Wikipedia Takes Kolkata 4 – Photowalk
I was just waiting for the event to occur because it really gave me a wonderful exuberant experience last time with the Wikipedia/Wikimedia Takes Kolkata 3 event. Suddenly, last week of November I got an invitation form Wikipedia in Facebook that again they are conducting Wikipedia Takes Kolkata 4 photo scavenging event here in Kolkata. But this time, photo scavenging will be in the southern part of Kolkata that is Tollygunge. Tollygunge is already famous outside for Bengali Films but for this time it will be more famous for Temples, Marvelous Architectures and History. So our rendezvous was Tollygunge Phari (It is a famous Tollygunge Crossing). Again my whole and sole companion throughout the Wikipedia/Wikimedia Photowalk event was Sumit Surai but this time Samrat turned down because now he is in Hobart, Australia, I really missed his presence throughout. Before I get into anything, here is the list of tentative places mainly Temple complexes.
• Boro Rasbari (Bowali Mondal)
• Chhoto Rasbari (Bowali Mondal)
• Lakshmi Janardan Mandir (Bowali Mondal)
• Dwadash Shiv Mandir (Chandra)
• Smashan Ghat
We reached at Tollygunge Phari aroud 7:15 AM and started waiting for others to come. I was just little excited to meet old fellow photographers after a long time because I met them just once before at last time Wikipedia/Wikimedia Takes Kolkata 3 event and became Facebook friends after that. Slowly one by one they started coming, I would like to mention few names, I was expecting them to come, like Rangan Da, Kalyan, Subhojit, Aurobindo, Biswarup Da, Deepanjan, Santanu Da, Sujay Da, Arup but few people really disappointed me, I was just expecting them to come, they turned off , mainly Ayan, Sukanto and Probuddho.
Ohhh thank God, I remember them and mentioned their name without brain storming, Fact, I really missed them a lot.
1. First Hindu Temple complex we visited, around 400m from Chetla Road (Across the Adi Ganga Bridge), it is Nabaratna Temple of Radhabinode (A Manifestation of Krishna). It is huge Temple complex, inside the private residence of Mondal Family. This family is famous as Bawali Mondal Family and this Temple complex belongs to them and the road where Temple is located, is named after the Mondal family, Address of the Temple Complex is 1A, Mondal Temple Lane (Kolkata Municipal Corporation Assesse No-110810700014) This Temple was built by Ramnath Mondal (Also of a Bowali Mondal Family) around 1797 (A plaque at the Temple mentioned 1718 Sakabdo). There is beautifully designed Terracotta work on the roof of the Temple but it needs Telephoto lens to capture as well as see the work. Front of the temple there is big size “Natmandir” and Dol-Mancha (Which is almost run down).
2. Second Hindu Temple we visited, from the same Bowali Mondal family and built by Peary Mondal in 1847. It’s popularly known as Choto or Junior Rasbari and address of the Temple complex is 93, Tollygunge Road , Kolkata. It’s also a manifestation of Krishna. The Ras-Mandir is built in Panch-Ratna or Five Towered style and consist of 12 Shiva (God Shiv) Mandir or temples. This temple complex includes a Ghat and is on the bank of Adi Ganga or Ganges. I must mention here this temple complex needs urgent attention for renovation. Negligence is everywhere but due to non-maintenance an ancient feel is present.
3. Third Hindu Temple we visited, from the same Bowali Mondal family was built by Uday Narayn Mondal around 1835-36. It is popularly known as Bara Rasbari and Address of the Temple complex is 78, Tollygunge Road , Kolkata. It’s also a manifestation of Krishna and Temple is in Ath-Chala style , has a massive Nat-Mandir and consists of 14 Shiva (God Shiv) Mandir or temples inside the huge complex. It is huge temple complex, outstandingly neglected, almost all 14 Shiva temples are broken down, but has a great feeling when will you watch it.
We stayed here for more than half an hour and Kalyan Sarkar pulled out his laptop to show/share new comers about Wikipedia Gyan. I had little knowledge about the place so I started referring few documents in my iPad. I discover from my documents there is another Temple nearby and within 300/400m there is a Mosque. So I straight away suggested others to include these place in the walk. Some of them asked about the documents I am referring to, so I told them about the same. All agreed to my proposal. Instead of going to Dwadash Shiv Mandir, we started searching for another temple and I provided them the address of the temple and mosque. But before we began searching, everybody was so hungry that we opt out to have food. My stomach rumbled for food but I avoid street food, so I had some biscuits to satisfy my gastro instinct. Others enjoyed with Kachauri and Bengali sweets. After gaining extra bit of energy from Breakfast around 11am , suddenly all become very enthusiastic to explore newly added spots.
4. Finally we found another Hindu temple called Mathur Sha Mandir. It is located inside a Modern Flat Complex and well maintained but lost the charm of old feeling. Initially the security person of the Flat Complex won’t allow us photographed the temple, showed some silly reason, even sometime misbehaved. After talking to the officials of the Flat Complex, finally they allowed us to take photograph.
5. After few minutes of walk, we entered Zohora Begum Mosque/Masjid. After greeting the Mosque officials “Salam Malikum”, they allowed us to take photographs. Address of the mosque is 32, Somnath Lahiri Sarani (Tollygunge Circular Road), Kolkata.We got really a warm welcome from them and one of the person told us, that Mosque was built during Tipu Sultan time. It was very well maintained, even very colorful Mosque I ever seen and there was an impression of some construction works still going on. I went up to the roof of the Mosque and found a newly made beautifully designed Minar. My documents say this mosque is in the Grade I Heritage list, hence how they made new constructions inside the premises? I know for most of the officials, the word Heritage carries very little value. List of committee Members of the Mosque, I photographed the list, Please see the picture.
6. Our next stop was Dwadash Shiv Mandir of the Chandra family. Beautiful temple consists of 12 Shiva temples inside the temple complex and it was built around 1852. Pigeons are one of the main attraction, just go through my photograph, you will get to know.
7. Next and last spot was Smashan Ghat (Burning Ghat), Known as Tarpan Burning Ghat. Here I took some photograph but having lack of knowledge about this I am not able to furnish any further information about this but trying to gather information on the same and would update once I get it.
It was a really exuberant experience, especially when it is about documentation photography and now waiting for the next event to come. Would like to thank all of you for reading my lines and watching my photographs.
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