|Close to this
temple and facing it stands temple No. 4. It is now partially enclosed within a courtyard:
but the walls of this enclosure are evidently later additions, as they cover up the
mouldings of the temple outside on the sides. Divested of this wall the temple consists of
a cell and an Antarala or vestibule. It does not appear to have ever had a mahamandapa in
front. The object of worship is a lingam placed in a great argha 4 feet 7 inches in
diameter. Externally the tower differs considerably from those of the other temples,
and though in bad order, surpasses them in beauty and richness, though thesculptured
details are not so profuse or minute. The temples are surmounted by urns and not, as
usual, by cylinders or spires, or cones."2
To this report on the temples which is substantially correct, a few facts may be added.
These temples are made of
stone, which is not the usual material with which the Bengal temples are made. The
inscription of the temples and the style of the building have been recently studied by a
number of scholars. Shri S.K. Saraswati has compared them with the ancient Rekha temples
of Orissa. @ Prof.
Nirmal Kumar Bose has made some
studies on these temples.According to ShriSaraswati, the fourth temple in position is the
oldest and he has found points of stylistic similarity between this temple and the temple
of Parasu Rameshwar at Bhuban- eshwar, which is commonly accepted as the oldest Rekha type
temple of Orissa. Shri Saraswati thinks that this fourth temple at Barakar belongs to the
8th or 9th century A.D. and could be taken to be the oldest of the Rekha style temples in
Bengal. Prof. Nirmal Kumar Bose thinks that the Amalakas on the Barakar temples have
concave folds and not convex and so there is an impact of the temple types of South West
India. One inscription has been found in one of the temples.
2 The District Gazetteer of Burdwan by J.C.K.
Peterson (1910) pp. 186-187.
@ Journal of the Indian Oriental Society, First
Volume, Second Issue.