Shiv Mandir (Temple) is pretty common in West Bengal and mostly they are of aatchala (eight rooofed) type. Among them some are pretty old and have undergone restoration and while others have not. Many contain terracotta panels and during restoration some got damaged. Another thing while undergoing restoration work, many temples lost its old charm.
There are two twin Shiva temples in either side of Bally Bridge (Vivekanananda Setu). The one near Bally khal (canal) and close to old jetty ghat is not of aatchala type but of completely different nature; but definitely they are old. Here the Shiva lingams are black in colour.
The other twin aatchala Shiva temples on the right side of Vivekananda Setu and close to newly constructed Nivedita Bridge is much older and is one of the oldest temple in Bally. The temples are north and south facing on the bank of the Ganges. The temples date back to 1235 Bengali year, i.e, 1828 A.D much earlier than Dakshineswar Temple on the other side of the Ganges.
The temples were built by Iswar Chandra Mukhopadhyay and his wife Bindubasini Devi. Later in 1925 they have undergone restoration. This has been clearly inscribed on stone platform on which the Shiva lingam stands. The lingams are made of marble and hence white in colour. Both the temples contain two entrances – apart from the north and south facing doors, there is also another door facing the river. The temples are nearly 25 feet in height. The south facing Shiv mandir is a little larger than the north. Previously these temples contain some decorations made of sand and limestone. A flight of stairs will lead you to the main temple sanctum. The temple sanctum have undergone completely restoration and white tiles have been used. There is also a white bull beside each Shiva lingam.
Howrah Jelar Purakriti edited by Amiya Kumar Bandopadhyay.
Thanks to Shri Tapan Ghosal of Bally.
Date of posting: 21st March, 2018