Biker’s quest for salvation wasn’t over yet with Monuments at Pandua, Bandel Church and Hooghly Imambara, as last hunt for the day was still waiting. I bid a reluctant adieu to the imambara and geared up for Bansberia. The town of Bansberia lies on the bank of River Ganga and hardly five kilometres from where I had started. My destination site was Hanseswari Temple, a five-storied Hindu temple, more than 200 years old, housing the idol of Goddess Kali (Hanseswari) as the main deity. Hanseswari Temple seemed to be the most valuable treasure of the otherwise modest looking town Bansberia. With easy guideline I could reach the renowned temple and from the fast impression it resembled more like a European castle!
This enormous 90 feet high Hanseswari temple, presently under the preservation policy of Archaeological Survey of India, was constructed by Raja Nrisingha Deb and Rani Shankari in the beginning of the 19th century. The five storied temple was constructed based on Tantric principles on the structural anatomy of human body... quite intriguing right? You’ll find thirteen tall towers/minars with blooming lotus bud over their summits, which gave me the illusion of Western castle. The chief deity, Hanseswari (another form of Goddess Kali) is blue in colour with four hands and the idol is made up of Neem wood. The presiding priest told me that the idol was 300 years old which I couldn’t verify from any second source though. The temple also houses a white-marbled Shiva linga. There you’ll find a second temple in the same complex- Ananta Vasudeva Temple, which was constructed in traditional ekaratna style with curved cornices and an octagonal tower and displays exquisite terracotta designs.
Hanseswari Temple along with Ananta Vasudeva Temple appeared in the healthiest state compared to other things I had visited in the day, except the Bandel Church which was even better maintained. While I was photographing the terracotta works it started drizzling, giving me some time to relax by those archaic pillars and watch the grassy lawn turning greener with every drop of rain. The return ride to Bardhaman was uneventful as expected except the yummy noodle in a motel (I know hunger is the best sauce). At the end of the day I happily joined my family for dinner clocking around 175 kilometres in the day, with the satisfaction of exploring few tourist-jewels of Hooghly district and most importantly riding after a good gap. See you in my upcoming travel post... till then travel hard and take care.