Located just 48 km from Howrah, in Howrah-Bandel-Katwa line, there is a station called Bansberia in Hooghly district of West Bengal. Bansberia is a municipal town. The town’s importance is religious owing to its proximity to Tribeni, or the confluence of three rivers – Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati. Bansberia is famous for two temples – Hanseswari Temple and Ananata Basudev Temple. Both of them are situated in the same temple complex.
Ananta Basudev Temple was built by Rameswar Datta in 1679 A.D. Datta was an ardent follower of Vaishnavism. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Krishna. Ananta Basudev Temple was built on typical ekaratna style of Bengal Temple Architecture. It has a curved cornice. The temple has a single pinnacle which is octagonal in shape. The temple is rich in terracotta and is similar to the terracotta temples of Bishnupur. The terracotta panels of the temple not only depict figures of gods and goddesses, but also scenes from everyday life. It also portrays stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The great poet Rabindranath Tagore visited this temple and he was so much moved by its beauty asked Nandalal Bose who came here and took drawings of each and every terracotta pictures of the panels.
The trip to Bansberia remains incomplete without a visit to this temple.
Date of posting: 20th January, 2017.