One can find a number of old temples in Bally of Howrah district. One such old temple, I mean two old aatchala (eight roofed) temples in one raised platform at 15, Kali Prasanna Coomar (Kumar) Street (which was previously known as Sen Para) in Bally deserve mention. There are actually two temples placed side by side opposite to a pond known as Coomar (Kumar) Lake.
According to the foundation plaque, the temples are founded on 24 Baisakh, 1286 Bangabda, which according to Gregorian calendar comes to 8 May, 1879. That means the temples are now 139 years old. Jagadishwar Shiv Mandir was founded by Ramdhan Coomar and that of Nakuleswar Shiv Mandir by Krishnadhan Coomar, the sons of Bhairav Chandra Coomar, and, according to the two foundation stones they are inaugurated on the same date. The temples follow the traditional Bengali aatchala style.
The Shiva lingams are made of kasthi pathar (touch stone), and, according to Sri Amal Coomar, only the priest can worhship the linga by offering water. On the day of Shivaratri, the devotees offer water on the wood present in the temple sanctum and they are not allowed to touch the linga.
The temples are overgrown with vegetation and not in a good shape, though every year the weeds are cleared. One important thing about the temple is the brick with which it was made – the bricks are of different shapes and sizes and they were prepared according to the requirement, which, I think, is unique. Another thing which I personally feel about these twin temples is that they have retained their old charm till date. I was told that vaastu sap or snake lives on the backside of the temple, though none has seen it; but claims that the snake is white in colour and doesn’t harm anybody.
The pond, opposite to the temple,which is known by Coomar (Kumar) Lake is pretty deep and, at a time, the water is crystal clear. Mr. Coomar told me that thrice they have taken the initiative to build a wall surrounding the pond but in each and every time, somehow or the other, the wall collapsed. The trip to Bally remains incomplete without a visit to these Shiva Temples.
Howrah Jelar Purakriti – Amiya Kumar Bandopadhyay
I am also being helped by Sri Amal Coomar.
Date of posting: 24th August, 2018.