Bandel is a popular city located in the Hooghly district of West Bengal.
The word Bandel comes from the word Bandar means port.
This place is also recognized for its religious places and cultural heritage sites.
In this article, you will get to know about the following tourist attractions to visit near Bandel,
- Hangseswari Temple
- Hooghly Imambara
- Bandel Church
- Lahiri Baba Ashram
- The Pandua Minar and Mosque
- Shanderswala Temple
Let’s see each of these in detail…
1. Hangseswari Temple
Hangseshwari Temple is located in Bansberia on the banks of river Hooghly in between Tribeni and Bandel.
Raja Nrisingha Deb Roy started the construction of the Hangseshwari temple in 1801, and his widowed wife Rani Sankari finished it in 1814.
It has an unusual and unique type of architectural pattern with 13 towers each shaped like a “bud of lotus petal” almost resembling one of the holy architectural marvels of Moscow.
The interior of the temple resembles the human body anatomy and is also adorned with various terracotta and intricate floral designs of lattice stonework and tripled arched entrance.
Many people come to see the distinctive architecture of the temple and to seek blessings from Goddess Hangseshwari, a manifestation of Goddess Kali seated on eight petal blood red lotus.
The deity is a blue-colored neem idol with four hands representing “Matri Shakti”.
Ananta Vasudeva, another beautiful terracotta temple, is located near this temple.
The temple is now a popular heritage site under the Archeological Survey of India.
2. Hooghly Imambara
The Hooghly Imambara is one of the oldest cultural heritage sites in West Bengal on the banks of River Hooghly.
The beautiful grand mosque is among the best places to visit in the Hooghly district.
Hooghly Imambara is a two-storied mosque with an 80-foot twin tower as well.
The building has a long gallery of corridors, a rectangular courtyard, a majestic watch tower, a sun clock, and a Shia congregation hall.
In the center of the huge courtyard, you can see a water tank and a few fountains.
The Zaridalan or the main prayer hall is the center of attraction in Bara Imambara.
The interiors of the mosque will impress you with black and white marble floors, the holy text of the Quran inscribed on the walls, hanging lanterns, and the throne of the Imam.
This grand monument has striking features of the spiral staircase which leads to the gallery and terrace that will reward you with a breathtaking view of the Hooghly River.
3. Bandel Church
Bandel Church also known as the “Basilica of the Holy Rosary” is one of the important and oldest landmarks in West Bengal.
Located in Bandel, this age-old Roman Catholic church was founded in 1599 during the Portuguese settlement in Bengal when Bandel was used as a port for trade purposes.
The present church and monastery were built by Gomez De Soto in 1660.
Many people visit this sacred site every day, and especially during Christmas, the place remains quite crowded.
The iconic site is also famous for its glorious architecture and the serenity that surrounds this place.
Inside the church, you can see three alters, a small organ, and several tombstones.
The Holy Cross, the clock tower, and the graveyard are also prime attractions within the complex of the church.
4. Lahiri Baba Ashram
Lahiri Baba Ashram which is also known as Lahiri Temple, is a sacred place in the village of Rajhat, Hooghly.
The beautiful white temple is an ideal place to visit near Bandel.
A beautiful garden at the entrance of this small lake temple greets you to the main shrine via a concrete bridge.
You can also see several other small blocks around the main temple.
In the main temple, you can see the main idol of Lahiri Baba along with various Yogic postures and holy symbols of hands inscribed on the wall.
There are also idols of Lord Shiva, Krishna, Durga, Vishnu, Buddha, Mother Mary, and Jesus depicting an amalgamation of rich cultures, devotion, and religions.
Men and women follow strict dress codes and photography is strictly prohibited here.
The Bhog is offered to the devotees after 12 PM.
5. The Pandua Minar and Mosque
The Pandua Minar is the most famous landmark in Pandua.
It was part of the town’s main mosque, Bais Darwaza Masjid, which is now also known as the Bari Masjid.
Built in the early 14th century, it served as both a Madhana (mosque tower) and a tower representing the victory and glory of the region.
It portrayed the power of the ruling class and served to spread the new religion of Islam.
The Minar has a fascinating architectural style although this was not built as in the typical Mughal Style.
It has a height of 125ft and has 5 stories with a spiral staircase. The diameter decreases from base to top.
The Masjid is a congregational mosque with a massive rectangular plan surrounded by cloisters and has a prayer chamber in the direction of the Qibla wall.
Domes, arches, and basalt stone pillars are the common architectural forms here.
Both the Masjid and the Minar are under the Archeological Survey of India.
6. Shanderswala Temple
Shanderswala Temple is the oldest temple in Chinsurah located near Bandel.
This temple is situated on the ghats of the Holy Ganges. Shiddeshwar Roychoudhury established the temple after Digambar Halder placed the Shiva Lingam in the 16th century.
The Dutch Governers gifted brass “Dhak” and “panch Mukha lingam” to this temple which is still preserved in the temple.
The Dhaks (wooden barrels) are played in the festivals like Gajan.
There are many temples within the temple complex and a wooden chariot or rath of Lord Jagannath.
The main deity of this temple is Lord Shiva or Lord Sandeshwar which means “ Lord of the Bull”.
The arched gateway of the white granite-stone temple can be seen from a distance and the architecture of the temple is quite enticing.
Many devotees throng this temple to seek fulfillment for wealth, relief from diseases, ain knowledge, and salvation.
These are some of the popular attractions to visit near Bandel.
Each of these landmarks will impress you and you can get to know many important facts about Dutch and Portuguese rule from these places.
If you are interested to know about these heritage sites or you are a true historic buff then visit these places to explore these less explored tourist destinations.
So set out for a long drive from Kolkata to see the age-old treasures of Hooghly!
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