Durgeshwar Shiva Temple - Romantic Ruins
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23-02-2019    214 times
Durgeshwar Shiva Temple

Located at 16 Md. Ramjan Lane and very near to the Anandamayi Kali Temple in Nimtala, the dilapidated, yet the massive structure of the Durgeshwar Shiva Temple is simply amazing. Dedicated to Lord Shiva or Durgeshwar, the Lord of goddess Durga, the temple is a classic example of typical ‘aatchala’ or eight slanting roof style of Bengal temple architecture.

The length of the Durgeshwar temple is about 24 feet, while its breadth about 29 feet. Surprisingly, compared to its area coverage, it is quite a tall temple, about 50 feet in height and it is difficult to have a glimpse of its top, as it is situated in a narrow lane. There was a time when the temple was ornamented with exotic terracotta works, most of which have vanished with the passage of time. Except the east, the Durgeshwar temple is equipped with three arched entrances on its north, south and west side. There is a black stone plaque above the west door, inscribed with old Bengali scripts. It indicates that, the temple was founded by Rashiklal Das Dutta and Jawaharlal Das Dutta, the two sons of Sri Madan Mohan Dutta of Hatkhola Dutta family, about three hundred years ago in 1716.

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Madan Mohan Dutta was a rich, influential and famous business man during those days. Their family mansion is located in the vicinity of the temple and is known as ‘Hatkhola Dutta Bari’ in the locality.

One of the arched entrances
One of the arched entrances

The temple is considered as west faced. However, there is Black stone statue of ‘Nandi’, at the left side of the north entrance, which makes it confusing. The inner chamber of the temple contains a 10 feet tall gigantic Shiva Linga, the phallus, made of Blackstone, which is perhaps the biggest in Calcutta. There is an iron ladder, placed by the side of the Linga, so that the devotees may go up to pour water and milk on the tall Shiva Linga. The names of the founders of the temple are inscribed at the base of the phallus, along with that of the sculptor, Sri Gadadhar Das.

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Today, the tall structure of the Durgeshwar temple stands in a dilapidated state and adorned with the massive roots of unwanted vegetation, but it is not at all deserted.In its inner chamber the deity is worshipped every day and temple opens regularly, twice in a day, for the visitors. It still stands today, as a symbol of our heritage.

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    Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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