Tamluk in Midnapore district
is the ancient Tamralipta as already mentioned. Tamluk also breathes of the days that are
no more. According to tradition, the royal palace and grounds of the Kaibartta Rajas of
Tamluk stretched over an area of 8 miles. The Kaibartta belong to a lower caste.
This is another instance where a so-called lower caste
could acquire a kingdom for them. The old Tamluk City has gone under the river and even
the great temple of Bargabhima is partly underground. There are remains of masonry wells
and houses at a depth of 18 to 20 feet below the
surface. From the debris of the crumbling banks of the Rupnarayan River a number of old
silver and copper coins bearing Buddhist symbols have beenrecovered.13
The most famous temple at Tamluk is that of Bargabhima, who represents Tara, which is
another form of Sakti. This temple built on the site of a Buddhist vihara has three
distinct apartments, viz., the Baradeul, or inner sanctuary, the Jaga- mohan, or hall of
audience, and the Natmandir, or dancing hall also used for offerings.
There is a small raised covered passage between the
Baradeul and Jagamohan, which is called Jnan Mandap, where Pandits meet to discuss
religioussubjects. The building is accessible by a flight of stairs consisting of 22
steps. There is a naubatkhana just at the top of the grand stairs, and high walls surround
the whole enclosure.
The idol of the deity is carved out of a single block of
stone with hands and feet attached to it in mezzorelievo. The deity is fourhanded and
stands on the lying body of Lord Siva. The upper of the two right hands holds a Trisul
(three-pointed spear) and the lower one has a sword.
13. Bengal District Gazetteers, Midnapore by L.S.S.