Hansheswari Temple Bansberia, West Bengal || Day Visit from Kolkata
By the courtesy of widely reached and habituated era of internet, social media boom, in-trend influencers, off-beat or less known places are gaining their long-needed popularity these days. This small town temple about 58 km away from the city of Kolkata, has gained quite a fame in recent years. Not that it wasn’t known at all.. It was, but only to the people of this town and its surroundings. Hard-core city people like me were hardly aware of this temple until someone known to us, who also know about this temple very well, would recommend us.
About the temple:
For many of the present visitors this temple is a perfect art for photography and so true they are. The overall architecture of the temple is so different from it’s time, not to mention such construction is hardly found all across Bengal; also a bit of internet research speaks of the science behind choosing such engineering. The unfortunate part is there’s no guide existing who can help with the minute analysis of the architectonic, the proper explanation of human anatomy, or the concept of Yog followed to build this temple. But it is said that the that-time king Nrisingha Dev Rai after mastering the art of Yog Sadhana, decided to build this temple. While he passed away leaving his work half done, his second wife completed the final work. As interesting as this story is, I still have so many questions in mind like how to connect this theory with what I exactly saw. Maybe someday I may get the answers or maybe not; on a positive note it was surely a good visit.
As the less known stories behind this temple are very appealing and even after knowing a few facts, questions still remain, here are a few possible information to help you visit the temple.
How to Go:
Train: The easiest way is to go via train. From Howrah station you have to take a train towards Katwa or in simple words take a katwa local train, and get down at ‘Bansberia’ station. From the station while crossing the over bridge one can see the pinnacles of the temple. The temple is about 10 minutes walking distance from the station or you may hire a toto to reach the temple ground.
If you want to go to Hoogly Imambara, then you may take a toto to go there, the distance can easily be covered by toto than train. Now the same goes if you are coming from Imambara to the temple.
Also, from Bansberia station no. of trains are very less being a part of chord line, whereas more trains operate on main-line. In that case, you may commute to-from Adi Saptagram/ Saptagram station (same), which is about 20 minutes toto ride from the temple.
By Road: By road, you have to take Delhi Road. You will be crossing over Bhadreswar, Chandannagar, Chinsurah, Bandel respectively to reach Bansberia. By road, it may take about 2-2:30 hrs.
What to expect:
Walking from the station to the temple was quiet and pleasant; the town is quite neat and clean. Also, you come across some beautiful houses and libraries en-route.
Coming to the temple ground, it’s quite a big area, swept clean everywhere. There’s a separate area to remove your shoes (with absolute minimal charges) and then enter the temple. Before that, if you want to offer puja (prayer), you may buy small buckets from the shops outside.
The main temple ground, from the very first time I had seen a picture, reminded me of St Basil’s cathedral in Moscow, Russia; then sometimes it shifts to Disney world or sometimes to a tiny version of a small part of those medieval European castles; only this temple is a lot monochromic in appearance, you know like slightly archaic by the blunt and unpolished look, all in a good way of course. The red brick tile work on the pinnacles, now almost tarnished, the use of white on the outer structure of the temple is very much and so much our type. It’s just at the very first look it gave flashes of so many dreamy stories, that’s all.
There’s more.. just adjacent to this temple there is another terracotta temple which is very much alike to the ones seen in Bishnupur; this is Radhe-Shyam temple. Then there are Shivalingams all across the temple area.
Photography is allowed in the temple, even one is allowed to take pictures of the goddess, only you are not allowed to take a selfie in front of or with the goddess, that’s not tough at all until you are obsessed with selfies, then may the Goddess help you.
You are free to roam around the temple ground respecting the basic decorum of any religious place.
After the temple visit, honestly, there’s nothing to do here. Either come to Imambara, visit Bandel Church, or come to Serampore (which I did), Chandannagar.. the last 2 are a little distance away, if you have a day in hand it’s not much at all.
When to come:
Winter is surely the time to make such excursions. Summer will be challenging, really challenging. Better carry an umbrella, some water, some dry food (though you get local shops to buy something or the other so, no need to panic) and wear light clothes if you are coming during summer. That was my visit to Hansheswari temple, after this visit I moved to Serampore. Why? That will be on the next post. See you soon..
#travelbengal #weekendtripfromkolkata #weekendtripbengal
After my visit to this temple, I moved to Serampore. Here’s a post on the Denmark Tavern, where I had my lunch.