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Goura
Goura is a small village near Daspur town in West Medinipur and can be reached from Panskura via Gangamortala. The most significant temple here is the pancharatna Lakshmi Janardan temple built by the Hara family in 1824. It is in the standard Medinipur pancha-ratna style with smooth curved-cornice turrets. It is raised on a low plinth and has a triple-arched entrance porch. The porch columns are unusual in being plain, square blocks with engaged columns on the front. The facade has terracotta decoration in the arch panels, a double-frieze of wall panels below the cornice, and single column of panels along the sides flanked by full-height pilasters. Inside the porch, large terracotta dvarapalak figures flank each side of the sanctum entrance.


Arch Panel
The arch panels have interesting Krishnalila and Ramayana scenes set into four horizontal registers. The scenes on the central arch include Rama cutting Surpanakha's nose and hunting the golden deer, then Ravana in disguise kidnapping Sita and subsequently being attacked by Jatayu (shown engulfing Ravana's chariot), and finally Rama and Sita enthroned in the top register. Scenes in the left and right arch panels include various Krishnalila scenes such as stealing the gopi's clothes, departure to Mathura, crossing the Yamuna with gopis (Nauka lila), and the infant Krishna being bathed by gopis. There is also a rare samudra-manthan scene. Above the arch finials and in the middle of the second registers, are large, elaborate motifs with vegetal and floral swirls. The figures in these panels are noteworthy for their attires: men wear moustaches, turbans, and Bengali dhotis while women are shown in flowing saris and veils. The wall panels below the cornice show warriors, sadhus, and maidens separated by large terracotta figures of Krishna at the centre surrounded by women musicians. The side wall panels show standard figures including dasavatars.


Musician below cornice
Many parts of this temple are at risk of becoming dilapidated and need conservation. The dvarapalakas on either side of the sanctum entrance are blacked and broken, the roof and cornice are overgrown with plants, the columns on the entrance porch are broken, and the plinth of the temple itself is crumbling. The terracotta figures on the arch panels and the large cornice figures are well-preserved but the wall panels as well as the single column of panels on either side of the entrance are much damaged, the panels on the right side completely missing and cement encased.



Photos and Text © Amit Guha