|The skill and
ingenuity displayed in its construction still excite admiration. The shrine is surrounded
by a curious wall of stone faced on the inside and outside with brick and standing on a
masonry plinth 30 feet high. The foundation consists of large logs of wood placed upon the
earth in rows. The wall rises to a height of 60 feet, its thickness at the base being 9
feet. The whole is covered with a dome-shaped rood.
of enormous size were used in its construction, and raise the spectator's wonder as to how
they were lifted into their places at a time when machinery was unknown. Outside the
temple, but within the enclosure, is a punang tree (callo- phyllum inophyllum) supposed to
have the virtue of redeeming women from barrenness.
There is small tank in the north of the enclosure, and the
popular belief is that a barren woman will conceive, if she plunges into the tank with a
basket of fruit on her head, picks up whatever reaches her, and suspends it to the tree
with a rope made of her hair.
The dread of the anger of the goddess is great. Even the Marathas, when ravaging Lower
Bengal, left Tamluk untouched and made valuable offerings to the temple. The river
Rupnarayan itself is believed to still its waters as it flows by the temple, while a short
distance above or below
the shrine the waves are turbulent. The river has on several occasionsencroached near the
temple, and once reached to within ten cubits of the walls; but although even the priests
deserted the edifice from fear that it would be washed away, the stream was allowed no