Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), Calcutta Heritage, General > Choto Ras Bari, Chetla Tollygunge Region, Kolkata

Choto Ras Bari, Chetla Tollygunge Region, Kolkata

Choto Ras Bari

Chetla Tollygunge Region, Kolkata

Today the the Adi Ganga (Tollly Nala) looks nothing better than a drain, but this creek once served as a major pilgrim route to the Kalighat and is older than the city of Kolkata (Calcutta).

Choto Ras Bari, Tollygunge - Chetla area, Kolkata

Choto Ras Bari, Tollygunge – Chetla area, Kolkata

As the Adi Ganga (Tolly Nala) served as a pilgrim route, several other temples were constructed along its banks, the Radhanath Temple, Boro Ras Bari (major house) and Choto Ras Bari (minor house), is one such temple complex.

Gate of Choto Ras Bari, Tollygumge - Chetla Area, Kolkata

Gate of Choto Ras Bari, Tollygumge – Chetla Area, Kolkata

The elaborate temple complex of Choto Ras Bari, is located behind the busy market on Tollygunge Road and has an official address of 93 Tollygunge Road.

The temple complex is approachable through a field, where local boys play cricket.

The entrance is trough a small gateway crowned with a pediment supported by four slender columns.

Sadly the small gate is heavily encroached upon and clothes are left to dray. The area also serves as workshops of artisans making earthen cups, used for drinking tea. The unburnt cups are left to dry at the Choto Ras Bari entrance.

Ghat next to Choto Ras Bari

Ghat next to Choto Ras Bari

Also located next to the entrance is a ghat (pavilion) leading to the Adi Ganga (Tolly Nala).

The flat roof structure, supported by slender columns, leads to the Adi Ganga (Tolly Nala) via a flight of steps.

This structure is also heavily encroached upon and some parts have been converted into living quarters.

The water of Adi Ganga (Tolly Nala) is pitch black in colour and is stagnant. It also has a stinking smell. It was hard to believe that the water was once crystal clear and carried barges with hordes of pilgrims, heading for the Kalighat.

Choto Ras Bari Plaques

Choto Ras Bari Plaques

It was quiet likely that many of the pilgrims had a brief stop and the Choto Ras Bari and made their way to inside the elaborate temple complex.

The Naba Ratna (Nine Pinnacled) Temple of Choto Ras Bari

The Naba Ratna (Nine Pinnacled) Temple of Choto Ras Bari

The temple complex, housed within a high wall has a huge courtyard paved with black & white marbles in a checkered pattern. On the side are six temples each, in aat chala (eight sloped roofs) style and houses shiva lingam.

The principle attraction is on the far end and this side houses three spectacular towering temples.

The central structure follows the naba ratna (nine pinnacled) style and is flanked on both side by similar looking, slightly shorter structures, which follow the pancha ratna (five pinnacled) style.

The Naba Ratna temple is known as the Sree Sree Gopal Ji Temple and houses the idol of Gopal and Radha & Krishna.

The Chota Ras Bari temple complex of the Tollygunge – Chetla is generally associated with the Mondals of Bawali. The Mondals built spectacular temples and mansions in Bawali, near Budge Budge and recently their mansion has been converted into a heritage hotel.

But a plaque near the entrance claims that the temple was constructed by Pyarilal Das and Manimohan Das and constructed was completed in April 1847.

There are two more plaques at the entrance and one of them provides for the dos and donts of the temple. It says footwear must be left outside the temple and the temple should not be entered on elephant, horse and palanquin.

The main three temples of Choto Ras Bari, Tollygunge - Chetla area, Kolkata

The main three temples of Choto Ras Bari, Tollygunge – Chetla area, Kolkata

There are three more small shiva temples just outside the complex but they have been turned into artisans workshop, who make earthen cups along with idols of Gods and Goddesses.

Sadly the Choto Ras Bari along with the nearby Baro Ras Bari and Radhnath Temple are in extremely poor state and are on the verge of collapsing.

Special Thanks: Fellow bloggers and friend Deeopanjan Ghosh deserves a special thanks for not only leading me the temples but also for providing the necessary information for writing this article. Do read Deepanjan’s blog on Chotto Ras Bari.

  1. March 19, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Almost collapsing and fading away! Will the authorities notice?

    • March 19, 2015 at 3:20 PM

      Dear Indrani, the temple complex is in the Grade A list of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) but sadly nothing has been done.

  2. March 19, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    Very sad seeing such a beautiful structure in this condition !!!

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:28 PM

      Dear Bhavani this is what is happening all over India

  3. March 19, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    Another real nice blog from your stable… this reminds me of the Rash Bari at Picnic Garden. Every year during Rash Mela i go there to see the debilitating state of the Sridhars Rash Bari. Thanks for sharing this, will surely check this out…

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:26 PM

      Thanks Subhadip, can you provide me with more details of the Sridhar Ras Bari in Picnic Garden.

      • March 22, 2015 at 2:38 PM

        Yup surely… Tonight i will send you the details….. Also will send you the direction with Google Maps

    • March 26, 2015 at 11:24 AM

      Thanks for the mail, I will definitely visit the Picnic Garden Ras Bari and blog about it.

  4. March 24, 2015 at 11:07 AM

    shades of Glory once it was..😦 sad.. But yes its really a Unique design structure rare one..

    • March 26, 2015 at 11:24 AM

      Yes Andy, Chota Ras Bari is really unique, hope it will be restored soon.

  5. July 3, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    Calcutta has so many of these heritage structures, the city is like a museum!

    • July 3, 2015 at 8:51 AM

      Calcutta is a treasure house of heritage but sadly the heritage is in crumbling stage, we need to protect it.

  6. March 5, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    Thanks a lot, Mr.Dutta. The first step of protecting the heritage sites, I believe, is by identifying them and letting people know about them. Only then can requests be made to the higher officials for their protection. Its our duty first. Not many people know about these. There are numerous heritage sites along the Ganga in the Cossipore region. Sadly not much is known about them neither comes the question of their protection.

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