Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), Calcutta Heritage, General > Bhukailash Temple, Khidirpur

Bhukailash Temple, Khidirpur

Bhukailash Temple


Khidirpur or Kidderpore located south part of the city is home to India’s oldest river port. Apart from the still functioning port the area also houses athe Fancy Market, known for cheap electronic goods and not to mention the amazing Mughlai Food.

Bhukailash Pano 2

A panoramic view of the Bhukailash Temple Complex, Khidirpur, Kolkata

But unknown to many Khidirpur also houses one of the oldest temple of the city with giant shiva linga. The huge temple complexes also houses a huge rajbari. The Bhukaliash Temple Complex housing two huge temples have remained unknown to most of the citizens of Kolkata.

Bhukaailash Gate

Gateway to the Bhukailash Temple

The temple complex dates back to 1781 and were constructed by Raja Joynarayan Ghosal. The temples came up when Joynarayan Ghosal shifted his base from Fort William to Khidirpur.

Joynarayan Ghosal was born in 1752 and obtained the Raja title from the Mughal Ruler, he was also a 3000 (3500 according to other source) mansabdar under the Mughal ruler.

Joynarayan Ghosal mastered several languages including English, Bengali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic and Persian. He was closely associated with the great reformer Raja Rammohan Roy and played an active role in social reforms in Bengal.

Bhukaailash Rajbari 4

Nahabath Khanna, Bhukailash Temple

The two temples, and a huge pond along with the rajbari once covered an area of 108 bighas but sadly most of the area has been heavily encroached upon.

The temple complex has witness centuries of neglect and due to lack of maintenance, the temples were reduced to crumbling conditions.

The temples were declared a heritage property in 1996 and were listed in Grade I category of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

Sadly nothing much changed under the heritage tag. It was only in 2013 the Kolkata Municipal Corporation took up the job of restoring the two century old temples.

Bhukaailash 2

Bhukailash Temple Complex, Khidirpur, Kolkata

The restoration project also included restoration of not only the two temples along with the huge pond and the surrounding. A large statue of Nandi Bull was placed between the two temples.

Bhukaailash 1

Nandi Bull Statue, Bhukailash Temple

On 25 September the renovated temple complex was opened to public in the presence of the Bollywood dream girl Hema Malini.

Sadly in the process of renovation the temple has lost its former glory and nothing much remains of its historical structure.

The temple is approachable from opposite the Khidirpur Tram Depot and a newly constructed gate opposite the tram depot welcomes visitors to the Bhukailash Temple Complex.

A winding road from the gate leads to the nahabat khanna of the temple complex. The gateway with a drum house on the top. Beating drums and blowing trumpets once welcomed visitors with the temple complex.

Bhukaailash 3

Giant Shiva Linga, Bhukailash Temple

Sadly those glorious days have long gone and the heavily encroached drum house welcomes visitors to an equally encroached temple and rajbari complex.

Today the temple and the rajbari are separated by a road and the temple complex is fenced off separating it from the rajbari.

Each of the two aat chala shiva temples houses towering shiva lingas. The linga one on the east is named Raktakamaleshwar and the western one is known as Krishnachandaneshwar.

Both the temple houses towering Shiva Lingas, with Krishnachandaneshwar slightly higher than Raktakamaleshwar. A plaque at the temple site claims that the shiva lingas are tallest in India.

Bhukailash Pano S

Bhukailash Temple Complex with Shivganga Pond, Khidderpur, Kolkata

Large chunk of the temple complex houses a huge lake named Shivganga. The newly constructed wall contains old pill boxes and a domed pavilion on the south houses a statue of Joynarayan Ghosal.

Bhukailash Pano 3

Panoramic view of Bhukailash Rajbari, Khidirpur, Kolkata

The Bhukailash Rajbari lies on the other side of the road, the porch of the rajbari has long collapsed leaving only a couple of pillars.

Bhukaailash Rajbari 1

Temple inside Bhukailash Rajbari

The entry through the porch has been now blocked and interiors are accessible through a side entrance.

The entrance leads to a large courtyard lined with several temples. On the left is the huge dance hall. Sadly the roof has long collapsed. The complex also houses two small cannons.

On the right is the Shri Shri Patita Paboni Durga Mandir housing the family deity of the Ghosal Family.

The durga deity in mahisashurmardini posture and is made of an alloy of eight metals (ashtadhatu). It is an active temple and the deity is worshiped on regular basis.

Bhukaailash Rajbari 3

Roofless Dance Hall, Bhukailash Rajbari

The rajbari complex also built by Joynarayan Ghosal dates back to 1782 and some portions of it are still occupied by the Ghosal family.

A large copper plaque on the inner walls of the temple narrates the life story of Joynarayan Ghosal in Persian and English. It is a long story and difficult to read.

A smaller inscription in Bengali, on the outer walls of the temple, gives the brief life history of the founder of the temple.

Today the rajbari is let out for shooting purposes and several Bengali serials have been shot out here. It helps to keep the place clean and provides valuable revenue.

Bhukaailash Rajbari 2

The family deity of Ghosal Family, Bhukailash Rajbari, Khidirpore, Kolkata

Although the temple is rarely visited by people from other parts of Kolkata but it attracts a lot of local people. In the evening loacal kids play cricket and badminton in the complex. During Shiva Ratri the temples attract a huge local crowd.

  1. February 19, 2020 at 12:02 AM

    Another great post!! I really enjoy your posts!!

  2. The Scurvy Dawg
    February 19, 2020 at 6:45 PM

    Good one

  3. February 24, 2020 at 5:36 PM

    i have visit many places but this looks totally different between them. And yes i’ll definitely give a shot if possible in my upcoming plans.

  4. April 16, 2020 at 9:33 PM

    Great post ūüĎć

  5. MyTravelFrames
    December 16, 2020 at 9:00 PM

    Beautiful post…good to know about a hidden history of Kolkata.

    • December 16, 2020 at 9:11 PM

      I keep writing about the hidden gems of Kolkata. Keep following my blog

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: