Gokulchand Temple, Gokulnagar, West Bengal

Tallest of all old laterite stone temples, Gokulchand Temple looked majestic that day against the bright blue sky. I visited the temple in April 2013. A fortified wall in reasonably good condition goes around the temple. Gokulchand Temple complex measures 23,500sq.ft. Entrance too has good safety measures with an impressive gate. A small stone Tulsimancha (a special structure for praying Tulsi plant) can be seen in the picture. This is well decorated and worshiped everyday.

Gokulchand Temple

Pancha Ratna Gokulchand Temple, Gokulnagar

Natmandir of Gokulchand Temple

Roofless Natmandir of Gokulchand Temple

Gokulchand Temple Structure

It is a 5 pinnacled temple, 4 of them visible in the picture. The central pinnacle is octagonal in shape. There are 3 arched entrances in all 4 sides of the temple. The walls have sculpted forms of 10 avtaars of Lord Vishnu. So many of the forms have worn off sadly. A stone staircase leads to the roof of the temple. Most impressive sculpted forms are in the south wall of the temple.

Just opposite the temple is 59 feet wide Natmandap. The roof of this structure is missing; the structure looks deserted and uncared. Probably the flat stage in front was used for dance performances in the earlier days.

The importance of the temple was first cited by Rakhaldas Bondopadhyay, of Mohenjodaro fame in 1923. But most unfortunately, only in 1996 the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) took over the temple and declared it a Monument of National Importance. The temple was looted and defaced badly in the intervening years. The insensitive people around used the stone slabs there for constructing roads and buildings. The scattered stone slabs there are a sad sight to see.

Ruins scattered around Gokulchand Temple

Ruins scattered around Gokulchand Temple, Gokulnagar, West Bengal

How to reach Gokulchand Temple

From Kolkata the shortest route is via Ahilyabai Holkar Road. This distance of 134kms can be done in 4hours. The route has tolls. The longer circuitous road through NH17  measures 172kms. Alternately you can take a bus or train to Bishnupur and then hire a taxi from there to Gokulchand Temple. Time to cover this distance is 40minutes approx.

Gokulchand Temple is an ideal day tour destination from Kolkata. ASI (Archeological Society of India) maintains this temple and its surroundings. It is worth spending 3 to 4 hours in the complex studying the details of sculptures there.

(Additionally this place is also spelled as Gakulchand, Gukulchand, but the correct spelling is Gokulchand Temple in Gokulnagar.)

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21 Responses

  1. Sylvia K says:

    Such incredible, historic buildings and it's so sad to see them so neglected and left to ruins! Wonderful captures as always, Indrani! I hope you have a lovely weekend!! Enjoy!

  2. TexWisGirl says:

    sorry about the damage to the walls.

  3. George says:

    It's always sad to see important, historical structures like this defaced or vandalized. It's important that we not lose our history.

  4. Thomas Lee says:

    This temple is rock solid like a fort.

  5. Laura says:

    So sad to see such beautiful historic architecture defaced.

  6. What a majestic temple. Thanks for sharing the history of this architecture.

  7. Sad sight wish the Asi would make more efforts in saving such temples.

  8. Majestic structure.. I have never travelled in west Bengal excepting Calcutta… Eager to see many more such monuments.

  9. beautiful temple…

    nice capture…

    thanks

  10. eileeninmd says:

    Lovely temple, Indrani! It is a shame that they were defaced. Lovely images. Have a happy weekend!

  11. Haddock says:

    Wonderful place.
    Its sad that such places are not maintained and taken care of.

  12. Uncared for & dilapidated but still retains the charm and beauty !

  13. If only there were more people like you! Its a sad state of affairs in India.

  14. Pallavi says:

    What a gorgeous structure! Have a good weekend Indrani 🙂

  15. Pictures are really good but if we look from the skywatch point of view, something is lacking.

    Sorry for criticizing but that is what I feel. Feel free to remove the comment

    Regards
    Rachit

  16. Carver says:

    Great shots of the temple.

  17. Kusum Sanu says:

    Beautiful structure. But, it is sad to see these unbelievably beautiful things in that bad state!

  18. Beautiful structures!

  19. Jeevan says:

    Glad ASI took it before people make it nothing! Beautiful capture and that a cute Tulsimancha near the elegant temple.

  20. This one is a beautiful temple. It is very sad to see how we neglect our heritage. Thankfully ASI intervened. Lovely frames Indrani!

  21. Impressive. We can take pride in our ancestors. Am simply overwhelmed.

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