Madangopal Jiu Temple
|Madangopal Jiu Temple
( মদনগোপাল জীউ মন্দির )
The temple in its early days.
|Other names:||Gopaler Mondir
|Proper name:||Madangopal Jiu Temple|
|Devanagari:||मदनगोपाल जीऊ मंदिर|
|Sanskrit transliteration:||Madanagōpala jī'ū Mandira|
|Bengali:||মদনমোহন জীউ মন্দির|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Radha and Madangopala|
|Important festivals:||Janmastami and Holi|
|Architectural styles:||A large, beautiful, terracotta ornamented, dilapidated temple of Radha and Madangopal-jiu. This temple is one of the largest ‘aatchala’ (roof with 8 slopes) temple in Bengal.|
|Number of temples:||1|
|Number of monuments:||1|
|17th Century AD|
Madangopal Jiu Temple (Bengali: মদনগোপাল জীউ মন্দির ) is a temple in Mellock, very close to the more popular village Samta in the Indian state of West Bengal. The temple is locally known as Gopaler Mondir (Bengali: গোপালের মন্দির ), which literally means the temple of Gopala.
The temple is a large, terracotta ornamented, dilapidated temple of Radha and Madangopala and was built in the 17th century AD by Mukundaprasad Roychoudhury, who was a family member of the Roychowdhury Zamindars, who then ruled the village of Mellock. It was earlier situated on the banks of the Rupnarayan River but now the river has changed its course and moved farther. It is an aatchala (roof with 8 slopes) temple. Reconstruction work was started in the early 2010s but suddenly stopped midway.
'Madangopal' is actually a combination of two titles or names of Lord Krishna, namely 'Madan', which means he Lord of love and 'Gopal', which means one who plays with the cowherds while 'Jiu' is the Bengali alternative of the Hindi word 'Ji', which is used to show respect towards someone. So, the total sums up to mean - "the temple of the respected Lord of love who plays with the cowherds."
The locals call the temple by the name 'Gopaler Mondir', which means the temple of Gopal. 'Mondir' means temple and the suffix '-er' just signifies one's possession and is the Bengali alternative of the apotrophe s ('s) of the English language.
The village of Mellock has a history that dates back to centuries. Both the village and the temple are situated on the fertile plains of the river Rupnarayan. The temple is dilapidated and was under reconstruction and renovation since the early 2010s but work suddenly stopped midway..
It was built in the 17th sentury AD by Mukundaprasad Roychoudhury, who was reputed in the village to be very strong and muscular. He was a wrestler too. And in those days, the road to the temple was connected to the barrage by a small wooden bridge. It is said that Mukundaprasad would carry two heavy stone dumbbells in his arms to the temple. This meant to be his exercise. He would cross the wooden bridge with those stones and neither did he use to get tired nor did the wooden bridge ever break. One of the stone dumbbells is still kept in the campus of the temple and one can notice the impressions of the arms of Roychoudhury, which is a result of the force exerted by him while carrying it.
Architecture and culture
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The temple is a terracotta ornamented temple and its roof has eight slopes. The main entrance with three arches faces the south. One additional entrance is on the east side. The east entrance leads to a small room, adjacent to the garbhagriha, or the main room. The temple is approximately 40 feet high.
The temple has number of sculptures and designs on it.
The deity worshipped in the temple is Radha and Madangopal. The idol of Radha is much shorter than the idol of Madangopal. However, now as the temple is in ruins the idols have been kept in a nearby house.
Holi and Dol Yatra celebrations
Local Holi and Dol Yatra in Samta is held every year a day after Dol Purnima (full moon day) and on the day of Holi the idols are carried to the nearby house of the Mukherjees by an ancient wooden palanquin. Special rituals are performed and at evening it is brought back to the temple following traditions, in which burning bonfires are placed alongside the whole road, starting for the house of the Mukherjees till the temple. The people have to make their way through the road and carry the palanquin with idols to the temple. Accidents do happen in this kind of festival but no loss of life has been recorded so far.
The ornamented temple at Samta.
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