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West Bengal - Antpur
Antpur is famous for its 100 ft high Radha govind Jiur's temple, that is built by water from the Ganges, its clay and some bricks. It was built by Krishnaram Mitra, Dewan of the King of Bardhaman. The terracotta work at this temple is sure to catch your fancy. The temple speaks of pure bengal art and architecture, unblemished by any other style of architecture. It houses a black stone idol of Lord Krishna. The chief attraction of the temple is its intricate terracotta work in its front and on the two side walls. There are another four beautiful temples in the vicinity. Opposite to the temple is Sarada bhawan, from where you can buy coupons for food.
In a stone's throw is Durgabari, built by Sri Ramkrishna's deciple Swami Premananda. 9 of the prime disciples of Sri RamKrishna, including Swami Vivekananda, had taken Sanyas here.
Not very far off is Anarbati of Parameshwar Das Thakur. It is a prominient pilgrimage of the Vaishnavs. Sri Chaitanya and Nittananda are being worshipped as RadhaKrishna and Balaram. There is a three hundred plus years old tree as well.
Antpur is famous for it’s weaved cotton textiles. It would be prudent to visit the stores while one is there.
Rajbalhat: About six kilometers from Antpur is Rajbalhat. The attraction there is the deity of Rajballavi. The deity has assumed a rare posture.
The temple was built in 1728 is made of terracotta motifs. There are a few other temples too.
Haripal: On the banks of river Koushiki, is Haripal, where there are temples that are from 400 to 1000 years old. Most of these have intricate terracotta work in their walls. Shiv mandir and Radhagobinda mandir are among the most well known. One can also stay at Haripal dharamshala, or at Zila parishad's bunglow, which can be booked from Chinsurah.
Darhatta: Another place where ancient terracotta temples abound. It is about 12 kilometers from Haripal. The Jamindars at that place in 1677, the Singha Rai family, had built Vishnu and 3 Shiv temples, which are the most famous there.
The old temples were mostly destroyed and a new one was built in 2006 and 2008, keeping the old charm and feel intact. This has increased the attraction of the place.
How to reach: You can book a car from Kolkata and reach Haripal and then Antpur. You can also take a local train to Tarekeshwar from Howrah, and get down at Haripal and then take a trekker to Antpur. Buses are also available from Howrah station directly to Antpur.
It is advised that you visit these places and come back inthe same day to Kolkata, instead of staying there.