The Hangseshwari Temple is a 19th-century historic Hindu temple located in the Bansberia village of Hooghly, 10 kilometers from the Hooghly Railway Station.
It is one of the well-known Kali temples in West Bengal. Ananta Basudeba Mandir is another temple, adjacent to Hangseshwari Temple.
Devotees from all over West Bengal and the neighboring states come to offer puja to Goddess Kali and Lord Krishna and admire the unique architecture of the temples.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about the Hangseshwari Temple,
Let’s see each of these points in detail…
Hangseshwari Temple Timings
|Hangseshwari Temple||6:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM|
|Ananta Basudeva Temple||6:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM|
The temples are open every day.
How to reach Hangseshwari Temple
Bansberia is 48 kilometers away from Howrah. You can reach there in one hour by train on the Howrah-Bandel-Katwa line.
For a better and more relaxing travel experience, you can board a morning train.
From the station, you can take an autorickshaw to the temple complex of the two most famous temples of Hooghly- the Hangseshwari temple and the Ananta Basudev Temple.
History of Hangseshwari Temple
Raja Nrisingha Deb Roy, a native ruler, started the construction of the Hangseshwari temple in 1801, and his widowed wife Rani Sankari finished it in 1814.
It is said that King Nrisingha Deb Roy studied “Kundalini” and “Six cyclic centers (Six Chakras)” in depth while living in Varanasi from the years 1792 to 1798.
The Hanseswari temple has a unique construction that is unusual from the typical pattern prevalent in this area.
Instead of traveling to Britain, he attempted to construct a shrine in Bansberia based on “Kundalini and yogic notions.”
At the time, purchasing marble from a hilly region named Chunar near Banaras (Varanasi, U.P) cost at least one lakh rupees.
Additionally, skilled craftsmen and masons from this location were brought in to construct the temple.
Unfortunately, in 1802, in the midst of the construction of this religious temple, the King departed for his heavenly abode.
Largely through the efforts of his queen Shankari, the shrine was completed in 1814.
Religious significance of the Hangseshwari Temple
The Hindu Goddess ‘Kali’ is the main presiding deity in the Hangseshwari Temple.
The name of the temple has a deeper perspective and meaning.
When you breathe out, you say the word “Hong,” but when you breathe in, you say the word “S-a-a.” “Hong” denotes “Shiva,” while “S-a-a” stands for “Mother Shakti.”
It is believed that the king built this temple in response to the goddess’s instructions to him in his dream. It has been a significant religious place in the area ever since then.
The temples of the Hangseshwari temple complex are renowned for their stunning Indian architecture and symbolic meaning.
The Hangseshwari temple resembles St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, which is also referred to as the onion dome church.
The temple’s architecture serves as a symbol of “Tantrik Satchakrabhed.”
Each of the 13 towers at the Hangseshwari temple is shaped like a lotus bud having heights of about 90ft each.
The inner structure describes how a human body is made up of various parts, which include the Bajraksha, Ira, Chitrini, Pingala, and Sushumna.
Narrow tunnels connecting the inner chamber to each of the 13 domes are thought to reflect the nerves in the human body.
The top of the center ‘Minar’ is covered with an inscribed metallic idol of the rising Sun God with his thousand brilliant rays.
Even the deity was constructed and set up using the principles of yoga and pranayama.
There are intricate floral decorations at the triple-arched entrance, lattice stonework at the base of the central pinnacle, and decorative railing at the balcony of Hangseshwari mandir.
The wooden statue of Maa Hangseshwari, a manifestation of goddess Kali, can be found inside the temple’s sanctum sanctorum.
The idol is positioned on a twelve petal blood red lotus stalk that emerges from Shiva’s navel as he lies on his back on six triangular marbles.
On the top of a thousand petals blue lotus, lies this eight-petal blood-red lotus.
The four-handed “Mother Shakti” is seen standing with her left leg resting on her right thigh.
The lower left hand is holding the severed head of a demon, and the upper left hand is holding a sword to symbolize her power and ability to slay demons.
The upper right hand is positioned in the “Fearless-Mudra” (Abhaya Mudra) to represent her role as the world’s “Protector” from evils, while the lower right hand is positioned as though to extend her blessings to everyone (“Bar-Mudra”).
The temple’s surrounding parts are surrounded by wonderfully maintained lush green gardens.
Along with the temple’s amazing architecture, the area’s tranquility and village/town atmosphere are definitely worth soaking in.
Ananta Basudeba Mandir
Ananta Basudeb Temple is another significant temple near Hangseshwari temple.
It is embellished with extremely expensive terracotta pointed plates,
This temple, which was constructed by Raja Rameswar Datta in 1679, is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
The architecture is similar to the temples of Bishnupur.
Like the other temples in Bengal, this well-known temple is built in three different architectural styles: the Chala Style, the Deul (or Nagara) Style, and the Ratna (or tower) Style.
The Ananta Basudeba Mandir, however, is a combination of two different architectural styles in its design.
It is built in the traditional Eka-Ratna style of Bengali temple architecture, with a single pinnacle as its roof.
The Temple’s pinnacle is octagonal with curved cornices and intricate wall paintings.
The pinnacle and three of the temple’s four sides are covered in the finest terracotta bricks.
Rabindranath Tagore, a famous poet, was inspired by the intricate terracotta embellishments.
The poet had urged Nandalal Bose to document the panels on the temple walls after being moved by the artwork.
The temple panel and frescoes feature carvings of religious deities like Kali, Durga, and Krishna.
There are also panels of boats and ships, dancers, war scenes, and scenes from everyday life.
Therefore the terracotta panels of the Ananta Basudev Temple are an intriguing blend of history, art, and architecture.
The terra-cotta artworks also reflect stories from Krishna’s Dwapar Yug Leelas as well as the ancient Indian epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
These are some of the must-see religious attractions in Hooghly.
The temple premises are surrounded by greenery and panoramic landscapes that will refresh your mood.
Also if you are looking for a spiritual ambiance and peacefulness amidst the busy city life you must visit these temples once.
Cover Photo Credits: Gautam Tarafder, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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