Thursday, February 9, 2023

Arts and Architecture


Shri Radha Raman Temple of Kanchipur 

The temple is situated at Kanchipur, at the old, Langthabal place on hill ridge near the present Manipur University  campus. It was dedicated by Maharaj Churachand in the year 1917 AD. It is not in use now. The temple structure is raised on a square pedestal. It is facing south. In front there are five steps of staircases, having steps from three sides. The temple is two celled. The pradakshna path is approachable by front staircases from the south and from there flying steps from the west. The outer jacket is arranged in columns with arcades. The sanctum cube of the outer jacket is raised to the cornice above  which is the first railing.

On each corner the railing is provided with a mini-temple, the sala. The first railing covers the terrace above the pradakshna path. The internal sanctum cube ends at the terrace level and then the octagonal structure with eight walls is raised. It appears as the octagonal core on the terrace of the temple. It carriers second railing with arches. The eight pillars, one each at the corner of the railing, support the dome arches which convergent the base of the crown at the top. The parabolic ridges of the dome are distinctively visible on the surface of the dome from above. The top crown ends with a globulous pinnacle.

Towards the east is a window with arch. Internally the octagonal structure is seen raised on the four walls of the sanctum cube. The structure with eight walls  is also visible with its dome's parabolic walls in the roof. The northern wall, internally has got a raised rostrum, probably for the installation of the deity. The whole structure is made of brick and thereafter given a cement coating. Some designs are seen drawn on the walls. It is based on Nagra style.  The temple is the example of the proliferation of the Vaishnavite cult. Radha Raman is another name of Lord Krishna. The structure is near the old Langthabal palace, in fact a temple of the royal family at the capital. It had royal patronage.