Ambika Kalna ~ 108 Shiva Temples

Ambika Kalna ~ 108 Shiva Temples

Space age view of century old temples

It was a winter Sunday morning almost a decade ago, when I desperately panned my SLR film camera (Vivitar v3800s) to shoot a panorama of the 108 Shiva Temples of Ambika Kalna. The negative and the prints still at my possession but by limited dark room knowledge was not enough to stitch up the panorama.

Panoramic view of 108 Shiva Temples, Ambika Kalna

Panoramic view of 108 Shiva Temples, Ambika Kalna

A decade later in April 2012 I was back again at the same spot where I panned my DSLR (Nikkon D60) to shoot a 8 shot panorama of the 108 Shiva Temples of Ambika Kalna. The shots were stitched up in a matter of minutes in my digital darkroom.

It was not only the panorama that attracted my attention, the aerial  view of the 108 Shiva Temples of Ambika Kalna is on always on my “must shoot list,” but sadly it continues to remain a dream.

Today Google Earth not only provide a spectacular view of the 108 Shiva Temple complex of Ambika Kalna, but also ignites my passion of shooting the temples from the air. May be one day my dream will come true.

Ambika Kalna ~ 108 Shiva Temples

Few Facts

108 Shiva Temples, Ambika Kalna

108 Shiva Temples, Ambika Kalna

Ambika Kalna (or simply Kalna) is located 82 km from Kolkata (Howrah) on the Bandel – Katwa line. Located on the west bank of the Bhagirathi, Ambika Kalna (popularly known as Kalna) once flourished as a prosperous port town. It reached it’s pinnacle of glory during the late 18th century under the patronage of the Maharajas of Bardhaman, who built several magnificent temples with intricate terracotta ornamentation.

The maritime trade has long stopped and Kalna has lost the status of a flourishing port city, but the temples are still there reminding one of Ambika Kalna’s glorious past.

The Rajbari complex in Kalna has the maximum concentration of temples. Spread on either side of a the road the complex contains a unique mixture of Bengal’s temple architecture. On one side of the road lies the Nabakailas Temples. Built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja Tej Chandra Bahadur the complex contains 108 aat – chala (eight sloped roofed) temples arranged in two concentric circles separated by a well-maintained lawn with beautiful flowerbeds. The outer circle consists of 74 temples consisting of alternate black & white lingas while the 34 temples of the inner circle have only white lingas.

Also read my travelogue on Ambika Kalna

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  1. August 3, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    wow !! interesting

  2. August 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Rangan da,Du din aagei ami gechilam ei mandir gulo te.Khub bhalo legeche :)..Apnar ei protiti ti information place gulor upor amar porteow bhalo lage r somai ber kore chole jai.Kolkatar char pase eto sundor sob place aache,Satti ami jantam o na..Explore west bengal….Thanks you rangan da..R o bhalo bhalo place post koro…..

  3. August 9, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Thanks Rohan, Kalna is a wonderful place, a true temple town. Sadly the WB government never took the initiative of promoting these places.

    • samar mukerjee
      October 28, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      Agree with u dada

  4. Soumen Ghosh
    March 25, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Mr.Dutta, the details are really wonderful and full of knowledge…..i would like to know whether you can give regular puja’s in Nabakailas Temple in kalna.

    • March 13, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      Dear Mr Ghosh, the answer is probably yes.

  5. Indrajeet Ojha
    August 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    great !!!! I had been there once in 2004….but forgot the route…..tnx for the info.

    • March 13, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      Thanks Indrajeet for the coment, hope you visit Ambika Kalna again.

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