There are a very large number of Siva temples in Kolkata; of which some are pretty old and each follows a distinct temple architecture. Baghbazaar situated towards the north of Kolkata has a number of temples of which one temple on the eastern pavement of Kshirode Vidyavinode Avenue drew my attention. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
This do-chala temple is almost rare in today’s Kolkata; though there a very few in the yester years. Reference can be made to one such temple in Kumartali area. The structure was present in between two nabaratna temples founded by Gobindaram Mitra. Another do-chala temple of “rudimentary ek-bangla” type situated in Ganesh Chandra Avenue was referred by David McCutchion in his book “Brick Temples of Bengal”.
This temple, a Grade-I heritage structure (Ward No: 7) under Kolkata Municipal Corporation was founded by Jagatram Halder; though the exact year of its foundation cannot be determined; but it can be assumed that the same was constructed in the middle of the eighteenth century. The earlier address of this temple was 26/1, Durgacharan Mukherjee Street; now on the eastern pavement of Kshirode Vidyavinode Avenue and opposite to 21/1A, Haralal Mitra Street.
As far as do-chala temples are concerned, there have either single entrance or triple entrance; but this temple has double entrance. It is believed that this temple follows a deviation from the standard do-chala type as far as the number of entrances to the temple is concerned. Apart from the main entrance there is a comparatively narrow gate on the eastern side.
The temple sanctum has a Shiva lingam in the centre possibly made of kasthi pathar (touch stone). Daily worship is performed here. The temple has possibly lost its old charm as it has been repaired and renovated in an extensive manner. The colour has also been done recently. The book “Dhanya Baghbazar” has a reference to this old temple where it has been mentioned that the temple is founded in 1072 Bangabda which according to Gregorian calendar comes to 1665.
1. Dhanya Baghbazar
2. Kolkatar Mandir-Maszid by Tarapada Santra
3. Brick Temples of Bengal by David McCutchion
Date of posting: 24th November, 2019.