Hadal-Narayanpur - History, Timings & Entry Fee


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Bishnupur): 47 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2-3 Hours

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 47 km from Bishnupur and 59.5 km from Bankura, Hadal & Narayanpur are the twin villages located in Bankura district of West Bengal. Situated on the banks of the Bodai River, it is one of the famous places to visit near Bishnupur.

Hadal and Narayanpur are situated side by side and belongs to the same administrative division. It is said that the village was first established by one 'Murokata' Chakraborty, who literally cut down trees to start up the village. The village is famous for the Mandal family terracotta temples that comprise of Barataraf, Mejotaraf, and the Chhototaraf temples.

The first temple that houses the idol of Bramhani Devi is not like the traditional structure. It was a modern flat-roofed structure with the entrance displaying a painting of Lord Shiva dancing with the body of Sati on his shoulder. Made of black 'Kasti Pathar', the idol of the goddess has four hands and surprisingly has a strong resemblance to south Indian idols. There are small female figures at the foot of the main idol. This statue is said to be from the Pal era of Bengal.

At Barataraf, there is a huge Rasmancha that resembles a 17 pinnacled terracotta structure near the entrance. One can find the sculptures depicting Durga and her family, Shiva's Marriage, Gaja Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu in Anantashyana pose here. The residence of the Barataraf of Mandal Family is painted yellow with a cylindrical shaped entrance. The windows at this entrance were like full-sized doors with old-style green shutters over them. Over each window, there is a semicircular arch featuring a face with a beautiful backdrop. Every arch had a different face. During Durga Puja, this palace is full of pomp & show with all the present descendants of Mandal Family participating in the act. There is a big 'Thakur dalan' inside the palace, where people gather to celebrate. Within the courtyard of the palace, one can see a well maintained Radha Damodar Temple and two small Shiva temples.

The Radha Damodar temple of Mejotaraf is a Navaratna temple located near a water body. The temple had detailed terracotta carvings of the battle of Ramayana with Goddess Durga's presence in its middle panel. Also, there was a terracotta plaque showing Lord Vishnu in Anantashayan Posture and Yashoda is seen fixing Krishna's 'Chura' (Headgear with the peacock feather). Other than these, worth mentioning here is a large terracotta Ganesh idol sitting on a mouse and the fresco work on the temple door.

The terracotta temple of the Mandal family's Chhototaraf is also unique as it looks similar to a church. The main panel of the temple displayed a scene of Mahabharata where Arjuna was targeting the fish eye in Draupadi's swayamvar. There were other panels involving Gaur Nitai, Shiva Parvati with Ganesh, Scenes from Ramayana, Social Scenes, War scenes and scenes involving Europeans. There is a decaying Pancha Ratna temple outside the Chhototaraf premises which has a sculpture of two Anantashayan Vishnu facing each other.

Visitors need to take a local train from Bankura to Dhagaria and then hire a van rickshaw at the station to reach Hadal-Narayanpur. There is no accommodation in Hadal-Narayanpur but one can stay in Bankura where there are many budget hotels and can make a day trip to Hadal-Narayanpur.