Written by Pradip Mukherjee
It is conventional that after visiting Sri Sri Jagannath of Puri, its incomplete of your tirtha yatra until you visit the Jagannath of Dignagar, Burdwan. There’s a common rhyme on it too.
“Nilachale fire Dignagar-e/ Paro jodi ghoro somo bochore/
Hobe na byartho, kavu se tirtha/ Pravur e bani Raj-gochore.”
In English abstract translation,
“After returning from Nilachal/ Go to Dignagar in the same year/
Your tirtha yatra will not fail/ Message of God, ven know to king also.”
It is said, this poem was written on the walls of the temple constructed by King Kirthi Chandra. Dreaming of Jagannath, King Kirthi Chandra established this temple at Dignagar. When the main construction started falling apart, Uday Chand, son of Vijay Chand reconstructed temple by 1345. Now a days, there’s no plate on the temple’s wall. The worshiping rituals by Kirthi Chandra is still remained.
One of the oldest religious festival of Dignagar is Ratha Yatra. There are two hearsay common to the people here about Ratha Yatra and King Kirthi Chandra. One is Jagannath Temple of Dignagar was constructed by Kirthi Chandra and the chariot belongs to the royal family. And the other is that the temple of Dignagar is older than King Kirthi Chandra. He reconstructed the old temple.
Local peoples of Dignagar believes in a story that God Jagannath himself constructed a temple in ‘Dhantikar-er Math’, a wide field in the east of Dignagar. He was in disguise of a monk and he used to come regularly to beg to the people of Dignagar. One day Jagannath came to Jaynarayan Adhikary’s place and invited Adhikary to come to his temple. When Adhikary gone there, he saw four statue of Jagannath, Balaram, Suvadra and Laxmi. On an another day, when Adhikary gone there and God Jagannath revealed his true identity, explained the process of worshiping and vanished.
Adhikary returned home with all four statues and started worshiping. Though Adhikary was so poor, but he was devoted. The village Dignagar became richer. One day king Kirthi Chandra saw dream of making temple and making arrangements better. And with that he also saw to dig a pond named by the queen. The pond named by Queen is still now exists.
If the local hearsay are true, then it is supposed that king that king Kirthi Chandra came here with the project of construction or reconstruction of the Temple. With it, it is also true that Burdwan ‘Roy’ or ‘Mehtab’ family was very close to Puri. May the family tradition make it to establish the temple there. Local Kadamkhandi or Anandabazar was the named with the connection to Sri Jagannath.
Photo Courtesy : Pradip Mukherjee and Dr. Swapan Thakur.
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