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Archive for July, 2013

Choong Ye Thong, Chinese Church (Temple), Calcutta (Kolkata)

July 31, 2013 18 comments

Choong Ye Tong, Chinese Church (Temple)

Meredith Street, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see: My blog post on Calcutta (Kolkata) Chinatown

Alter of Choong Ye Thong Chinese Church (Temple), Calcutta (Kolkata)

Alter of Choong Ye Thong Chinese Church (Temple), Calcutta (Kolkata)

I was  welcomed into a small courtyard, with walls lined with sepia tinted photographs bound in ornate frames. Flights of stairs led me to the the second floor housing a small hermitage housing beautiful images of unknown Gods and Goddess. Yes this is the Choong Ye Tong, Chinese Church (Temple), one of the seven Chinese Temples of Central Calcutta.

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Halisahar and Kanchrapara, Temples and Pilgrimage

July 24, 2013 25 comments

Halisahar and Kanchrapara

Temples and Pilgrimage

Halisahar is a non – descriptive town on the northern fringes of the North 24 Parganas district. Today it is a busy unplanned and overcrowded industrial town but the history of Halisahar dates back to the pre – Mughal days. The name Halisahar is probably of Islamic origin and is derived from “Haveli Sahar” meaning “City of Palaces.” (Haveli = Palace, Sahar = City)

Baranda Galir Mandir, Halisahar, 24 - Parganas (N)

Baranda Galir Mandir, Halisahar, 24 – Parganas (N)

Sadly the “Havelis” of Halisahar didn’t survive the test of time and have long crumbled into dust. Strangely a small terracotta temple complex have survived the centuries of human neglect and can still be seen today. Halisahar is also the birth place of legendary religious reformer Ramprasad Sen. His Kali Temple, although converted into a modern structure, is the prime attraction of Halisahar.

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Semaphore Towers ~ A Pre – Telegram Communication System

July 17, 2013 45 comments

Semaphore Towers

A Pre – Telegram Communication System

Its a typical rural Bengal landscape, a villager makes is way through agricultural fields, but the chimney like structure is definitely unique. Its not a chimney of the brick kilns that dot the Bengal rural landscape nor is it a wtach tower used to keep eye on invading Bargi (Maratha).

Semaphore Tower, Parbatichak, Arambagh, Hooghly, West Bengal
Semaphore Tower, Parbatichak, Arambagh, Hooghly, West Bengal

Its a semaphore tower, quiet a few of which still dot the rural as well as urban landscapes of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.

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Bishnupur, Temple Town

July 10, 2013 37 comments

Bishnupur

Temple Town

Stone has always been in short supply in the vast flood plains of Bengal. Hence the architects had to restore to other substitute. As clay was easily available the burnt clay bricks soon became a good substitute of stone. This gave rise to a new form of temple architecture and lead to the construction of elaborately decorated terracotta temples.

Scattered Temples of Bishnupur, Bankura, West Bengal

Scattered Temples of Bishnupur, Bankura, West Bengal

Terracotta literally means baked earth in Italian but West Bengal has the distinction of housing some of the finest terracotta art in the world. The terracotta art reached its pinnacle under the patronage of the Malla Kings of Bishnupur during the seventeenth century.

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Hsuan Tsang Monastery ~ Paschim Chowbaga, Calcutta (Kolkata)

July 3, 2013 33 comments

Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple (Monastery)

Paschim Chowbaga (Tiljala), Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see: My blog post on Calcutta (Kolkata) Chinatown and Buddhist Temple of Kolkata (Calcutta)

Hsuan Tsang Monastery, Paschim Chowbaga (Tiljala), Calcutta (Kolkata)

Hsuan Tsang Monastery, Paschim Chowbaga (Tiljala), Calcutta (Kolkata)

As I stepped inside the monastery complex I was reminded of the mountains, the Himalayas. The Hsuan Tsang Monastery has remarkable resemblance with his Himalayan counterparts like Rumtek, Hemis and Tawang, each of which built over a large area containing several temples and other religious structures.

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