108 Shiva Temples in Ambika Kalna, Burdwan, West Bengal

108 Shiva temples in Ambika Kalna of Burdwan district houses 108 Shiva Lingas. They are constructed in a circular manner in 2 layers. 74 temples in the outer ring has alternate black and white lingas. There are 34 Shiva Temples in the inner circle and they have only white Shiva lingas. In addition to 108 there are 2 more temple like structures at the entrance to both series of temple which doesn’t have the idol. The construction style of this temple is amazing and rare.

Significance of 108 in Hinduism

Number 108 holds special significance in Hinduism. Mathematicians of Vedic culture consider 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. This number connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth. Distance of Earth from the Sun is about 108 times the diameter of the Sun.

Mukhya Shivaganas (main followers of Lord Shiva) are 108 in number. Hence in Shaiva religions, particularly in Lingayats, they use 108 rudraksha beaded lace for japa. Also they recite supreme lord Shiva’s 108 (AshtaaShatanaamaavaLi) names daily during their morning Shiva puja.

Shiva Temples in Ambika Kalna

Well maintained lawns between the 2 layers of 108 Shiva Temples in Ambika Kalna

108 Black and White Shiva Lingas

Siddeshwar Acharyya, an expert on Kalna’s history, explained the significance of such a unique scheme of white and black lingas and their arrangement:

The outer circle, as he explained, represents the world we live in. White symbolizes punya (good) and black (evil) in equal measure. However, through meditation and service to Lord Shiva, one slowly gets to see the real world composed only of pure thoughts and deed. Such a world is symbolized by the inner circle of temples. The journey from the outer to the inner circle is reflective of such a spiritual crossing over. At the center of the inner circle, all the white shiva linga’s are visible, implying that the person has attained truth, hence moksha.

Shiva Temples in Ambika Kalna

The central part of Shiva Temples in Ambika Kalna is completely cemented with just a lone tree growing inside.

The lawns between the two layers of temple are well maintained with beautiful flowering plants. Inside the inner circle of temple, the entire area is cemented. Just one Bael tree growing in the center. You have to leave your footwear outside the temple. So walking barefoot here during midday can be difficult. Each dome had these metallic forms, probably depicting some kind of religious symbol.

Location of 108 Shiva Temples in Ambika Kalna

Ambika Kalna is situated 82 km from Kolkata on the Bandel-Katwa railway line. You can take cycle rickshaw which is the popular mode of transport, from station to temple. The temple is located on the scenic west bank of the Bhagirathi. Kalna (another name for Ambika Kalna) once flourished as a prosperous port town.

Water Wheel - Solution to the Burden of Water
108 Shiva Temples of Kalna

29 Responses to “108 Shiva Temples in Ambika Kalna, Burdwan, West Bengal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *