Dhaka, March 27 : An ancient Shiva Temple in Bangladesh, dating back to the 12th century, is on the verge of ruination, after many years of neglect by officials.
A report in Daily Star stated that the temple is located at Bholahat upazila in Chapai-nawabganj.
Built during the Sen era of 1156-1206 AD, the temple is gradually falling apart down due to sheer negligence by local authorities.
According to locals, the authorities have never taken any steps to preserve this ancient structure that has huge archaeological and historical value.
The Shiva temple is 19 ft 10 inches in height, 19 ft in length and has a width of 13 ft. It has outer walls of brick structure covered with terracotta artworks depicting mythological tales and religious events.
But today, it almost resembles a thatch hut, with a tree growing through it. Part of its roof has also collapsed, and, cow dung cakes cover the lower half of the temple's walls on the outside.
Some locals have complained that the aesthetic value of the temple, not to mention its religious significance, has been seriously damaged by the use of its walls to dry cow dung cakes.
The condition has degraded to the extent that deep cracks have developed on the walls of the 12th century structure, while weeds have covered most of its body. Most of the terracotta tiles that once decorated the body of the temple have eroded, while others have been lost over the years.
The temple has suffered other setbacks like thieves stealing bricks, terracotta tiles and other valuable things.
According to Dr. Majharul Islam Toru, a local historian and associate professor at the Chapai-nawabganj Govt. College, claims that this Shiva Temple of Bholahat is one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in the northern part of the country.
But, local miscreants are taking advantage of the lack of vigilance by the local police or upazila administration over this archaeological site, he added.
Though locals have urged the government to take immediate steps for the preservation of the 12th century temple, Badrul Alam, field officer of the Archaeology Department of Rajshahi Division, has said that the preservation for the ancient Shiva Temple is not listed as a job for the department.
"However if the locals raise a strong demand for its preservation, the archaeology department may be able to take steps to consider their demand," he said.