Chandranath Shiva Temple, Hetampur, West Bengal
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and after I overcame the disappointment of seeing its dilapidated state I was fascinated and full of admiration for the brilliant art work on the facade. So much of it is hidden; there is good scope for wonderful pictures here. It is the nine pinnacled, navaratna style of Bengali architecture. Each pinnacle is topped with woman’s figure with arms stretched out.
What surprised me here was the fusion of Bengali and English art style and subjects! Some of the panels had figures depicting English dressing styles of 19th century. There is a portrait of Queen Victoria, European nuns, hat wearing men and priests. The architects and artists of those days were definitely impressed by their styles or were they forced to depict them on temples? Nobody was around to answer any of our questions.
There is hardly any space on either side of the temple; a shop on one side and double storied house on the other. Inside is a white Shiva Linga, it did look like prayers were being offered here. I just felt like praying, “O! Lord Shiva, please protect your own abode from the land sharks!”