Must Visit 4 Begunia Temples of Barakar, Asansol

The 4 Begunia Temples of Barakar are a must see if you are anywhere around Asansol.

All four Begunia Temples of Barakar are located in one complex, protected by a big boundary wall, no encroachment should be possible. So it makes the visit easy. Barakar is easily approachable by road and we arrived here from Siuri, a distance of approximately 100kms. I was intrigued by the name Begunia and one of the priests there clarified my doubt. The temples assume the shape of brinjal (eggplant) hence the name ‘Begunia’.

The temples are numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 by ASI. Two of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva, one to Lord Ganesha and other to Goddess Durga. The one dedicated to Goddess Durga is the oldest. All the 4 temples have impressive facade details.

Begunia Temples of Barakar
Facade of Begunia Temples of Barakar

Temples 1 and 2 are at the entrance to the complex were built in around 14th to 15 century. They are the most decorated ones. Both these temples are made of black and grey sandstones and are in good condition, with less signs of wearing off. The shikhara (pinnacles) are decorated with floral designs and mythological figures. These stone temples of Begunia are very different from the ones in Bishnupur and are not from the usual terracotta. They are of typical Bengal architecture, the Shikhar or Rekh Deul style. The inscription on the walls credits a king named Harishchandra for its construction. It was apparently completed in 1462 and dedicated to Harishchandra’s queen Haripriya.

Lord Ganesha at Begunia Temples of Barakar

Two Nandis (Lord Shiva’s vehicle) of temples 3 and 4. The stone structures are totally worn out.

Nandi at Begunia Temples of Barakar

Siddheswari Temple Barakar

Temple No. 1, This is the Siddheswari temple; it houses a cell and a vestibule. A shivling, 55 inches in diameter, is worshiped here. The ‘lingam’ here is called the Siddheshwar Lingam. It was very dark inside. But it was evident that the temple is in regular use and prayers are offered. Of all the 4 temples, Siddheshwari Temple is the oldest and dates back to 8th to 9th century. Plenty of evidences found here in this complex prove that Barakar was once a Jain or Buddhist religious center. The earliest reference to the temples can be found in a book named History of Indian & Eastern Architecture by James Fergusson.

How to reach Begunia Temples of Barakar

Begunia is 17kms from Asansol. And it is at 220kms from Kolkata. Local transport ply between the cities. Alternately you can hire tourist vehicles too.

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26 Responses

  1. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and detailed information.

  2. Splendid! The temples in the first pic looks as if they are made of clay. Unique!

  3. Joop Zand says:

    Very good photo's with nice details.

    greetings, Joop

  4. Pallavi says:

    I love this series Indrani! Beautiful pictures .

  5. Beautiful temples. Nice post, Indrani!

  6. Kusum Sanu says:

    Good info on these beautiful temples!

  7. Sylvia K says:

    A beautiful post and beautiful temples and wonderful, interesting information as always, Indrani!! Thank you for sharing!! Hope you're enjoying a great week!!

  8. the temples are so artistically beautiful.

  9. eileeninmd says:

    Wonderful photos of the temples! The details are beautiful. Have a happy day!

  10. genie says:

    Your temples amaze me…all the intricate sculptural detail…how did they do it…and they have lasted for centuries. Lovely pictures and interesting details.

  11. magiceye says:

    Beautifully captured!

  12. I really love the way you search out for these undiscovered places

  13. The photos are wonderful and thanks for sharing the information about the temple..:-)

  14. You Know Indrani, I am from Maithan it's a small place just 3 k.m from Barakar, although Barakar falls in the W.B region and Maithan falls in the Jharkhand Region. I have lived near Barakar for around 18 years and I never saw this place like you described in your post, for me it was just another temple. Beautiful place, I hope you visited the pride of my hometown Maithan Dam too! would love to see a post, also I will be visiting Barakar and Maithan in two-three days will write a post or click some photographs, please visit the blog once to check and review. You know my photography Blog .. many thanks Cheers!!

  15. Najm Nisa says:

    Never knew a place named Asansol existed , where is this place located ? 😐 nice pics btw.

  16. Awesome.Looks like a beautiful place

  17. Thanks friends for the wonderful comments.

    Shantanu, I couldn't visit Maithan. I mostly look out for places with old temples. If there is a next time I will make a visit to this place. Looking forward to your post.

    Najm Nisa, Asansol is in West Bengal.

  18. Seeta says:

    The structure of the temple in the first pic, that was new to me.. lovely post as always 🙂

  19. Thanks for the wonderful pictures and info…

  20. There is a Kalyaneshwari Temple in Maithan, will bring back photos for you. 🙂

  21. Please do let me know the link of your post. I will link it here.

  22. OMG!! temple no.1 is built during 8th to 9th century. Oh, It's wonderful.

  23. Beautiful monuments indeed. Nice post Indrani.

  24. The last picture with the contrasting green and orange was amazing.

  25. Unknown says:

    I am from barakar near this temple

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