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June 2013

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Fortfied Residence of Niranjan Bhadra's Family, Kotulpur
Fortfied Residence of Niranjan Bhadra’s Family, Kotulpur

After our memorable trip to Joypur & Gokulnagar, we went to visit our third destination of the day – Kotulpur.

The metal road lined with trees in front of the Gokulchand Temple took us to another part of the highway bypassing Salda village. You need to turn right and drive straight to Kotulpur. It takes around half an hour to reach the place.  Kotulpur is quite a big locality.

Bell Metal Chariot outside Sudhakrishna Bhadra Residence
Bell Metal Chariot outside Sudhakrishna Bhadra Residence

On the main road there is a small statue of Khudiram Bose – one of the youngest revolutionaries in the Indian independence movement. We took the lane just besides it. It was a very narrow lane with random houses of odd shapes and sizes around. Soon we came to a pond on our right. On its opposite side we could see four Deul structured temple inside an enclosure. It was well past two and the Sun was falling on our face.Crossing the pond, we hit another lane, this one much wider than the other. We turned right and stopped in front of the gate. There were two compounds here, both belonging to the Bhadra family of Kotulpur. Outside the first compound stood a Bell Metaled Ratha ( Chariot) with plenty of used mineral bottles dumped under it. It was a sorry sight.

Huge Terracotta Figures in Duttapara Temple, Joypur
Huge Terracotta Figures in Duttapara Temple, Joypur, Bankura

Joypur and Gokulnagar are two history enriched localities within close proximity of the popular tourist destination Bishnupur. However, due to lack of propaganda, you would find a few takers. Driving through the Joypur Reserve Forest near the State Highway 2, Joypur village is only 18 kms from Bishnupur.  Close To Joypur is Gokulnagar.

Joypur has two Nabaratna (Nine Pinnacled) terracotta temples at Depara and Duttapara. The local zamindar family of Dutta & De were prominent cloth merchants in the past. Gokulnagar is another two km in the interior of Joypur. Here is the Pancharatna (Five Pinnacled) Temple of Gokulchand inside a fortified enclosure. The temple is made of laterite stone.

Further driving down the highway for around 16 km, you may also reach another temple town of the yesteryear – Kotulpur. Kotulpur has several temples. The most significant are the structures inside a fortified enclosure at Bhadrapara, of which Pancha Ratna Sridhar temple and the “Giri Gobardhan” style temple are worth mentioning. The fortified residence of the Bhadra family is worth viewing too.