Monday, March 7, 2016


The title might sound familiar but this post has nothing to do with the Amish Tripathi's Shiva Trilogy, the best-selling mythological fiction series in India.

The article is about three, century old Shiva Temples of Calcutta, surviving through years of ignorance and atmospheric erosion while serving hundreds of devotees everyday. In fact though I named this post a Trilogy and planned three consecutive articles but in future it can easily and certainly be extended to form either a tetralogy or a pentalogy or even a decalogy, considering the number of significant shrines in the City !!

Hindu Temples in the City are a common sight now-a-days but an inevitable question is: How old are they? Various sources suggest that few of the City shrines dates back to Job Charnock or probably before that. Prosperity of a religious shrine always depends upon the people surrounding it and Calcutta was no exception. People used to inhabit Calcutta (or more specifically Sutanuti, Kolikata and Gobindapur) since the early seventeenth century, long before Job Charnock settled here. Lord Shiva and various forms of his consort Parvati, were the most worshipped divine entities. It was almost customary that the ancient rich and aristrocratic families of the City establish temples of Lord Shiva, either in their residences or in the locality or on the bank of river Ganges. In the year 1856, there were 24 Shiva temples in Calcutta compared to only 5 temples of goddess Kali, a popular form of Parvati.

This trilogy is an attempt to uncover the past of three ancient Shiva Temples of North Calcutta, situated within a radius of 1 km but almost unknown beyond its daily visitors.