Singhi Park Durga Puja Committee has always tried to bring a message through their celebration of Durga Puja and this year is not an exception. On their 72nd year Singhi Park brings a confluence of Hindu, Muslim and European architecture to Kolkata. Govindji Mandir was constructed in Red sandstones which was donated by Moghul emperor Akbar to build a temple which had both Greek and Hindu architectural imprints. Committee see this not only as an opportunity to uphold the rich tradition of the country, they also feel this is the perfect platform to bring about a confluence of belief while upholding the faith in the Almighty in this age and time of eroding human values. It is with this in mind that the organisers are recreating the famous Govindji Temple of Vrinadvan this year.
Govind Dev (Govindaji) Temple was once a magnificent seven storied structure built in the form of a Greek cross. It was built at the astronomical cost of Rs One crore in 1590 by Raja Man Singh. He was inspired to construct the temple after meeting Rupa Goswami, and this temple is an excellent example of medieval Indian architecture. The temple structure is a confluence of predominant European, Hindu and Muslim architectural elements prevalent in those years. The building is well-known and stands out as its shaped like the cathedrals of Europe, built of red sandstone. The structure is located in the very centre of town, on the main Mathura–Vrindavan road and is locally called “Govindaji Temple“. It is one of the seven famous temples of Vrindavan.
Singhi Park will take up the daunting task of recreating the temple with a super structure built over 55 ft. The intricate designs will be created out thermocol & plywood. Sutanu Maity has been entrusted with the job of recreating the temple in Kolkata.
While the pandal will be an architectural grandeur, the Goddess will be traditional. Singhi Park will continue with the Ekchala Matri Murti pattern of traditional Durga Pratima which will be around 23 ft height made by eminent sculptor Pradip Rudra Pal.
Keeping in mind the committee’s endeavour towards the support of electrical small scale industry of Chandannagor, this festivity will see the illumination by brilliant electro mechanical lighting structures with mechanical movement and light. Pintu Electric of Chandannagor will be forming these lighting patterns with the theme “Ma Durgar Bahon“.
Special Attraction this year:
- Astra Aarati on Chaturthi
- 3D Giant Spider
- Cultural programmes every evening by West Bengal Tourism Department
- Community Bhog for three days from Saptami which will be open to all from the locality and cuts across class and caste barriers.
Visarjan will be on Dashami.
History of Radha Govinda Temple:
According to the folklores, Srila Rupa Gosvami originally established the Radha Govinda temple in Vrindavan under the instruction of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Five thousand years earlier, Lord Krishna‘s grandson, Vajranaba, installed a number of important idols in Vrindavana; Govindaji was one of these deities. The legend has it that Rupa Gosvami searched all over Vrindavan to locate the Yogapith but failed. Feeling disappointed, he came and sat by the bank of the River Yamuna and shedding tears.
Lord Krishna feeling pity for his disciple appeared in the guise of a brijbasi and informed Gosvami that there was a cow that came every day to a nearby hillock and emptied its milk into a hole atop it. He showed him the spot before disappearing. Looking within the milk drenched hole, Rupa Gosvami found the beautiful idol of Lord Govinda.
However, the construction of the temple began under the guidance of Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami and his disciples headed by Raja Man Singh of Jaipur sometime after 1570. It was the most impressive edifice that Hindu art had ever produced. This temple was originally seven stories tall with a marble altar lined with silver and gold platings. A sculptured lotus flower weighing several tons decorated the main hall. In fact benevolent Mughal emperor Akhbar helped in the construction of the temple.
But less than a century later, Emperor Aurangzeb standing on the ramparts of Agra fort noticed a bright light glowing somewhere far. Upon being informed that this was a large ghee lamp kept atop the Radha Govinda temple in Vrindavan, a furious Aurungzeb immediately ordered its destruction. By the time the soldiers arrived, Lord Govindadeva and all the important deities of Vrindavana had been moved to a safer place. The soldiers dismantled the top floors of the temple and desecrated the sanctum sanctorum. Later a new temple was established behind the original Govindaji temple containing the pratibhu (replica) idols of Radha Govinda. This is the present Radha Govinda temple.