We have seen rangoli competitions, sand art competitions and so on but what is this temple building competition? Maluti Temples are an example that our Kings did everything classy! No, they didn't aim at simple competitions instead tried elusive things. Yes, it was the rulers of Baj Basanta Dynasty who began the construction of Maluti Temples in the honour of the family deity Mowlakshi.
Photo Courtesy: Anirbang80
Maluti Group of Temples is located in the village of Maluti in Jharkhand. The story takes us back to the time of the King Basanta who was a religious person and wanted to build temples instead of palaces. Interestingly, his clan was also fascinated about constructing shrines. So, they got divided into four sub-clans and started competing with each other. Totally 108 temples were built as a result of this furious competition.
Unfortunately, they are also listed as the most endangered heritage sites in the world. Already, 36 out 108 temples have got destroyed due to the lack of maintenance. Though 72 are remaining, many are in a dilapidated condition.
Photo Courtesy: Moongo.in
Structure of Maluti Temples
Maluti Temples not only have unique temple style but also are made out of terracotta. Maluti Terracotta temples are small but artistic. Each temple has carvings depicting the Hindu mythologies like Ramyana and Mahabharata. Apart from the main deity of Mowlakshi, there are other shrines for Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Kali and so on.
They don't resemble any famous styles of temple architecture. Maluti Temples have a fusion of different styles of local architectures. The artisans belonged to Bengal region who brought a freshness in the design. Hence, Maluti Temples are some of the beautiful temples in Jharkhand.
Photo Courtesy: Rimilbadal
The heritage village of Maluti is located on the banks of Chila river in Dumka. Navratri is one of the famous festivals in this village. It is infamous for sacrificing 100 goats during the time of Kali Pooja. It is one of the old traditions in Maluti, although several animal rights activists have opposed it. Maluti has such a grand heritage but it is vanishing at a higher speed due to the lack of conservation. Hence, it has been listed under 'vanishing heritages'.
Such an luxurious architecture is a delight to capture and explore! Don't miss out on visiting such an exotic place.
How to Reach Maluti
Maluti is at the border of Jharkhand and West Bengal. It is around 16km from Rampurhat and near to the village of Shikaripara. Tourists can take Dumka to Rampurhat bus route to reach the village. Get down in Rampurhat Railway Station and take a local transport to Maluti.