Shri Govindajee Temple of Old Palace Kangla
The temple is situated in the old Kangla palace area, now occupied by the
Assam Rifles. It was built during the time of king Narasingh in 1847 AD. As a
result of the earthquake of March 1868 the structure collapsed. It was
then reconstructed by king Chandra Kirti Singh in 1869 AD. At present the
Pakhangba, the deity connected with the royal family clan of Ningthauja is
worshipped in this temple.
It is built in bricks and is on a raised pedestal.
It is two celled, facing
east. The facade carries a Verandah with a sturdy system of pillars which support
the beam of brick-made cornice. Above the cornice is the first railing
just above the Verandah having mini-shrines, salas on each of the corner. The
outer jacket wall on all sides is raised up to the cornice and the second
railing having mini-shrines, salas one each, at the corner and two arch door
openings in the railing connect the Verandah and pradakshna path terrace. The
sanctum cube wall is raised right up to the cornice and then the third railings
is made, which is the replica of the first and second railings. It also contain salas one
each at the corner. From the base of the railings starts the dome, the arches of
which converge at the base of the rectangular flat corner on the top.
The sanctum hall is rectangular.
There are three holes in the hall floor
which are believed to be the caves. The hole on the northern side is called the
Laung cave, on the southern side is called the Mangang cave and that on the
southern side of western wall is called the Khuman cave. It is believed that the
deity appears through these caves. The pradakshna path is on all three sides of
south, west and north, between the sanctum cube wall and the outer jacket wall
and opens to the Verandah through north and south doors. Architecturally it shows parabolic structure of the dome in Bengal style and the Salas
are in atypical Hindu style. The temple has a rectangular base and on the top it
culminates with a rectangular crown over the dome. The railing decoration is in
Islamic style. It can be considered as an amalgamation of Hindu and Islamic
archetypes. The artistic designs are available as floral motifs on the walls
which are now worn out. The temple is the monumental evidence of the
royal patronage of Vaishnav temple in Manipur.