Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

This temple is not exactly situated in the Ramna area. It lies beside the Dhakeshwari Road near the Dhakeshwari Government quarters. The goddess Dhakeshwari is regarded by the Hindus as the presiding deity of Dhaka. The local tradition about the derivation of the name Dhaka from that of this goddess has already been told. Another tradition records the erection, or rather reconstruction, of this temple by Raja Mansingh. The exact date of its building cannot be given. The style suggests century as its date. However, later reconstructions are writ large on the existing temples. Bradley-Birt records: “The present temple is only two hundred years old, and is said to have been built by a Hindu agent in the employ of the East India Company.”
Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

 
Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

There are two groups of temples (pl. 6.1, 6.2&6.3) inside a walled enclosure, to which a modern gateway provides an access. In the same compound we also meet with rest-houses, and outside there is a tank. One group consists of four spired temples, all standing on a raised plinth. Each one of them is a shrine by itself, consisting of a square cella topped over with six receding tiers of domical roof of the Bengali type. The finial is a spiked kalasa (jar) enclosed within lotus bud. The walls are plastered and all the sides, except the north, have arched door-ways, to which cusps have been applied on the outer face. Above the door is a bold horizontal moulding, between which and the domical roof is a semicircular cusped arched panel.
Another temple group lies to its east. It can be approached through a 19th century monumental gateway (pl. 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7&6.8). From the modern mandap (hall), where on the floor is to be found a small pit with a wooden apparatus by its side for goat sacrifice, we can see the temple in front, with its three pyramidal sikhara (stepped pyramid) — the central one bigger than others – each crowned with pinnacles at the corners. The sikhara in fact consists of four receding tiers; the first is a Bengali domical roof and the remaining three are the North Indian canopies, the whole crowned with a lotus finial. In plan, the temple consists of three rooms — the central one larger than others — in a row, with a vaulted verandah in front, access to which is provided by three arch-ways, each one of them springing from slender round pillars. The spandrels are relieved with leogryphs and other foliaged designs decorate the facade, which further shows a curved cornice topped over with merlons.
Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

 
Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

Dhakeshwari Temple Dhaka

The plan of the temple with its three-roomed bays and three pyramidal sikharas, fronted by a verandah, strongly recalls the contemporary plan of the Mughal mosque, and though there are differences in detail, many of the Muslim elements can also be seen. The whole design of the temple gives a pleasing appearance.

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