Abandoned Temple of Radha Gobinda

Baro Rasbari of 78, Tollygunge Road, Kolkata consists of two temple complexes – eleven aatchala Shiv Mandir together with a pancharatna temple in one big courtyard completed in the second decade of the nineteenth century and a big aatchala temple dedicated to Madan Mohan completed in 1834. The entire temple complex of Baro Rasbari is a Grade – I heritage structure. It finds mention in the Graded List of Heritage Buildings (Volume XI) of Kolkata Muncipal Corporation.

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Bhukailash Temple, Khidirpur

Situated in Khidirpur, in Ward No 79 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) Bhukailash Rajbari is a prominent place where one will witness two big aatchala Shiva temples – Raktakamaleswar and Krishnachandreswar standing there from 1780 onwards and which have archaeological, architectural and historical significance. The temples along with the thakurbari including gateway of Bhukailash Rajbari is a Grade-I Heritage of the KMC.

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Tulsimancha

Manchas are of three types – rasmancha, dolmancha and tulsimancha. In my previous blog posts I have written about Rasmancha and Dolmancha. Today I will concentrate on tulsimancha. Of the three manchas, tulsimancha is the smallest and is mainly found in domestic households and also in many temples of West Bengal. A tulsimancha is built centering a tulsi tree.

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Dochala Siva Temple

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.

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Cossipore Rasbati

Cossipore had a number of old temples and heritage places which dates back to history. Being a frequent visitor there I found a very old rasmancha inside a math (open space) at Ratan Babu Road. This structure aroused my interest and that actually led me to visit there to trace its history. On one of my visit to the nearby Baranagar, I met respected Late Ajit Sen, and from his books, I gathered some information about this Rasbati.

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Rasmancha

Manchas are of three types – rasmancha, dolmancha and tulsimancha. A rasmancha (a temple-like structure generally octagonal in shape with the sides open and situated on a raised-platform) is the largest among the three. It was very common in the nineteenth century Bengal. The rasmancha is normally smaller in size than the main temple where the Radha Krishna deities reside throughout the year. The main purpose of building the rasmancha is to enable the people to witness the deities (here Radha Krishna) from all the sides on a special occasion (Rashyatra).

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Jagaddhatri Mandir, Kolkata

When we speak of Jagaddhatri Puja, the first thing that comes to our mind is Chandannnagar in Hooghly district of West Bengal where the puja is held for five days just like the Durga Puja. Then comes Krishnanagar where it is a single day festival – held in the Nabami tithi. Apart from Chandannagar, Mankundu and Bhadrewsar are also famous. In Kolkata, mostly the puja is held for a single day just like Krishnanagar.

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Kali Pujas of Kolkata

After Durga puja, comes Kali puja which is celebrated all over the state of West Bengal. Likewise in Kolkata, it is celebrated with great pomp and splendour not only in the barowari puja pandals of the city; but also in some families of Kolkata, where the puja is being celebrated for more than hundred years. The tradition, splendour and aristocracy still remains. This year I have covered some families of north and central Kolkata where Goddess Kali is being worshipped. Here some pictures may have been taken much earlier. Like Durga Puja, this puja also attracts a huge number of spectators specially at night as Goddess Kali or Shyama is worshipped at night and, the households are decorated with light as this puja is the festival of light.

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