Jagannath Temple : Stands Tall on Octagon

Jagannath Temple : Stands tall on Octagon
Jagannath Temple : Jagannathpur : Comilla : Bangladesh

There are several popular archaeological and historically important places in Comilla. Among these- World War II Cemetery, Mainamati Bhiahra, Itakhola Moth, Maharni;s Mound, are quite popular names. These places are easily accessible from Dhaka-Chittagong High Way. Therefore, there is always a good rush of people in those places.  There is another religiously spiritual, valuable,  historically important, less talk-about place in Comilla- The Temple of Jagannath[জগন্নাথ] or Jagannatha[sanskrit].  

Jagannath Temple also known as Jagannath Dev Mandir [জগন্নাথ দেব মন্দির] of Comilla is one the significant medieval religious architect in Bangladesh. The temple is situated at Jagannathpur village, five kilometers away on road; to East from Comilla City Corporation; just  beside the Comilla-Bibir Bazar Raod. The village is named after Hindy Deity Lord Jagannath. The temple is a landmark and precise influence  for local people to name the village after the  Jagannath- the form of Lord Vishnu. This Mandir is also famous to Hindu Religious community as 'Saptaratna Mandir'[সপ্তরত্ন], which is literally means Seven Jewels Temple in English. 

The temple is presumed to be one of oldest one on the soil of Comilla as well as of Bangladesh. There is a saying that one Maharaja of Tripura 'Sri Srijukta' Ratna Manikyo Bahadur, was the visionary for founding such an inspired architecture on Tippera[previous name of Comilla], only district of Tripura at plain land. Later its is completed by 'Sri Srijukta' Radha Kishor Manikyo Bahadur.  The exact date of founding and the duration of construction is still not properly referred in History. From the history of Princely State of Tripura  and Price Radha Kishor Manikyo Bahadur's ruling period as well as the the origin of terracotta's design, archaeologist presume that this edifice might be dated back from Sixteen Century.   

There is a little detail about Murtis of this temple. According to wiki- The murtis of Jagannatha Triad- Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra were originally installed in a temple of Hilly Tripura part. From there these statues were relocated to this Mandir.  

This four storied, conical shaped temple is a brick built structure, constructed on a concrete octagonal base-stone.  This is the only octagonal based and shaped temple of Bangladesh, and one of its type  External wall of every floor looks like octagons and  were  ascended like inverted Cone. It is a single spire Temple.  I believe there were so many artistic terracotta all over this Mandir , from Top to bottom. I find some of the traditional Bengal design on the outside wall of third floor- a terracotta of flower, leaves and petals. Department of Archaeology renovated outside portions of Ground and first floor. Terracotta of these two floors was ruined[that's my opinion]. 

There is a rumor about this ordinary looking spiritual place. Some believes there are two more floors underground, which is filled by sedimentation from Gumti River over the years. I feel this is a weak and bogus point. 

This 16th Century edifice is almost 60 feet tall. There is a tank to the West of Temple premises. That Tank could be as old as the temple. The tank is also sketched in 1863 drwaing[a British Library Collecton].

British Library
Follwers of Jagannatha also celebrate the fastival of Chariot al around the world. This Mandir is not different from others. There are three Chariots for Ratha Yatra[রথ যাত্রা]. Every years local Hindu community bring out a Ratha Yatra from this Mandir, with a festival.  This festival is dated according to Boishnava Calendar[বৈষ্ণব পঞ্জিকা] around last week of June to first week of July, every year.

At present, This temple is acknowledged and listed Heritage Site of Bangladesh Department of Archaeology. New Mandir and Ashram is build beside the ancient one within the Temple's Estate, for performing religious and community activities and worshiping Lord Jagannatha. Temple is now authorized and run by a Hindu religious Group named ISKCON. Best way to go there in group by hiring Battery trikes from Chawkbazar of Comilla. It will cost 10-15 Taka per person for riding there. 

Wiki | Comilla Sadar | Bangla Version |  Google Map

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