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Amadpur, A Royal Home Stay in Terracotta Country

May 18, 2017 6 comments

Amadpur, Memari, Bardhman

A Royal Home Stay in Terracotta Country

Villages dotted with terracotta temples is nothing uncommon in the Gangatic Bengal region, but Amadpur, near Memari, in Bardhaman District, offers a unique combination of terracotta temples along with a heritage home stay in a renovated zamindar mansion.

Temple Complex with Dol Mancha, in front of Baithakkhana Amadpur, Amadpur, Memaari

Temple Complex with Dol Mancha, in front of Baithakkhana Amadpur, Amadpur, Memaari

At first glance Amadpur, located about 8 km north of Memari on Howrah – Bardhman main line, appears to be a typical Bengal village, but a closer inspection revels several mansions, most of which are in dilapidated conditions.

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Hanseswari Temple and Ananta Basudev Temple, Bansberia, Hooghly

September 18, 2016 4 comments

Hanseswari Temple and Ananta Basudev Temple

Bansberia, Hooghly

The history of Bansberia dates back to the days of Shah Jahan. In 1656, the Mughal emperor appointed Raghab Dattaroy of Patuli as the zamindar of an area that includes the present-day Bansberia. Legend has it that Raghab’s son Rameshwar cleared a bamboo grove to build a fort, inspiring the name Bansberia.

L: Ananta Basudev Temple & R: Hanseswari Temple, Bansberia, Hooghly

L: Ananta Basudev Temple & R: Hanseswari Temple, Bansberia, Hooghly

Bansberia was also one of the important villages of the Saptagram (a unit of seven villages), an important port town in medieval Bengal. Its importance in pre-Muslim Bengal was religious, owing to its location at the Tribeni or confluence of three rivers.

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Lakshmi Janardhan Temple, Debipur

August 28, 2016 2 comments

Lakshmi Janardhan Temple, Debipur

A towering rekh deul temple

Lakshmi Janardhan Temple, Debipur

Lakshmi Janardhan Temple, Debipur

The nondescript village of Debipur, located on the Howrah – Bardhman main line has a distinction of housing a towering temple.

For the most comfortable journey it is best to take the Bardhman Local (Main) from Howrah. It takes about one and half hour to reach Debipur.

A short bus or trekker ride from Debipur station takes you to Shivtala, where the towering Lakshmi Janardhan Temple (Lakshmi Janardan Temple) is located.

Before reaching the Lakshmi Kanardhan Temple the visitors will be welcomed by a unique structure at the Shivtala bus stop.

This structure consists of three connected structures built on a single raised platform. The structures on the side are aat – chal (8 sloped roof) shiva temples.

The central structure is a dol mancha. The open dol mancha, stands on a elevated platform and towers above both the temples.

The structure contains beautiful terracotta ornamentation on its front surface, including a false door way, below the dol mancha. A marble plaque on the doorway indicates that the structure was constructed in 1283 of Bengali calendar which is equivalent to 1836.

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Kalna Rajbari Complex, Ambika Kalna

July 27, 2016 10 comments

Kalna Rajbari Complex, Ambika Kalna

An amazing Temple Complex

Ambika Kalna (or simply Kalna) is located 82 km from Kolkata (Howrah) on the Bandel – Katwa line. Located on the west bank of the Bhagirathi, Ambika Kalna once flourished as a prosperous port town.

Panoramic view of Kalna Rajbari Complex

Panoramic view of Kalna Rajbari Complex

It reached it’s pinnacle of glory during the late 18th century under the patronage of the Maharajas of Bardhaman, who built several magnificent temples with intricate terracotta ornamentation.

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Terracotta Temples of Surul, Shantiniketan, Birbhum

April 10, 2014 17 comments

Terracotta Temples of Surul

Shantiniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal

Shantiniketan has always been in the top of the list for the travel loving Bengalis. But apart from the the Rabindranath Thakur (Tagore) related heritage, Shantinekatan also acts as a base for several short excursions showcasing some unknown and neglected heritage of Bengal.

Sarkarl Rajbari (Mansion), Surul, Shantiniketan, Birbhum

Sarkarl Rajbari (Mansion), Surul, Shantiniketan, Birbhum

Surul, located 5 km from the Bolpur Station in Shantiniketan, is probably the nearest heritage excursion spot from Shantinekatan.

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Its all Dutch with Bauke Van Der Pol

February 12, 2014 7 comments

In Search of Dutch Legacy with Bauke Van Der Pol

Falta, Aatput (Antpur) and Chinsurah (Chuchura)

From sunken ship to lost cannons and from dilapidated mansions to ruined forts, it was a out of the world experience accompanying Dutch anthropologist and writer Bauke Van Der Pol on his explorations along the banks of the Hooghly.

With Dutch anthropologist and historian Bauke Van Der Pol

With Dutch anthropologist and historian Bauke Van Der Pol

I had the pleasure of accompanying Van Der Pol on three ocassion covering the places of Falta, Aatpur (Antpur) and Chinsurah (Chuchura).

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Sukharia ~ Restoration of Harsundari and Nistarini Temple

December 25, 2013 9 comments

Sukharia, Somra Bazar, Hooghly

Restoration of Harsudari and Nistarini Kali Temple

See also: My blog post Mitra Mustafi Trilogy

Harasundari Temple, Sukharia Old (L) and New (N)

Harasundari Temple, Sukharia Old (L) and New (N)

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.

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