Chandannagar, the 13th station from Howrah can be reached in less than an hour by train. It was a former French colony and can be reached by road and rail. The city has a number of heritage buildings and, therefore, has a rich history to offer. This city has a number of temples of which Rajrajeshwar Temple of North Chandannagar deserves special mention as far as intricate terracotta works are concerned. It is possibly the only surviving terracotta temple of Chandannagar.
Close to Buroshibtala post office, this beautiful nabaratna or nine pinnacled terracotta temple was built possibly in the second half of the eighteenth century and has survived the taste of time. Though the temple has undergone restoration work, but still most of the terracotta works are visible and one can witness the exquisite and intricate terracotta panels.
This temple has rigged turrets with triple entrance. The temple has doors on eastern and southern sides and this two sides contain terracotta works. The temple is placed on a slightly higher pedastal. Of the triple arched entrance, the middle one is accesible while the other two on both the sides are false. The central ratna is pretty high. Some of the terracotta panels depict stories from The Ramayana and The Mahabharata while others show floral motifs and designs and rasmandal.
The principal deity of the temple is Lord Shiva made of kasti pathar or touch stone. The Shiva Lingam is pretty high and is worshipped daily. It seems that a lot of devotees offer puja every Monday.
The temple is situated in a corner of the road. There is also another pancha ratna (five pinnacled) temple nearby but the condition is not very good. Like the other terracotta temples, the Rajrajeshwar Temple of Uttar Chandannagar has a number of idols on the three sides of both the entrances. The other two sides is currently inaccessible. The top of temple has weeds of vegetation which must have to be removed in order to save and protect this beautiful terracotta temple.
In order to reach the temple, get down at Chandannagar station and take any auto or toto to reach Buroshibtala on the Grand Trunk Road. From there take the right lane and go straight until you reach Buroshibtala post office. From there you have to take the left lane and go straight until you reach the temple. It will fall on your left. In case of difficulty, ask any locals and they will help you to locate the temple.
Hooghly Jelar Purakirti – Narendranath Bhattacharjee.
Date of posting: 14th September, 2019.