Dinajpur (3) -Kantaji Temple & Dipshikha school-

The second day of Dinajpur, I visited Kantaji temple and Dipshikha school.

Kantaj is a Hindi temple fully covered with beautiful terracotta in the motif of 
Sanskrit epics “Mahabharata”and  “Ramayana”.

This temple is registered as World Heritage and regarded as one of the most important tourist sites.
I finally got chance to visit there.

How to get there?
Take a bus from Dinajpur and get off at Kantanagar Mall.
It takes about 20 minutes.
Then, take a boat to other side of river.(can you see a small boat in the picture?)
From the boat.......I saw people walking in water.
Bad feeling.....does it mean....?
We had to get off in water because river was too shallow for the boat.
But what can I do?
I walked in water(I was scared to carry my camera and mobile), got wet till knee.
Then, take a bike taxi to Noyabad Mosjid.
Many people had worked for Kantaj temple for a long time.
So, mosque for Muslims was needed. It is still used for prayer.
Besides the mosque, there is grave of a head artisan.
Then, we headed to Kantaji temple going through litchi trees.
The temple is surrounded by wall, so it is not visible from outside.
Then, got in and the temple appeared.
Picture doesn't tell how impressive it was.
I have seen temple's picture many times, and my pictures look the same.
However, it looks much better when I saw it on my eyes.
Terracotta all over the wall.
A Maharaja started construction of the temple in 1704, and it was completed by his son in 1752.
It took 48 years and 28,000 artisans worked for construction.
This work is worth seeing.
There is one another place I recommend to visit.
It is a famous school called "Dipshikha" which was designed by Anna Heringer from Austlia and had worked in Bangladesh in her 20s.
The building are made by local craftmen with local material like mud and bamboo.

Local transportation is a bit complicated, but people can tell how to go there.
From Kantaj temple,
1. go to Kaharol by Auto,
2. take bus to Dhukujbari,
3. change bus to Mongapur,
4. Then, take a van to Dipshikha school(about 50 minutes).
Taking van for almost 1 hour was tough, but scenery was good.
(I shouldn't say tough, maybe.....because van driver had tougher time!!)
Passing through villages...and arrived.
I wasn't sure where to go......and entered one building.
There were students working for some electric things.

Students study in natural wind.
I went to the second floor and found a classroom surrounded bamboo.

This is another building made of mud and bamboo.
The first floor is class room and the second floor is hall.
This is the classroom.
Can you guess what the holes are?
There are small space children go into and stay.
If a student is not comfortable to work with many other students, he/she can spend sometime in the space, works by him/herself.......and can come back anytime she/he wants.

There is no light neither 1st floor nor 2nd floor.
Natural light does.
Natural light comes into room made with natural materials.
This is regarded as an example of suitable architecture, and the project received the Aga Khan Award in 2007.

Access isn't good...but you can stay overnight if you want.
Their accomodation costs only 150tk.(hot water available!)
Breakfast is 100tk, dinner is 200tk if you need.
Central Office
Address : 282/5, First Colony, Mazar Rd, Mirpur-1, Dhaka
Phone : 880-2-9000782
E-mail : dipshika@agni.com

Project Office
Address : Rudrapur, Birol, Dinajpur
Contact person : Mr. Sepal CH. Debsharma
Mobile : 01718-121885
E-mail : sepaldipshika@yahoo.com

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