Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Arts and Architecture


Shri Hanuman Thakur Temple of Mahabali Forest 

The temple is situated in Imphal on the bank of the Imphal river amongst the groves, Mahabali forest. It was built by king Garib Niwaj in the year of 1725 AD.

The temple was built in bricks and later a cement coating was given to the entire structure. In front of the temple the Mandapa has been constructed which has shadowed the structure of the main temple. The pedestal of the temple is not visible from outside.

The sanctum cube and the porch walls are raised as a rectangular structure up to the roof. The eastern and western walls have got a triangular window having nine slits. The sanctum cube hall is covered with a dome shaped hemispherical roof. The arches converge at the base of the crown,

they are distinctively visible through their raised ridges on the surface of the roof from above. The top of the roof carries a double lotus crown in a criss-cross pattern. The Kalasas are rested over the crown, the uppermost vase carries the pinnacle with Nilchakra. The roof of the porch hall is not dome-shaped but barrel vaulted type. The temple is a hut -type of Bengal style. The stone icon of Hanumanjee is raised on the pedestal wall. It is carved out on a big slab of stone. Hanumanjee is shown in Human form.

The temple reminds us of the spread of Ramanandi cult of Hinduism in Manipur. It is the only temple which was built during the period of Garib Niwaj. After his death the Ramnandi cult also vanished from Manipur. The temple in thus important and a monumental evidence in the religious history of Manipur.