This large sun temple is also ascribed to the Malla kings of Bishnupur by some. But close to the temple, and on the low ground are several mounds. The mounds are ascribed to Salibahan or Shalivahana. The mounds near the river are said to be part of his garh or fort. Hence it can only be assumed that the temple was also under him at some point in time and if his time predates the kings of Bishnupur, then he was either the one who had it built or he renovated or recovered an even older temple.
In his book ‘Late Medieaval Temples of Bengal’, David J. McCutchion writes that the pre-dominant traditional architectural style for temples in the western areas of Bengal in the pre-Muslim period is the tall curvilinear rekha deul and it went on developing from the late 7th century or early 8th century to around the 12th century, increasing its complexity and height but retaining its basic features. Such temples had “curvilinear shikhara with chaitya mesh decoration, surmounted by a large amalaka and kalasa finial. Examples of such dilapidated deuls are still standing at Satdeula (in Bardhaman), Bahulara and Sonatapal (in Bankura) and Deulghat (in Purulia). On the brick deuls already mentioned here, plus Jatar (in 24 Parganas) and Para (in Purulia), “we find extensive and remarkably fine stucco work on carved brick”.
Images: ©Deep Biswas