Ichai Ghosher Deul, a towering temple on the banks of River Ajay

Ichai Ghosher Deul

A towering temple on the banks of River Ajay

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

The Covid 19 outbreak have changed the way we live and after spending over 10 months confined at home we finally decided to hit the road. The visit to the Ichai Ghosher Deul was part of a weekend trip to Bhalki Machan, which was known for its crumbling tower like structure.

Ichai Ghosher Deul

Ichai Ghosher Deul

According to local folklore the tower like structure in Bhalki Machan served as hunting platform, which was used by the local landlords to hunt bear. But historians have a different story and historical records confirm the tower was actually a Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) Tower, used for surveying and mapping the country almost 200 years ago.

Ichai Ghosher Deul

Ichai Ghosher Deul

Deaul is a type of temple architecture, which is influenced by the Odiya Temple Architecture. West Bengal houses only a handful of this deuls.

Some of the prominent Deul temples of West Bengal are Jatar Deul, Sat Deul, Jora Deul, Banda Deul Sonatapal Sun Temple, Siddheshwara Temple at Bahulara (Also see: Beyond Bishnupur)

Ichai Ghosher Deul or Temple of Icahi Ghosh was part of our post lunch exploration. It is located about 35 km from Aranya Sundari Hotel, Valki Machan.

The journey took almost an hour. The initial part of the journey was along a narrow road meandering through a heavily forested area.

The Icahi Ghoser Deul is located in the southern bank of the Ajay River near the Gourangapur village in the Durgapur sub-division of Paschim Bardhaman Distriict (Google map location).

The area surrounding the temple has been developed into a park named Deul Park. The park serves as a popular tourist spot and during the winter months attracts a lot of picnicker from surrounding towns and village. Many of the picnickers do make a visit to the ancient temple but apart from that the temple hardly receives any other visitors.

Shiva Linga, Ichai Ghosher Deul

Shiva Linga, Ichai Ghosher Deul

Presently the Ichai Ghoser Deul is a Monument of National Importance protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

A blue board of ASI mentions that the temple dates back to mid-18th century and was constructed by Ichai Ghosh and was dedicated to Goddess Bhagabati.

Nothing much is known about the history of this towering temple and historians have come up with different opinions.

The temple has long been abandoned and its inner sanctum has been empty for years but presently it contains a large Shiva Linga, which is regularly worshiped by the locals.

Collage of decorative brick ornamentation on Ichai Ghosher Deul

Collage of decorative brick ornamentation on Ichai Ghosher Deul

The towering temple stands on a small base of about 9 m square and the inner sanctum is located below the ground. Entrance is through a corbelled arched gateway.

Ichai Ghosher Deul

The lower part of the temple is totally devoid of any ornamentation but the spire have traces of ornamentation on all four sides. The ornamentation is of decorative bricks. Sadly with the passage of time most of it has worn off.

Note: The trip to Ichai Ghosher Deul was part of a family weekend tour of Bhalki Machan.

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