There are a number of temples situated in South 24 Parganas district of which Keshaveshwar Shiv Mandir of Mandirbazar in Diamond Harbour subdivision deserves special mention. This 60 feet south-facing very large aatchala (eight rooofed) temple with porch is situated in Ramnathpur village by the side of the main road about five hundred metres south from Mandirbazar crossing.
This temple was built by Kehav Roychowdhury who happened to be the zamindar of Pathdah-Muragacha in 1670 as per the Saka era; and which when converted to Gregorian calendar comes to 1748 A.D. It was said that once this temple contains intricate terracotta works; but owning to subsequent renovation, much of it has been lost. The temple has also undergone a fresh coat of colour. Like other aatchala temples, it has a triple arched entrance. A flight of stairs will lead you to the temple as it is situated in a higher pedastal. Apart from the northern side, the walls on the other sides of this massive temple find designs of terracotta works. Different floral designs, innumerable small flowers (lotus); small shiva lingas, elephants, peacock and dancing females find place here. This construction of this temple was headed by a person called Basudev.
Inside the temple sanctum there stands the Shiva linga towards the northern side. It was said that the linga was brought from Kashi. The floor of the sanctum was decorated with white tiles.
The principal festivals here are Shivaratri (held in the month of February or March) and the Gajan festival held in the Bengali month of Chaitra (mid April) every year. Both the festivals are celebrated here with pomp and gaiety. A large number of devotees came from far and near and offer puja. That apart the temple also attracts a number of people during the Bengali month of Shravana (mid-July to mid-August). The Haurihat Shiv Mandir is situated nearby. A ten to fifteen minutes walk will lead you to this twin Shiva temples.
How to go there:
The temple can be reached by both road and rail. The nearest stations are Lakshmikantapur in the Sealdah-Namkhana section and Sangrampur in the Sealdah-Diamond Harbour section of Eastern Railway. From there one can board an auto to reach the temple. Alternatively, one can go by bus from Diamond Harbour.
1. Banglar Tin Prachin Shiva Mandir by Radhakrishna Naskar.
2. Dakshin 24 Pargana Jelar Purakirti by Sagar Chattopadhyay.
Date of posting: 20th September, 2019.