Sukharia ~ Restoration of Harsundari and Nistarini Temple
Sukharia, Somra Bazar, Hooghly
Restoration of Harsudari and Nistarini Kali Temple
See also: My blog post Mitra Mustafi Trilogy
The quint little village of Sukharia, located next to the Somra Bazar station, on the Bandel – Katwa rail line houses an amazing collection of temples and huge mansions.
Built by the descendent’s of Rameswar Mitra Mustafi, who was awarded the Mustafi title by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1704. Many of these temples and mansions of Sukharia still stands in spite of years of human neglect.
The Anando Bhairabi Temple, the star attraction of Sukharia, has been more or less well maintained, although the terracotta panels have long been cemented off.
The three storied 25 pinnacled temple is a unique in Bengal Temple Architecture, containing 3 X 4 =12 pinnacles at the corner of the first story, 2 X 4 = 8 pinnacle at the corner of the second story and the third or top story contains 4 pinnacle at the corners and is crowned with a central pinnacle.
Built by Bireswar Mustafi in 1813 the temple is flanked on either side by 10 (5 on each row) minor temples, out of which 9 houses Siva Lingas and one hoses a Ganesh Idol.
Next to the Anado Bhairabi temple is the huge Mitr Mustafi Mansion, sadly the crumbling mansion is on the verge of collapsing, but the central courtyard still looks grand.
But unlike the Anando Bhairavi Temple, the fate of the nearby Harasundari and the Nistarini Kali Temples have not been so smoothing sailing. Over the years this two beautiful temples of Sukhiria have witnessed the furry of nature along with the centuries of human neglect.
For over several decades both the temples have been subject of utter neglect and were on the verge of collapsing, until Shyamal Mitra a descended of Rameswar Mitra Mustafi took up the initiative of restoring the Harasundari and Nistarini Temple.
Harasundari Mandir, which was severally damaged by an earthquake in 1897, was once approachable through a two storied gate, from where trumpets were blown to welcome guest. The gate has long vanished, so has the flat roofed structure at the centre of the complex.
But the dilapidated Harasundari Temple, along with the 14 Shiva temples, withstood the test of time and in 2011 Shyamal Mitra took up th initiative of restoring, whatever was left in the temple complex. The Harasundari Temple complex was restored and painted, giving it a totaly new look.
It was the same story for the Nistarini Kali Temple, only the main temple could be saved and restored. The few pillars in front of the temple, which was the only remains of the nat mandir were brought down. The Nistarini Temple was restored and painted.
Apart from restoring the temple of Harasundari and Nistarini, Shyamal Mitra took several steps to make the residents of Sukhria aware of their rich history. A board with a 1912 map of Sukhria is put up along with plaques showing the family tree and time line of the Mitra Mustafi Family.