Kantanagar Temple is commonly known as Kantaji or Kantajew Temple at Kantanagar. This Hindu 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 in Bengal. This is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Built in 1704-1752 A.D. by Pran Nath, a renowned maharaja from Dinajpur, and his adopted son Ram Nath, it is the country's finest example of brick and terracotta style. Its most remarkable feature, typical of late Mughal-era temples, is its superb surface decoration, with infinite panels of sculpted terracotta plaques.
This 15-sq-meter, three-story edifice was originally crowned with nine ornamental two-story towers, which collapsed during the great earthquake of 1897 and were never replaced.
The temple is built on a high platform. This is a Nava-ratna temple. The roof of the ground floor and first floor each contains four sikharas or ratnas at their corners while the roof of second floor in its middle contains the ruins of the central sikhara.
The entire outer surface of the temple is exquisitely established with terracotta plaques which depict flora and fauna, geometric motifs, mythological scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and the contemporary social scenes and favorite pastime. The idol of Kantaji is kept in the garvagriha of the temple in its ground floor.
The department of Archaeology has been performing the necessary conservation and restoration works of Kantaji Temple since it was declared a protected monument by the Government in 1960.
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