Did you know there’s an over 250-year-old rajbari surrounded by stunning terracotta temples in a small village in Shantiniketan? Yes!
Surul, located a few kilometres away from Bolpur station, houses the Sarkar Rajbari built in the 1750s. The rajbari still remains in a terrific condition despite being almost three centuries old! It was built by this businessman named Srinivas Sarkar, who apparently made a lot of money by selling sails for ships that sailed from the Saheb Ghat port in Illambazar. It also boasts of several dilapidated but unique temples with a lot of intricate terracotta carvings.
The 19th century panch ratna Lakshmi Janardhan Temple has three arches with the central arch depicting a war scene between Ram and Ravan while the two remaining arches depict the former's coronation ceremony and the latter's meeting with his generals. The twin temples made in the rekha-deul style dedicated to Lord Shiva with terracotta panels are also worth a visit.
We would also recommend visiting a couple of other temples built by Srinivas Sarkar. One is a 19th century aatchala showing an eroded Lord Jagannath's rath in terracotta. The other is a rekha-deul style temple depicting Shiva playing the tanpura. There are figures of other gods and goddesses as well. Watch out for the terracotta carvings depicting Goddess Durga with her family and women in European dresses.