to Guptipara about which I will be narrating further down in the post. This post is thus titled and themed as Guptipara- Of Barowari Durga Puja and Rath Yatra .
History of Guptipara
Guptipara is situated as many Bengal cities have been since eternity; on the banks of the Hooghly river. Guptipara is primarily famous for its terracotta temples. In addition to traditions including Rath Yatra, which I am excited to visit in the coming months. Also, I am now aware of local delicacies like Pitai Paratha and Gupo Sandesh critically acclaimed and relished all over Bengal.
What is my blog about
My blog focuses quite a bit on ancient history, among other places of travel which I keep doing. The history posts come up because there is in ancient Indian History, so many monumental architectures created. Read through the posts on the Tiruchirapalli Tamil Nadu or Uttarakhand temples in the Himalayas. I am sure visit to them would be fascinating to just about anyone purely from an architectural prism. In case interested, read about HAMPI & Aihole here. How about some thoughts on Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi.
Day trips from Kolkata
So in the context of day trips from Kolkata or weekend trips from Kolkata. I would recommend you browse my journey to Mahishadal, Khirai, Baranti, Purbasthali, Bishnupur, Serampore, Bandel and Gongoni. There is so much to see in this state. Similar to like the Northern Karnataka architectural circuit of Hampi and Badami.
Guptipara- Of Barowari Durga Puja and Rath Yatra
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What to see in Guptipara
The primary attraction of Guptipara is its temples. Located in a single temple complex are the four Vaishnava temples.
- Chaitanya temple
- Bridabamchandra temple
- Ramchandra temple
- Krishnachandra Temple
The Chaitanya temple is the oldest one, built during the sixteenth century. The temple is made in the Jor-Bangla style of temple construction. The temple is in a delicate position, and preservation of the same is the need of the hour. The terracotta panels being exposed to the ever-changing weather is slowly eroding the exquisite carvings.
When I entered the temple complex, prayers were being carried out at the Brindabanchandra temple. This was followed by some religious discourses, though not many people were present. The Brindabanchandra temple stands in the centre of the complex and is generally seen first as one enters this complex.
It is said that the temple was built in 1810. I could understand, repair works have been undertaken on the temple. The terracotta panels are not as intricately carved like other temples, but the repairs’ repairs have ensured that the temple is still strong.
Ramchandra temple which still looks similar to the terracotta temples of Bishnupur to the visitor if observed too closely . Other temples are also terracotta build; however, the Ramchandra temple retains to a large pat the carvings and panels.
It is an Ek-Ratna pinnacle temple built in the 18th century. The temple is worth exploring and spending some time inspecting the beautiful terracotta works containing themes from the scriptures.
The Krishnachandra temple is also in the mold of the aat-Chala architecture. The temple was having prayer in progress as I walked in and is in line with Bridabamchandra Temple.
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Guptipara is credited with the first Barowari puja but it is more famous for the second-longest Rath Yatra after Puri, Odisha. This has excited me to witness the same. The idols of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra, are placed in Bridabamchandra Temple. I did see the giant Rath standing just outside the temple complex.
My thoughts on Guptipara- Of Barowari Durga Puja and Rath Yatra
A visit to Guptipara will definitely provide an insight into the rich cultural episodes in Bengal’s history. It was definitely a pleasant visit for me and has added to my collection of memories from Bengal.
FAQ on visiting Guptipara- Of Barowari Durga Puja and Rath Yatra
How to reach Guptipara. Either one can take the local trains from Howrah, which will take two hours to reach. There one needs to hire the local rickshaw to take a tour of the places mentioned above.
Else one can use the highway and own vehicle which was what I decided on. It is easily a two-hour journey. Once you reach the city, take a local rickshaw to see the places.
Eateries & Hotels. I did not find anything good, but then maybe I was not checking this aspect. I remember eating lunch as a small roadside eatery serving traditional Bengali lunch fare.
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