Built in 820
Bimaladevi initiated and commissioned to build this temple
SrikrishnaAcharya Chowdhury was the founder of Mymensingh Zamindari. He got the Zamindari in 1727 as a grant from Nawab Alivardi Khan. Srikrishna’s father was originally from Bogra. After the death of Srikrishna, his four sons shifted their headquarters from Bogra to Bahadurpur and then to Muktagacha. At that time, the old name of Muktagacha was Binodbari. Before the zaminders settled here, it was a small village with few households. People were curious and exited to visit the zaminders after their arrival. Eventually, people started to settle down here.
From the book Ami Part 01, written by Srijibendra Kishore Acharya Chowdhury, it has been found that, Ramram (elder son of Srikrishna Acharya Chowdhury) visited many places near Muktagacha and finally decided to live here. The river Ayman was flowing from East to North and connected to the river Brahmmaputra. The bank of Ayman was the main transportation point for Muktagacha Zaminder Palace. Ayman still exists but unfortunately it is almost dead.
After the arrival of Ramram, Harram, Bishnuram and Shibram (four sons of Srikrishna Acharya Chowdhury) Muktagacha started to change gradually. The Zaminder Palace and its neighbouring important structures were fortified by creating a moat. A huge scale pond was created for water supply, religious purposes and others. Beside the construction of a dynamic and stylish Zaminder Palace four successors of Srikrishna built some extraordinary religious structures both inside and outside the Zaminder Palace. Among the five old surviving temples of the estate, a pair of old temples at the south side of the Zaminder Palace are placed overlooking a large tank on the south. This twin temple is dedicated to Lord Siva and goddess Kali respectively. According to Archaeology Department, this kind of twin temple is unique here. Bimaladevi, the daughter-in-law of Raghunanda Acharya Chowdhury initiated the build of this unique structure after the name of her mother Anandamoyee.
Anandamoyee twin temple stands at the middle of ninety-nine decimals of land at the south side of the Zaminder Palace. The main entrance of the temple complex is approached from the north. But the elegant view of the temple is amazingly visible from the south, actually it is more beautifully visible when one can view from the other side of the water body on the south.
The temple complex stands commonly on a two feet raised platform. Two identical temples then individually accessible through further steps. Each temple contains absolutely same features both inside and outside as well. Except the deities are different inside the womb chamber. If Approach from the south, left one is dedicated to Lord Siva and other one is to goddess Kali.
This dilapidated temple is a brick built structure with plastering mortar. Each temple contains the typical Indian temple features like a square ‘garbhagriha’ (womb chamber), a flat roof ‘mandapa’ or portico with a ‘shikhara’ (the representational mountain). Compared to other temples in the Muktagacha zamindari estate, this temple is highly decorated with plaster especially the part that contains ‘shikhara’.
After the partition of East and West Bengal in 1947, the Hindu community of Muktagacha Sadar formed a committee to take care of the temple. After that Archaeology Department took the possession of the temple as a protected monument.
Dr Nandini Awal is Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture at North South University