The Puthia Temple Complex is one of the most outstanding sites in Bangladesh. The numerous temples in the site have long intrigued researchers and are now a favorite of tourists.
The complex is located 23 km to the east of Rajshahi. Rajshahi is a district in the region of Pundra.
What to See
The temples are built around a body of water. The temples were built in different styles. Of the temples in the complex, the most elaborate is the Govinda Temple. This temple has ornate terracotta designs depicting the love between Radha and Krishna.
The Puthia Temple Complex also has the Shiva Temple. It is the biggest shrine dedicated to Shiva in Bangladesh. Worthy of mention are the corridors, which bears a resemblance to Jaipur architecture. Within the sanctuary is a black basalt Shiva Linga.
The temples in the complex were built at different times. The Govinda Temple was constructed in the middle of the 19th century. The temple was built upon the orders of the Queen of Puthia. The temple was built for Krishna following the conversion to Vaishnavism of the queen and her people.
The Temple of Shiva was built in 1815, also by the Queen of Puthia. This temple was damaged during the 1971 War of Liberation of Bangladesh. The vandals tried to displace and destroy the Shiva Linga. However, they were unable to do this.
The Jagannath Temple is older than the two. All these temples are now being protected by the Bangladesh government. The preservation efforts have helped boost tourism in the country in general.
There are several tour packages you can avail of. Many will include visits to this complex, but the rest of the itinerary may differ. Baisc tours will cost about 30 USD per person. More elaborate and extensive tours will cost at least 100 USD per individual.
The complex also has the Jagannath Temple. This was constructed in honor of the Hindu deity Jagannath. This is a manifestation of Krishna. The design of the temple is a good example of Bangladeshi architecture.
Like the other temples, it is known for its terracotta reliefs and ornate embellishments. However, its dimensions are 5m by 10m, smaller compared to the others.
The Puthia Temple Complex is one of the true wonders of Bangladesh. The temples will provide you with good insights on their architecture and how it was used to build houses of worship.