An Old City of Temples – Ambika Kalna

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Have you ever consider the state of West Bengal as your holiday destination? If not then please think once more because West Bengal is a state which is filled with numerous stunning tourist spots ranging from great Himalayan destinations to calm and quite sea beaches of Bay-of-Bengal. Now, I am going to tell you about a place which has immense potential to compete with other famous temple cities but it is yet unexplored. The place is Ambika Kalna in West Bengal.

Commonly known as the ‘City of Temple’, Ambika Kalna is famed for the terracotta temples erected in 18th century. The shrine place contests the magnificence and artistic brilliance of the terracotta temples at Bishnupur.

The place is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River in Bardhaman district. The town ‘Kalna’ is named after Goddess Kali or Maa Ambika.

Built in the typical aatchala style, it departs from the Bengal style and is similar to Rekhadeul, a special characteristic of Orissa. The temple is designed by Ramhori Mistry and is one of the best terracotta structures in Bengal.

The first allusion to Ambika Kalna is found in a 6th century manuscript

The most striking of Kalna temple is the 108 Shiva temples. Maharaja Tejachandra supervised the construction of the temples to celebrate the handover of ownership of the Bishnupur royal estate.

Where to stay

There are numerous hotels and dharmashalas in the town that suits your pocket. One can also choose to stay at the PWD guest house. It is better to book room in advance.

Eateries

There are several restaurants to offer good quality Indian and Chinese cuisine.

Best time to visit Ambika Kalna:

The average minimum and maximum temperature of Ambika Kalna is 17 to 30 degree centigrade. The best time to visit Ambika Kalna is from October to March.

Places to visit

108 Shiva Temples

The temple is also known as the Navakailasha temple. The complex was built in 1809. It is the second Shiv Temple in India; the first was located in Bardhaman. There are 108 Shiva lingas in the temple; the outer circle has 75 temples and the inner circle has 35 temples.

The Shiva lingas are black in colour in the outer circle and in the inner circle are white. The Shiv Lingas in the outer circle signify the world we live in, where white represents good deeds and black signifies sins.

Image Source: bardhaman.nic.in

Lalji Temple

Lalji Temple was built in 1739 by Braja Kishori Devi, the wife of Maharaja Jagat Ram. The temple has a bright yellow Garuda with chilly green wings faces the core divinities, Radha and Krishna. Small panels surround the base of the temple portray scenes from the Puranas. The temple is devoted to Shri Radhika and Shri Krishna and is situated in West Bengal. In front of the temple is a Natmandir means a dancing hall.

Lalji Temple Opens now from January to December: Open all days from 06:30 am to 07:00 pm

Image Source: c2.staticflickr.com

Pratapeshwar Temple

It is named after King Pratap Chand and was constructed in 1849 in the‘rekh-deul’ style of temple architecture; the temple has rich terracotta decoration. It contains terracotta inscriptions showing themes of Hindu epic, mythical life of Sree Chaitanya, pictures of Durga and Ravana and numerous facets of daily life.

Pratapeshwar Temple opens now from January to December: Open all days 07:00 am to 06:00 pm

Image Source: 4.bp.blogspot.com

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