Raja Dular Singh Bahadur, the first titled Raja of the Banaili Clan who lived between 1750 and 1821 A.D. had built his Capital at a place called Banaili in the district of Purnea. Along with the fortress and the township he had also constructed a Temple of Bhagwati Kali. Although the Capital was later abandoned around 1856, by his successors, the Temple has survived 161 monsoons of desertion and neglect and stands as a relic of the glorious past.
Last September, under the leadership of the Local Mukhiya Sri Dilip Gupta and with the co-operation of the Villagers, we decided to make an attempt to save this Temple, which claims to be the oldest Monument of the Banaili Family and probably also the oldest surviving Monument in the District.
I had this project on my mind, for the last ten years, ever since I had visited this place in course of my research for my Book ‘Banaili, Roots to Raj’. I had shared my dream with my friend Deepaknandan Singh who happens to be a close relative and part of our extended family. We started to dream together and soon found another ally, my brother Udayanand Sinha.
The Project was finally started on 3.11.2010 with the cleaning up of jungle-like growth of weeds that had entered every crack and crevice of the dilapidated structure. We started to lose hope when we saw the amount of damage that had been done. But the temple that had withheld itself for more than 2 centuries seemed to give us a last chance. It withheld, and we proceeded carefully, step by step, and succeeded in saving the Dome of the Temple. Once this difficult task was accomplished we decided to face the other challenges like saving the thirteen arches that supported its doorways.
At long last, by the end of the 1st week of February, we reached a position where it could be proudly said that the Temple was finally saved. Apart from the Villagers who contributed with their continuous Kar-Seva under the able leadership of the Mukhiya, many members of the Banaili Clan, hailing from different branches like Srinagar, Taranagar, Ramnagar, Champanagar,Garh-banaili and Sultangunj joined us with their valuable contributions.
The completion of restoration work was marked by the installation of a new Vigraha of Mother Dakshin Kali which was sculptured by the able hands of Padmashree Sri Raghunath Mahapatra of Cuttack. The installation ceremony took place amidst elaborate rituals and great rejoicing on the 12th of April 2011.