( মদনমোহন জীউ মন্দির )
The temple in its early days, standing tall in Samta.
|Other names:||Gopaler Mondir
|Proper name:||Madanmohan-jiu Temple|
|Devanagari:||मदनमोहन जीऊ मंदिर|
|Sanskrit transliteration:||Madanamōhana jī'ū Mandira|
|Tamil:||மதன் மோகன் ஜியு கோவில்|
|Bengali:||মদনমোহন জীউ মন্দির|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Radha Krishna|
|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 ‘atchala’ (roof with 8 slopes) temple in Bengal.|
|Number of temples:||1|
|Number of monuments:||1|
Madanmohan-jiu Temple (Bengali: মদনমোহন জীউ মন্দির ) is a temple in Mellock, very close to Samta in the Indian state of West Bengal and is locally known as Gopaler Mondir (Bengali: গোপালের মন্দির ), which literally means the temple of Gopala.
The temple is a large, beautiful, terracotta ornamented, dilapidated temple of Radha and Madanmohan and was built in 1651 AD by a wrestler, Mukundaprasad Roychoudhury, who was a family member of the Roy Zamindars, who then ruled the village of Samta. It was earlier situated exactly on the banks of the Rupnarayan River but now the river has changed its course and moved farther. This is one of the largest atchala (roof with 8 slopes) temple in Bengal. Presently, the condition of the temple is derelict, however, reconstruction work was started in the early 2010s.
'Madanmohan' is actually a combination of two titles or names of Lord Krishna, namely 'Madan', which means he Lord of love and 'Mohan', which means charming, captivating or glamarous while 'Jiu' is the Bengali alternative of the Hindi word 'Ji', which is used to show respect towards someone. So, the total sum up to mean - the temple of the respected and charming Lord of love.
The locals call the temple by the name 'Gopaler Mondir', which means the temple of Gopala. 'Gopal' is another name Lord Krishna meaning one who plays with the cowherds, 'Mondir' means temple while the suffix '-er' just signifies one's possesion 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 banks of river Rupnarayan. The temple is dilapidated and is under reconstruction and renovation since the early 2010s ..
It was built in 1651 AD by wrestler, Mukundaprasad Roychoudhury, who was reputed in the village to be very strong and muscular. And in those days, the road to the temple was connected to the barrage by a small wooden bridge. Mukundaprasad would carry two heavy stone dumbbells in his arms to the temple as an excercise, crossing the wooden bridge. 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 was built at the site in 1651 AD by Mukundaprasad Roychowdhury, a family member of the Roy Zamnidars of Samta, however the present structure is in ruins. Also known as Gopaler Mondir, the temple is a large, beautiful, terracotta ornamented temple of Radha and Madanmohan. This temple is one of the largest aatchala (roof with 8 slopes) temple in Bengal. Main entrance with three arches is on the south face. Two additional entrances, one each on the west and east faces, are also present. The temple is approximately 40 feet high and is equivalent to a present day 3 or 4 storied building.
Earlier the Rupnarayan river used to flow alongside the temple. Later it changed its course and moved farther. But, since the late 2000s the river has started eroding its shores, threatening the temple and villages.
The temple has number of sculptures and designs that depict the influence of the ideologies and culture of various generations of the Zamindars such as the various generations of the Roy Zamindars.
The deity worshipped in the temple is Radha and Madanmohan Jiu and the idols are made of eight metals (ashtadhatu), probably touchstone, which is known in Bengali as koshtipathor. The idol of Madanmohan is approximately 1 and a 1/2 feet tall and the idol of Radha is much shorter than the idol of Madanmohan. However, now as the temple is in ruins and is under renovation 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 Mukherjess 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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