A rare Vishnu temple with a unique ‘nava-ratha’ architecture has been excavated at Madhabgaon village in Kaharol Upazila of the northern district of Dinajpur by a team of archaeologists from Jahangirnagar University.
They found a seven-metre-high brick-built structure and a 144-sq-metre solidly built platform, with a 4.48-metre square cell at the centre. The cell represents the ‘garbhagriha’ (sanctum sanctorium) where the idol was worshipped.
The external surface of the platform has ‘ratha’ or vertical offset projections at the west, north and south. There are nine ‘rathas’. That is why the temple is known as a ‘nava-ratha’ temple, according to ‘Early Temple Architecture’.
The team found more artefacts, including a decorated stone image, a good number of broken fragments of stone sculptures, along with pottery, decorated bricks and stone pieces during the ongoing archaeological excavations at the site. The sculptural fragments represent various iconographic attributes of Vishnu, the Hindu deity.