Hanseswari Temple and Ananta Basudev Temple
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rebirth of a Temple Town
Located in the Dumka District of Jharkhand the non descriptive village of Maluti houses several temple with intricate art work.
Sribati, Katwa, Burdwan
West Bengal’s Hidden Terracotta Gem
Once upon a time a family from far of Gujrat migrated the entire length of the country to settle near the present day town of Katwa in Burdwan district. Belonging to the trader class they soon exhaled in trade & commerce.
Their huge barges sailed up and down the Hooghly and it’s tributaries and distributaries carrying merchandise from far off lands. In a very short span of time the Chandra family earned enough to build themselves a huge mansion, and several temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
From Prof. Tirthankar Roy,
Economic History Dept.
THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
AND POLITICAL SCIENCE (LSE)
Six of my photos were selected for publication by Prof. Tirthankar Roy of the Economic History Dept. of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for his book titled “India in the World Economy” published by the Cambridge University Press.
Below is a testimonial from Prof. Roy
Here is the list of the selected six photos:
- Radhagobinda Temple, Aatpur (Antpur)
- Panel of European soldiers from Radhagobinda Temple, Aatpur (Antpur)
- Rajrajeshwar Temple, Darhawata
- Panel of Ship from Rajrajeshwar Temple, Darhawata
- Nanking Restaurant & Tong On Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)
- Abandoned Light House, Kulpi
PHOTOS OF AATPUR (ANTPUR)
Built in 1786 Krishnaram Mitra, the Dewan of Maharaja of Burdwan, constructed the huge Radhagobinda Temple. The towering aat – chala temple has a triple arched entrance and the entire front face is covered with the finest terracotta. The temple was constructed during an important transition period of Bengal history. This period marked the end of Muslim rule and the beginning of European era. The terracotta panels reflect this transition. Apart from traditional panels showing images of Gods & Goddesses, scenes from Ramayana & Krishnalila it also houses a vast number of panels showing European lifestyles. European soldiers with bayonet mounted guns and hunting scenes with dogs are abundant on the walls of the temple.
PHOTOS OF DARHAWTA
The Rajrajeshwar Temple of Darhawta was constructed in 1728 by Apurbamohan Singaroy. The base of the aat – chala (eight sloped roof) temple measures 24 feet by 21 feet and has a triple arched entrance. The entire front surface have intricate terracotta, but sadly most of these panels have been heavily damaged. The base panels consists of images of boats and ships.
PHOTO OF ABANDONED LIGHT – HOUSE, KULPI
The abandoned light house at Kalitala village is approached from the Sam Bose bus stop in Kulpi (near Diamond Harbour) by the Military road. The unpaved road, of about 3 km, is called locally as the Military Road but their are no concrete historical evidences of the origin of the name. Today the abandoned light house is reduced to half its original height and is located at the edge of the agricultural field. The light house is located quiet a distance from the Hooghly River and is separated from the river by a series of brick kiln.
With a circumference of about 10 feet the light house today towers to a height of about 25 feet and is built with bricks measuring 10.2 X 4.7 X 2.3 cubic inch. The structure lies in utter neglect and is totally overgrown with vegetation. The roots of the vegetation have embedded them deep in the structure and resulted in deep cracks stretching the entire length of the structure, it is a mystery that the structure still stands.
PHOTO OF NANKING RESTAURANT
At the Chattawalla Guli of of Tiretta Bazar of Central Calcutta (Kolkata) lies a elegant two storied building. The ground floor once housed the Nanking Restaurant. Opened in 1924 the Nanking Restaurant is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Calcutta (Kolkata) and also in India. The first floor housed the Tong On Chinese Temple.
A property dispute in 1980s closed both the restaurant and the temple and they remain closed to this day, denying the Calcuttans of their authentic Chinese food. The Tong On Church operates from a nearby house in Bow Street in Bou Bazar.
- Hooghly Jelar Purakirti by Narendranath Bhattacharya
- Next weekend you can be at … Antpur by Somen Sengupta, The Telegraph
- Links from my website Aatpur Travelogue
- Hooghly Jelar Purakirti by Narendranath Bhattacharya
- Dakshin 24 Pargana Jelar Purakirti by Sagar Chattopadhyay
- Jaywalkers Guide Calcutta by Soumitra Das
- Links from my website Chinese Temple of Old China Town, Calcutta (Kolkata)