This motorcyclist's quest for salvation was not yet over even after visiting two under-hyped monuments of Pandua, much popular Bandel Church and the gross under-maintained Hooghly Imambara. The last destination for the day was still waiting to welcome me. I bid a reluctant adieu to the Hazi Muhammad Mohsin's Hooghly Imambara and throttled hard for Bansberia. The town of Bansberia lies on the bank of River Ganga, hardly five kilometers far from where I had started my Hooghly safari. My target was Hanseswari Temple, a five-storied Hindu temple, more than 200 years old, housing the idol of Goddess Kali (Hanseswari) as the primary presiding deity. Hanseswari Temple seemed to be the most valuable treasure of the otherwise modest looking town of Bansberia. With easy guideline from a helpful local guy I could reach the beautiful temple. Oh man, it resembled more like an European castle at the very first glance!
|Oh man, the Hanseswari Temple resembles more like an European castle at the very first glance!|
This 90 feet high, colossal Hanseswari Temple, presently under the preservation policy of Archaeological Survey of India, was constructed by Raja Nrisingha Deb and Rani Shankari in the beginning of the 19th century. The five-storied temple was constructed based on Tantric principles on the structural anatomy of human body; quite intriguing right? You’ll find thirteen tall towers/minarets with blooming lotus bud over their summits, which were actually responsible for giving me the in initial illusion of Western castle.
|Ananta Vasudeva Temple was constructed in traditional Ekaratna Style.|
The chief deity Hanseswari (one of the many forms of Goddess Kali) is blue in color with four hands and the idol is made up of Neem (Azadirachta indica) wood. The official priest told me that the idol was 300 years old, which I couldn’t verify from any second source though. The temple also houses a white-marbled Shiva linga. You’ll be glad to spot a second temple in the same complex displaying exquisite terracotta designs- Ananta Vasudeva Temple, which was constructed in traditional Ekaratna Style, with curved cornices and an octagonal tower.
|This is not any structure of Bishnupur, but the Ananta Vasudeva Temple at Bansberia!|
Hanseswari Temple along with Ananta Vasudeva Temple appeared in the healthiest state compared to other things I had visited in the day, except of course the Bandel Church which was equally well maintained. While I was photographing the terracotta works it started drizzling which bought me some time to relax by those archaic pillars and watch the grassy lawn turning greener with every drop of rain!
|While I was photographing the terracotta works on Ananta Vasudeva Temple, it started drizzling.|
The return ride to Bardhaman was uneventful as expected except the yummy noodle en route in a motel (I know hunger is the best sauce). At the end of the day I happily joined my family for dinner clocking around 175 kilometers, with the satisfaction of exploring few tourist jewels of Hooghly district, and most importantly riding after a good gap. Irving Wallace had said, “Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure” and that transformation is not going to happen unless you step out of your comfort zone. So, travel hard and keep clicking photos on the go!
|Hanseswari Temple was constructed based on Tantric principles on the structural anatomy of human body!|