Chandannagar, a former French colony had a number of temples with ek-bangla (do-chala), aatchala, pancharatna, nabaratna and even flat-roofed (dalan) type of architecture and some have even terracotta decorations.
One can find two do-chala (double sloped roof) temples here – the first being the famous Nandadulal Temple at Durga Charan Rakshit Road built by Indra Narayan Chowdhury in 1739 and the other Nanda Nandan Temple at Khalisani Bosepara founded by Sree Krishna Bose in 1523 A.D.
One thing to mention here is that Nanda Nandan Temple (founded in 1523) was built 23 years after the Bishalakshi Temple (founded in 1500 according to Gregorian calendar or 906 Bangabda) and interestingly, both are at Khalisani.
The presiding deity of this do-chala temple is Lord Shiva. I could see the siva lingam from one of the windows. Later I was told it is made of kasthi pathar or touchstone.
The temple has a single entrance in the middle with two windows on both the sides. When I enter the same I could see there are two wings inside – the left is reserved for Lord Shiva while the right for Radha Krishna. Another thing I noticed is the height of the ceiling – it is pretty low.
Previously there used to be an idol named Nanda Nandan and the temple is named after that. When I enquired about the temple I was told the condition of the same was pretty bad – one of the roofs got damaged. Later it was said that with the assistance of INTACH and the local people the temple got renovated in 1987-88 and the same was re-established in 1989 without changing the structure of the temple. I was further told that Shri Sukumar Nandy, Shri Kali Karmakar, Shri Arun Kumar Majumder, Shri Sunil Kumar Nandy, Shri Arnab Bose and Shri Sandipan Sarkar together with Shri Asha Mukul Das (architect) who have taken the initiative for restoration of this old temple. In this connection it would be proper to mention that the roof of this do-chala temple is devoid of any iron. The temple now has received a fresh coat of paint and is well kept.
To visit the temple:
Take any Howrah-Bandel local train and get down at Chandannagar station. The train journey is less than an hour. From the station take either a rickshaw or a toto and reach Khalisani Bosepara.
I am grateful to Smt Rupa Nag and Shri Chanchal Nandy for providing me the information about this temple.
Date of posting: 31st January, 2021.