We now come to Dantan a large village about 40 miles south of
Midnapore town. Dantan has a railway station of the same name on the southeastern Railway
in Howrah-Puri section. Dantan lies on the Orissa Trunk Road and is culturally very much
influenced by Orissa. Even the
way Bengali language is spoken here smacks of the intonation of Oriya language.
The Puri Lodging House Act was in operation at Dantan till
1908. Dantan was once a great market for tusser, silk and cotton. The pilgrims by road
before the railway lines were opened. There was a constant cultural interchange due to the
two-way traffic of the pilgrims. Dantan was a favorite place of halt for the pilgrims
being a large village with amenities.
The most important temple here is dedicated to Syamaleswar.At the entrance of the temple
there is a large stone statue of a bull lying in front of Siva. The forelegs of the bull
are damaged. It is said Kalapahar cut them off. This temple indicates the hold of Saivism
in this area.
There are two large tanks in the village. One is called the Bidyadhar tank and the other,
about two miles east of it is known by the name of Sarsankha. The first is about 1,600
feet in length and 1,200 feet in breadth. Tradition ascribes that the Bidyadhar tank was
excavated under the
orders of Bidyadhar, the Minister of Telinga Mukunda Deva, the last Hindu king of Orissa.
But the records of history show that Govinda Bidyadhar was the Minister of Prataparudra
Deva, on whose death he seized the throne.17
17. M.M. Chakravarti, The Last Hindu King of
Orissa, Journal of Asiatic