The Jatar Deul in West Bengal

Jatar Deul

The mysterious Jatar Deol is a tall brick structure in West Bengal. It is 65 feet tall and has been declared a monument of National Importance and is under the guardianship of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

It is mysterious because no one really knows why it was built in the midst of dense forest over a thousand years ago. Was it an isolated building or was it part of dynasty about which no one knows about? Or was it built because of the patronage of a rich man? Historians are not sure. What they do know is that a copper plate found in 1875 (since stolen/lost) suggests that it was built in 975 AD by Raja Joychandra. Unfortunately, nothing much is known of this person. There is also speculation that it was built as late as the 18th century.

Historians are also unsure as to why it was named Jatar. Continue reading “The Jatar Deul in West Bengal”

History of the Kanakaditya Deity

Kanakaditya is the Jatar family deity (कुल देव). Earlier I have given information on the female deity, Vijaya Durga.

B.S. Jatar, the son of Baburao, the grandson of Bapurao and the great-grandson of Shriram Jatar, also known as Chandu, collected this paper from Kasheli where he went in 2016.

There is another post on this website on this topic, information on the Jatar Kul Purush.

Kanakaditya History

A write-up appeared in Sakal in July 2019 about this temple and I am reproducing it here:

कशेळीचे कनकादित्य मंदिर पुणे today २६.०७.१९


The word Kuladev or Kula Devi “is derived from two words: Kula, meaning clan and Devata, meaning deity.”

These are deities worshipped by particular clans. It is customary to make a pilgrimage to the Kuladev or Devi temple to get the blessings of the deity, more so after an auspicious occasion such as a wedding.

The wiki says:

In the state of Maharashtra, the Kuladevatas are mainly manifestations of Shiva or Shakti such as Khandoba or Bhavani, respectively.

Related Reading: Read about the Jatar Kul Purush.

The Jatar Kuladevata – Vijaya Durga

Kuladevata  ( कुलदेवता or Kuladevi (कुलदेवी) or Kuladaivat, (कुलदैवत) is a family deity and the Vijaya Durga is the Kul Devata of the Jatar Family. This Devi – Vijaya Durga – resides in Goa. A considerable number of Karhade Brahmins (who are mostly all distantly related to one another) have Vijaya Durga as their Kuldevata. The origin is usually ancient. The surname of a priest who looks after the temple is also Jatar. They are our distant ancestors, from hundreds of years ago, before the majority of the Jatar family fled Goa to escape the religious tyranny of the Portuguese.

The word Kul itself means clan or family, and thus the Kula Devata is a deity worshipped by clans. It is a Hindu custom to make a pilgrimage to the Kuladevata temple to worship and get blessings, especially during important occasions.
This is the outside of the temple in Goa. Continue reading “The Jatar Kuladevata – Vijaya Durga”

Jatar Kul Purush

I thought this is a good opportunity to let you all know that Sarala and I visited our Kul Daivat Vijaya Durga at Keri on 27 November 2006. There is an institution called ‘Kul Purush’, which is actually a deity. Jatar Kul Purush is located at Govind Madhav Mandir at Dharali, which is about an hour’s car drive on way to Panjim from Keri. We visited the temple. It is not in a good shape. Its front door did not open and we had to make an entry through the residence of the pujari Shri Avdhoot Pengse. Shri Avdhoot Pengse was out. We met Mrs. Pengse.

Contributed by Sudhir. Maj. Gen SCN Jatar (Retd)

The significance of the Kul Purush:

Kulpurush ( called as कुलपुरुष in Sanskrit and कुळपुरुस or पुरुस in Konkani ) is believed to be the progenitor of a clan. Kul literally could mean lineage, race, family, or clan and Purusha could mean man, soul, spirit or even chief.

This aspect of ancestral worship is very predominant in Goa and is prevailing till date.According to Goan Folklore researcher Mr Vinayak Vishnu Khedekar,the word Purus pr Puris originated from the Sanskrit word Puris. All the communities and castes including Brahmins have custom of and tradition of Kulapurusha of their clan. A separate temple is found in the vicinity of Kuldevta temple, and Kulapurush is often worshipped in the form of Shiva or Narayana or sometimes in the form of a stone, sword, idol, or any other form like a stick or even a shield.

Related Reading: The Jatar Kuladevi and the Jatar Kuladevata.