Famous Hindu Temples in West Bengal
West Bengal is very much considered as a secular state in India which tolerates many religions. The state of West Bengal has many important Hindu temples where divine seems to come alive while visiting these magnificent temples.
West Bengal is the most important destination for all Lord Krishna devotees since it is the state where the world headquarters of ISCKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) is situated at Mayapur town.
Even Buddha Purnima is also celebrated as one of the most important festivals in West Bengal.The state of West Bengal constitutes many cultures and traditions that are different from any other state in India. The goddess of West Bengal is Goddess Durga is given more importance along with all the other gods.
West Bengal is bordered by Nepal and Bangladesh and the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, Assam, and Meghalaya in different directions. From north to south, it stretches from Himalayan Mountain to the Gangetic plain and the Bay of Bengal. The land is mostly plain except the northern region, which comes under the Himalayan mountain range. On the basis of landforms, the state can be divided into the following regions: Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Terai region, North Bengal plains, Rarh region, Coastal plain, Sunderbans, Western plateau and high lands and Ganges delta.
There are three distinct types of landscape in West Bengal. First is the Red Soil famous for its rich color to the terracotta temple of Bishnupur, second is the Ganges Delta in lower Bengal where the Bengal tigers meander and the third is the charming Rajera Hill Stations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong lies in the foothills of the Himalayas in the northern part of West Bengal.
West Bengal is enshrined with so many Hindu temples such as:
Kanak Durga Temple
Sheetalnath Jain Temple
Sarva Mangala Devi Temple
Swayambhava Kali Temple
Radha Shyam Temple
The Shyamrai Temple of West Bengal also called as Pancha Ratna Temple of Shyam Rai. This Shyamrai Temple was built in the year 1643 by Raghunath Singha who was a king. The Shyamrai Temple of west Bengal enshrined with deity Lord Krishna. The temple of Shyamrai walls are decorated with terracotta carvings depicts the life aspects of Lord Krishna.
West Bengal is bestowed with Bhagwati Temple located at Gourangpur in West Bengal. The Bhagwati Temple has a history of is 150 years old for its stunning piece of architecture which are made of bricks.
The most famous temple in West Bengal dedicated to Goddess Bhavatarini an aspect of Goddess Kali is Dakshineswar Temple located on the banks of River Hooghly in Dakshineswar in Kolkata. Dakshineswar Temple was built by one of the legend when Goddess Kali came in the dreams of Queen Rasmani before the day she left for a pilgrimage to Benaras and advised the queen to build a temple for her near river Ganges. It is also believed that this Dakshineswar Temple was visited by popular Saint Ramakrishna Paramahansa.
The Dakshineswar Kali Temple is located in Dakshineswar near Kolkata. The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni and is famous for its association with Ramakrishna, a mystic of 19th Century Bengal. ‘Nahavat-Khana’, the chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples, is where Ramakrishna spent a considerable part of his life.
The Kalighat temple of West Bengal enshrines deity Goddess Kali. As this Goddess is the chief deities of West Bengal. The Kalighat Kali temple in Kolkata is considered as one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India. Shakti Peethas are the spots where various parts of Goddess Sati’s body fell on the earth. It is said that the right toe of Goddess Sati fell hear in Kalighat. Kali Ghat Temple is an ancient temple that is extremely sacred to the Hindus, on the bank of a canal which earlier used to be the actual course of Hoogly River, but now just flows into the present course of the river. The temple complex is vast, comprising of several other temples, apart from the main altar that is dedicated to Goddess Kali; and also other building structures, used for various purposes.
Radha Shyam Temple:
One of the famous terracotta temples of west Bengal is Radha-Shyam Temple locate at Bishnupur in Bankura District. Radha-Shyam Temple enshrined with deity Lord Krishna. The Radha-Shyam Temple was constructed by King Chaitanya Singha in the year 1758 with its architecture consists of a square building with a curved roof and is crowned by a single tower.
Tarakeshwar Temple in west Bengal enshrined with deity Lord Shiva. Going back to history a Shivalingam was discovered on the spot and the temple of Tarakeshwar was built by Raja Bharamalla dating back to 18th century. The Tarakeshwar Temple was situated about 80 Km away from Kolkata in Tarakeshwar village.
An ancient temple in west Bengal is Siddheswar Temple situated at Bahulara in Bankura District of West Bengal. The Siddheswar Temple is enshrined with deity Lord Shiva. Siddheswar Temple has unique Orissan architectural structures with exquisite ornamentation of temple walls. There are other deities installed inside the temple like lord Ganesh, Jai Parshwanath and goddess Durga.
This Vishnu Temple in west Bengal is an ancient stone temple located in Bardhaman District. Vishnu Temple enshrined deity Lord Narayana.It is believed that Vishnu Temple was built during the Pal Age. The height of this beautiful temple measures around 10 m.
Mayapur Temple is the famous pilgrim destination for followers of Vaishnavism. Mayapur is the birth place of Chatanya Mahaprabhu who is considered to be the reincarnation of Lord Krishna and Radha. Mayapur is the headquarters of ISCKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) was set up in 1970. It is also home to Gaudiya Math which is another organization following Vaishnavism.
The common and popular Bengali saying ‘Baro Mase Tero Parban’ which means thirteen festivals in twelve months that signifies the umpteen number of fairs and festivals that take place. Some of the famous festivals of West Bengal are Gangasagar Mela in South 24 Pargana, Kenduli Mela in Birbhum district, Jalpesh Mela in Jalpaiguri district, Vasanta Utsav in Birbhum district, Naba Barsho throughout West Bengal, Rathayatra in Hooghly district, Jhapan in Bankura district, Bera Utsav in Murshidabad district, Durga Puja and Deepavali throughout West Bengal, Rash Mela in Cooch Behar district, Jagaddhatri Puja in Hooghly district, Teesta Tea and Tourism Festival held in a series at Darjeeling, the Dooars and in Sikkim, Poush Mela in Birbhum district, Vishnupur Festival in Bankura district, Eid throughout West Bengal, Dol Purnima and Noboborsho.
The major sight seeing destinations in west Bengal are India Museum, Birla Planetarium, Botanical garden, Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Gompas, Tiger Hill, Eden Garden and Howrah Bridge. And if you are a nature freak, then there is no question of avoiding Sunderbans National park. This place is an abode of Royal Bengal Tigers.