Located about 50 kilometres from Howrah station along the Howrah-Katwa line, is Bansberia. It is close to Tribeni or the confluence of three rivers – Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati. Bansberia was one of the seven important villages of Saptagram. The other six villages were Kristapur, Basudevpur, Nityanandapur, Sibpur, Sambachora and Baladghati.
The history of Bansberia dates back to more than 350 years when the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan appointed Raghav Datta Roy of Patuli as the zamindar of an area which comprised the present day Bansberia. Rameswar, son of Raghav Datta Roy cleared a bamboo grove in order to build a fort. Hence, the name Bansberia. Bansberia is famous for Hanseswari Temple.
The temple consists of 13 minars or ratnas, each looks like a lotus bud. Hanseswari temple is 21 metres in height and contains 5 floors. The construction of the temple began during the reign of Raja Nrisingha Deb Roy in the closing years of the eighteenth century; but he could not see the completion of the temple as he died in the year 1802. His wife Rani Sankari completed it in 1814. The temple is made of stone and brick. During those days an amount of rupees five lakh was spent for the construction of this magnificent temple. Marbles, used in the construction of the temple were procured from Benaras. The inner structure of the temple resembles the human anatomy. This temple structure has similarities with St. Basil’s cathedral in Moscow.
Raja Nrisingha Deb was a follower of Tantric cult. He had spent the last seven years in Varanasi practising its cult. The central deity is the blue neem-wood four armed idol placed on a lotus, Hanseswari, the goddess who came in a dream of Raja Nrisingha Deb Roy. ‘Hong’ manifests ‘Shiva’ and ‘Saa’ represents ‘Mother Shakti’.
There is a beautifully maintained adjoining lush green lawn. The famous Ananta Basudev Temple is situated just beside Hanseswari Temple. Hanseswari Temple is a protected monument under Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI). The temple has a unique architecture and deserves special mention among the temples of Bengal.
Date of posting: 3rd February, 2018.
One thought on “Hanseswari Temple”
We visited this temple in 2001 while on our way to Bandel from Barasat. The architecture is rather unique and yes somewhere it seems to have a parallel to the European citadels. It (the structure) is really so majestic and awe-inspiring that it immediately draws attention of any passer by. There was an entry gate to the compound too with naubat khana on top. The present descendants of the family live inside the compound straight down the gate while the temple is slightly on one side. It definitely is an advertisement for Bengal’s rich cultural heritage.