There are a number of temples in Baranagar – some of which are pretty old. One such temple situated near Kutighat is a twin Shiva temple more than 160 years old.
I had been to Baranagar a number of times and, on each occasion, I paid a visit to this temple. The thing which attracted me is its unique architecture. A close look at the above photograph will reveal four aatchala temples of which two are big and two small. The two small temples are on the two sides, placed on a slightly raised platform and had Shiva lingams inside it. The other two temples which are comparatively bigger are dedicated to Jogeshwar and Gangadhar.
I have been told that daily worship is performed here.
A stone plaque at the centre of the two temples reveals that the same was founded on 32nd Aashar, 1268 as per the Bengali calendar (mid July 1861 A.D). The temples were founded by Lakshanmani Dutta and Durgamani Dasi. The main entrance is at the centre of the temple; though the same has been locked. There is also an entrance by the side of the temple which is currently being used. A row of stairs will lead you to the temple sanctum. Another striking thing which I noticed is the inner sanctum has two doors – one facing the main road while the other is inside the house. Probably, the entrance facing the road is used by the devotees while the other was a private entrance used by the family members. Currently, the entrance inside the house is used.
A close look at the picture in the left shows a door which is not used and the same is facing the road. The Shiva lingam is made of black stone. A tree has grown inside the courtyard which is obstructing the view of the temple dedicated to Gangadhar. The temple needs proper maintenance. At the time of my recent visit I found the temple dedicated to Jogeshwar was open while the door to the other temple was closed. It might be because when I reached the temple it was past noon and the priest has already performed the morning puja. I was pretty lucky to get a snap of the Shiva linga at such late in the afternoon only because it was Monday.
Date of posting: 10th September, 2021.
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