108 Shiva Temple at Ambika Kalna, West Bengal
Location: Nawabhat, Bardhaman district, West Bengal
With its splendorous terracotta temples, Ambika Kalna is rightly called as the “Temple Town”. Dedicated to the goddess of power, Maa Kali, these temples are built in typical aatchala style.
The most attractive temple in Kalna is the 108 Shiva Temple Complex. It was built by Maharaja Teja Chandra Bahadhur in 1809 to celebrate the transfer and ownership of the royal estate of Bishnupur. An architectural marvel, the temple structure is a combination of two concentric circles, each of which has small temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. These represent beads in a rosary and its walls depict episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata and even hunting scenes.
The outer circle has seventy-four temples and the inner one has thirty-four temples, decided mythologically with auspicious considerations. It is also called the Nava Kailasha temple and each of these 108 temples has a Shiva linga. The lingas in the inner circle are all white (symbolizing good deeds), while half of those in the outer circle are black (symbolizing sins).
It is always preached that a human with his faith can connect to the Almighty through his sincere prayers and meditation. To attain solace, one needs to come over all worldly interests and wholly and solely dedicate his life towards the attainment of God. The same concept is being advocated through this, one of its kind, temple structure. The outer circle portrays the world we live in while the inner circle symbolizes the world with pure thoughts, attained by offering prayers to Lord Shiva.
Other Temples in Kalna:
You can hire rickshaw that will take you on a trip around all temples in around 2-3 hours. A special fair is organized in the 108 Shiva Temple during Shivaratri that goes on for the entire week.
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