The Construction of the Kirttana-Ghar by Madhavadeva

The Kathā-Guru-Carita gives a somewhat detailed description of the organization of the Kirttana-Ghar at the Barpetā Satra:

When Madhavadeva came to Barpetā on Mathurādāsa's request, arrangements were made for building a Kirttana-Ghar in the place. Timber was obtained from the very site selected. Three of Madhavadeva's following - Parvatiyā Krishnāi, Rāma Kārikar and Vibhisana - worked as carpenters and made ready the required number of posts and beams, and an Āsana (holy pedestal). Bamboos were brought from the Bajāli parganā; the stronger ones were split into long rods (kāmi) and the thinner made into whole rods to be reaching from the eaves to the nave (ruwā). These split and whole rods were kept under water for some time in order to give them durability, and were then dyed red. The posts were now erected, the cross beams and horizontal poles along the whole length of the house were set. The red-dyed rods were then spread over to form the roof, which was covered with thatch all over and with wicker-work frames at the ridges and edges.

Walls were then set up with bamboo and wood, windows (kundrāksa-jālā) being left in proper places. The posts and walls were studded with mica (bālicandā) and tin foils (rāngpatā). The adhesive substance used for sticking these glittering objects was obtained from ripe bilva (wood-apple) fruits. Chalk (khari-māti) was used for decorating the posts and the walls.

Vibhisana and Krishnāi, the carpenters, made floral designs (latā-phul) on the main gateway (pāt-dvār), and two wooden representations of Jaya and Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Vaikuntha.

The Kirttana-Ghar thus presented a magnificent and colourful view and was, therefore, called rangiyāl-ghar (rang=colour).

The rangiyāl-ghar was built on the spot where Sankaradeva had the big Vrindāvani Vastra woven by Mathurādāsa and other weavers. When Madhavadeva was spending his last years in Koc-Behār, the rangiyāl-ghar was destroyed by fire. Mathurādāsa rebuilt the house on a larger scale with a view to accommodating the increasing number of adherents of the Satra. The original spots on which Madhava and the reader of the Bhagavata (Bhāgavati) used to sit were not disturbed, and this is the reason these two seats are behind the Guru-Aasana today.

From very early times the wooden walls of the Nām-Ghar were decorated, with scenes from scriptures being painted or engraved upon them.