Durga Puja, is no doubt, the greatest festival of the Bengalees. It is held in autumn; whereas Basanti Puja is held six months later in spring. It is normally held in the Bengali month of Chaitra (April). Though not celebrated in such a grand way like the Durga Puja; but still it is worshipped in a number of places. One such place is Bally Harisabha of 207, Goswami Para Road in the district of Howrah for more than eighty years.
Jhikira and Rautara are two side-by-side villages in Amta II block of Howrah district. They are famous for temples – some have even intricate terracotta works on them. The oldest temple in Jhikira is Shyamsundar Temple of Madhyapara. Continue reading Shyamsundar Temple, Jhikira, Howrah
Rautara, a village in Amta II block of Howrah district about 57 kilometres from Kolkata is situated on the eastern side of Jhikira, another nearby village. The village of Rautara has a number of terracotta temples and other architecture of which Damodar Temple in Sarkarpara deserves special mention. The south-facing barochala (twelve roofed) temple has an adjoining aatchala dolmancha, a nahabatkhana and an octagonal rasmancha. This type of temple is pretty rare in Bengal temple architecture. Possibly this barochala has ratha projections.
Willingdon Bridge or more popularly known as Bally Bridge (now called Vivekananda Setu) will be celebrating its 90th birthday today. The bridge was inagurated by the then Viceroy of India Marquess of Willingdon on 29th December, 1931. A stone plaque commemorating the event is found at the Dakshineswar side of the bridge, though the condition of the same is not in a good state.Continue reading Bally Bridge
Rashyatra or Rash festival is celebrated on the auspicious Kartick purnima (full moon) tithi in many areas of West Bengal. In some places even a month-long fair is also held. One such place is in Belur in Howrah district where rash festival is famous.Continue reading Rashyatra of Belur Rashbari
There are a number of old Durga pujas in Howrah district and, mainly they are celebrated in bonedi households. Of the few such pujas I visited a couple of years back I have come across one at Chaitalpara in Bally, popularly known as Buri Maar Aatchala. It is not known for sure when it actually started but according to sources it began about three hundred years back as a household puja.Continue reading Durga Puja of Buri Maar Aatchala, Chaitalpara, Bally
I have come across a number of houses in Howrah who are celebrating Durga Puja in a grand way and some of them are pretty old. Last year, I was invited to a family Durga Puja organised by the Barals at 75, Raj Ballav Saha Lane, Howrah – 711101. Though comparatively new as far as the age of the puja is concerned, but the striking thing here is the idol of Maa Durga which drew my attention.Continue reading Durga Puja of Baral family
Rautara, a village in Amta II block of Howrah district about 57 kilometres from Kolkata can be reached in just less than two hours time. The village has a number of terracotta temples of which Damodar Temple of Sarkarpara deserves mention. The south-facing barochala (twelve roofed) temple has an adjoining nahabatkhana, an aatchala dolmancha and an octagonal rasmancha in the same compound.Continue reading Chariot of Rautara