Purila

FAIRS & FESTIVALS

[ Bengali terms written in English alphabets ]

1 Shiber Gajan Held from middle of March to May end, in rural areas. Also popularly called Bhagta Parab, Chait Parab, Chhow Parab, Charak Puja, Gajan.
2 Disum sendra Hunting festival of Santhals in Ajodhya Hill areas on Baishakhi Purnima. Also known as Shikar Parab.
3 Dharma Thakurer Puja -O-Mela From 15 April to 15 May. Images in various shape and form are visible in various parts of the district.
4 Rohini Utsav On 13 Jaistha (28/29 May). Cultivators sow seeds and celebrates.
5 a) Erohk Sim In Asarh (15 June to 15 July)- seed sowing festival of Santhals
b) Batauli Similar festival of Mundas
6 Manasa Pooja On last day of Shraban(15/16 August)
7 Karam Parab After completion of paddy cultivation
8 Chata Parab Kings and rich landlords used to patronize the festival. Popular at Ind ( Barabazar PS), Chkaltor and Bangabari(PS Purulia Mfs.),celebrated throughout the night with dance and songs .
9 Bhadu Celebration of Aus paddy harvesting in the month of Bhadra. H.H. Risly in his Tribes and Castes of Bengal referred to Bhadu as goddess, popular among Bagdis and Bouris in Bamkura, Purulia(Manbhum)districts.
10 Jita Asthami Held 12 days after Ind Parab, meant for would-be-mothers.
11 Bandhna Parab Held after Kalipuja. Popular among Kurmi, Bhumij, Korha, Lodha communities. To Santhals and Mundas this is known as Sohray.
12 Jathel Utsav Popular among Santhals held during Agrahayan (15 Nov. To 15 Dec.)
13 Raasmela Raas Utsav is observed to celebrate the meeting of Lord Krishna with Shri Radhika and her other companions during Agrahayan Purnima. This Utsav is celebrated in Purulia town with pomp and grandeur .
14 Tushu Rural women perform Tushu Puja lately with images. Tushu songs relate to joy, sorrow, imagination, experience of villagers.
15 Bhansingh Pooja-O
-Parab
There is no image of Bhansingh who is regarded as God to protect cattle, held during month of Magh(15 January to 15 February).
16 Akhan Jatra First day of Magh is regarded as Akhan Jatra, believed as auspicious day.
17 Chandi Pooja Khelai Chandi Pooja held during month of Magh. Popular fair is associated with Pooja.
18 Magh Sim Popular festivals for Santhals, held during month of Magh.
19 Baha Spring festival for Santhals which is known as Sarjan Baha or Sarhool to Mundas. Nightlong song and dance is associated with the celebration.
20 Bhejabindha In Bhejabindha archery and Murgi Larhai (cock fight ) is a part of festival. The defeated cock become the property of the owner of the wining cock. Popular among santhals.

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TRAVEL & TOURISM

ARCHEOLOGICAL TOURIST INTEREST

BANDA-

a village also called Deulghera in Raghunathpur II P.S. about 1 km from Cheliama. It has a solitary temple in “rekha” style with broken amalaka still in place. The plan is tri-ratha, about 13’ square with much simplified base moldings and plain squared pilasters on either side of a niche in each wall. The tower has bhumi-amalakasupto the corners; the central projection is decorated with interconnected chaityas and foliated scrolls and two vertical rows of separate projecting chaityas between this and the corners. The central projection on the south side has large interweaving leafy stem with lattice like designs below, suggestive of Middle Eastern Islamic influence. The door frame has curving of boys blowing horns by climbing up a wavy stem, a band of foliated scrolls and two bands of floral lozenges. The single cell measuring 6.6’ square has a shelf projecting 3/1/3 ft. there is however no idol in the temple which faces north, with a water outlet (makara head) on the east. It is preceded by a mandapa which has largely collapsed, although eight pillars still stand supporting crossbeams.

CHELIAMA –

A big village on Ahalyabai Road in Raghunathpur II block and the head quarters of that block. The village contains the temple most richly decorated with terracottas in Purulia district and one of the few surviving  from the 17th century in West Bengal. The temple of Radha-Vinod, dated sakabda 1619 has a contemporary terracotta plaque in Bengali. In the panels above the archways are depicted Krishnalila scenes. There is also scene like Rama comforting with Ravana in two huge war chariots with monkeys and demons joining in the fray. A series of smaller panels rising on the left and right and continuing across the top includes the avatars of Vishnu, the other deities as well as devotees. Along the base on the left ran the usual Krihnalila frieze, and on the right (much less common) a Ramayan frieze. Beneath them is another frieze of professional and hunting scene. The base and the column panels of the façade are already badly worn but the panels above the archways are in excellent condition.

DEULGHATA-

A place near Boram in Arsha PS. It has ruins of some 15 temples and small shrines near the Kansai River about 6 kms from Joypur. Among them are 3 tall brick deuls with stucco decoration. The largest of which is to the south. All the trees have triangular corbelled entrances with towers built up by interior corbelling. The corbelled entrance of the southern temple is high and graceful with a delicate carve. All of them have rich curved brickwork with stucco application. They depict chaityas and miniature rekha motifs. The stucco application includes scrollwork with geese and foliation, dwarfs familiar from Pala-Sena art. The stucco is fine and would appear to date from the same period as that on the Bahulara and Satdeulia temples. The hunched supporting

figures on the middle temple recall those on the 15th century temples of Barakar. But there is nothing else significant in common between these temples. Deulghat figure are much livelier and more rhythmical. All these temples have lost the tops of their towers, together with the amalakas and kalasas, m but the western and southern ones still stand to a height of 50 feet or more, the Western one specially, on a base about 16 feet square, seems to have been slender and graceful, the southern one, 24feet square, is about the same size as the Bahulara temple. As on of of the rekha temples in Purulia district, the panks are basically tri-ratha (single central projection). Complicated by many decorative recesses or subsidiary rathas.

At least the central and Western temples seem to have originally had stone door-frames on a slightly projecting porch or antarala (entrance passage) to judge by the curved stumps still in situ. Each temple has a carved stone maker water outlet on the northern side.

The other temples at Deulghat which are mostly of stone have all fallen down. The largest stands at the head of a flight of steps leading up from the river – a low mount in Begler’s Day on which he found a slab inscribed in characters which may belong to the 9th or the 10th century. The establishment seems to have been Savite, for besides the lingas in situ, all then images relate to this cult. An image of Uma- Maheshvar has been removed to the State Archeological Galley. The oldest temples may be the bricked-temples, to judge by superiority of the workmanship, they had the large tile-like bricks typical of the Pala period.

PAKBIRRA –

Only three temples are standing, all of them has lost most of their frontal stones. The smallest of this faces east. The other two face north. This two temples, buried several feet upto the level of the wall niches, still have some of the lower façade stones, which give an idea of their appearance. The have the basic tri-ratha plan with simplified squad of moldings. The large amalaka fragments lying about, and the stone kalasas with lotus buds emerging, make us suppose that most of the temples here belonged to the usual nagara order. The principal temple, of which Beglar could only describe the foundations, was very large’ containing the full compliment of preliminary chambers and hall in front of the sanctum’. That temple, facing west, perhaps enshrined the colossal figure of a naked Tirthankar over two meters high, with lotus symbol on its pedestal, which still stands, along with a number of other Jaina sculptures, in an improvised stone-shed over the site of the original temple. Near-by Begler excavated five more Jaina sculptures ‘of late age’ from brick mounds.

The sculptures at PAKBIRRA are of Jaina affinity. The aforesaid shed has more than eight standing tirthankaras, including three with the bull symbol (rishabhanatha). Two with the lion (Mahavira) one with the horse (samhabhanatha), one with the lotus (padmaprabha), and one with the half-moon (chandraprava), two images of Yaksha and Sasanadevi beneath a tree with a Jina in the branches, three votive stupas (two with standing and one with seated Jinas each side), two being of the usual rekhashikhara variety, but the other possibly intended to represent a Bhadra (Deul), a curious small image of a four-armed deity, apparently holding a goad and noose, seated on a dog, Ambika with child and attendant, standing on her lion, beneath a flowering tea, and numerous fragments. There seems little doubt that these were the images originally enshrined in the temples, or placed in the exterior niches and some of the fragments may indicate the exterior decoration. A short distance to the south east is another shed of roughly assembled stone blocks, which contains five standing tirthankaras, one within the bull symbol, two with the bull between two lions (one of them over 1.2 mt high, one with the deer “Shantinatha”), and one of the Parsvanatha, broken of at the west with the entwined nag and nagini between two lions at base. Yet another image of Rishabhanatha stands on the ruinous mount of another large stone temple about forty six meters to the east, almost in the village. A small image of the Yaksha Kuvera has been removed to the museum of the archeological directorate of the Government of West Bengal.

SUISSA –

A number iconic images are seen here, probably obtained from the temples which once existed here or in the neighborhood. These are a 1. Large four armed Vishnu unsual tribhanga pose, along with Sri and Sarasvati, and devotees on the pedestal but no Garuda, 2. Ambika, broken into may pieces, 3. A Chaturmukha votive shrine of rekha-type, with seated tirthankara, 4. Several images of different sizes, of tirthankaras (including Parsvanatha) – some intact, some broken (with symbols like a pot, a lotus of a wheel, the sun, a lion etc.) 5. Another Ambika, 6. A linga, 7. Amalaka 2.5 ft across, 8. A decorated door-jamb, several curved stone fragments. These statues were worshipped under Hindu names when Begler saw them, but are now lying about neglected.

PARA-

A village with a  station of the thana of the same name, it has two pre-Muslim deuls to the east. One belongs to the type of the three-brick temples of Deulghat. Its top has fallen down along with most of the stucco, but some carved brick work still remains. The lower walls have three niches each-one on each of the projections (as at Deulghat), surmounted by tall rekha shikharas in relief, with pilasters on either side of them. The tower has a big heart-shaped chaitya in the centre on each of the four faces. It has a trefoil niche below, and the usual moldings up the pagas.

The entrance is the usual tall corbelled triangle. The lower portion of the exterior walls, measuring about 5 meters square, has been given a protective brick casing, now partly fallen away. To the east there is a stone temple of about the same size, though not so tall as the brick temple originally was.

It has rich overall carving in soft sandstone, though weathered beyond recognition. Immediately to the south-west of the brick temple is a large mound, containing the carved stone fragments of another early temple, perhaps larger than the other two. Beglar mentions two pilasters with Plain Square mouldings.

At the opposite end of the village there is another temple of a later period. It is built of stone, with a plain square shrine, about 6 meters square, preceded by a slightly smaller sporch. The temple of Radharaman is now in complete ruins, on which no terracotta panels remain; nor are any to be seen on any other temple. Beglar was told that the Radharaman an temple was built by one Purushottam Das from Brindavan, during the viceroyalty of Man Singh, to whom the later stone temple was attributed. The tomb or Chhatri of Purushottam Das stands opposite the temple. Also in the village is a small mound with a ling, some pillars, and makara waterspouts.

BAGHMUNDI-

A place in the thana of the same name.  It has within the rajbari compound, an at.chata temple of Radha Govinda, dated sakabda 1675 (A.D. 1733), which is badly overgrown with thicket and measures about 19 feet square. The facade is decorated with lotus medallions and other floral and geometrical designs in terracotta, but has no figures. The new Radha-Govinda temple is a flat-roofed modern stracture,also tending to crumble. There is a small, octagonal rasmancha nearby with nine pinnacles, having terracotta figures on four out of the eight sides. These consist of enthroned Rama and Sita with entourage, Krishna in rasmandala with the gopis, episodses lIke the holding up of Giri Gobardhan, or the killing of Bakasur, and many secular figures and animals-all crudely modelled. There is also a plain pancharatna Siva temple. All these were built by the Rajas of Baghmundi.

BIRINCHINATH-

Near Mandandi, in Neturia police station, on the southern lower slopes of the Panchet hill, it is the site of an old temple which has now disappeared. Asunken linga is approached by steps into a pit with a modern superstructure. Many stone fragments with architectural mouldings and incisions are lying about; some have been reused for making the steps up the hill. Fragments of amalaka and finial suggest the former existence of a rekha-deul here.There is a modern mandapa on old columns. a Nandi bull near another ancient linga and the pedestal of an old image. Apart from Birinchinath, modern painted clay-imagesof Radha-Krishna and Sarabhuja Jagaddhatri are worshipped in the modern structures.

BUDHPUR-

A village at Manbazar P.S., it is about 11 kms. south of Pakbirra and 6 kms. North of Manbazar on the Hura Road, on the north bank of the Kasai River. There was a large temple of Buddheswara Siva here. The temple had attached mandapas earlier, but now fallen down.
In Beglar’s time, the main tower was replaced by brick-and-plaster work. In 1926 was in it was  replaced by a rough stone tower having curved entrance.Four smaller shrines at the corners of the enclosure form a panchayatana arrangement. But now only one is partly standing, with simplified mouldings and squared pillastertypical of Telkupi.  The position of the others being understood from their bases amidst the rubble. From the curved fragments of amalakas, chaityas, etc., it appears that all these temples were in the nagara style. The place is now full of tumbled down blocks of stone containing pillars, door-jambs and a makara water-spout. Apart from these five, Beglar also found no less than five other temples, all small, to the north-east of the enclosure. The original lingo too, seems to have disappeared, for a pillar has now taken its place and is worshipped in the main sanctum. Three sculptural remains found at the site were cult images; to judge by their heavy pedestals, one was a standing Vishnu, another a standing Ganesa and one was Ganesa seated in Ialitasana. Their style having Orissa similarities, like the sculptures at Deulghat, though less richly carved. Beglar dates them to the 12th or 13th centuries.

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IMPORTANT PERSONALITIES

Atul Chandra Ghosh Arun Chandra Ghosh Bhabapritananda Ojha Chunaram Mahato Dwijo Tima
Gambhir Singh Mura Gobindo Mahato Labanya Prava Ghosh Maharaja Jyoti Prosad Sing Deo Nibaran Chandra Dasgupta
Rev Hemrich Uffmann Sindhubala Devi Sarada Prasad Kisku

FOLK & CULTURE : PURULIA

Famous Folk Dance “Chau”