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PanchChura Shyam Rai Mandir

 

The Panchchura Shyam Rai Mandir or simply the Shyam Rai Mandir is a massive brick temple with square-shaped towers at the corners. It was built by king Raghunatha Singh Dev I (1626-1656) of Mallabhum, in 1643 CE, to honour Lord Vishnu in his form as Lord Krishna. It is built in the panchratna architectural style (in which five pillars stand on the roof) and is one of the oldest temples of WB reflecting this design. One can also catch a few glimpses of the Gandhar style (Buddhist art) on the walls. The artists have displayed remarkable skill and craftsmanship in intricately engraving designs on the baked bricks to make the temple. The four sides of the temple are followed by arched gateways leading to the sanctum. The temple has figurines and floral motifs, which were the first of its kind in the state. The inner and outer walls, along with the ceiling, are adorned with terracotta sculptures depicting Krishna leela and episodes from great Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.

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