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Mahaanaad : forgotten history
Mahaanaad is a small village about 30 km from Chuchura, the district headquarters of Hooghly district, West Bengal, India. Now a very ordinary Bengal village, the place was once the busiest centre in Eastern India for the Nath Yogis, a sect of Shaivites & followers of Gorakhnath & other great Nath Yogis.
Even today, the members of this particular sect assemble here once a year to celebrate certain occasions & a big fair is held here (called “Manader Jaat” in the local dialect).
On the northern end of the village there is a huge temple complex with a big temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as JATESWAR Shiva.
The temple of Jateswar Shiva is a tall one, with a mixed temple pattern. Though the tall pinnacle gives an impression of a PIRHA type of temple (according to the classical North Indian or Nagara style), a close scrutiny reveals a curved roof on which the pinnacle is constructed, thereby giving it more semblance to a modified EKRATNA type of Bengal style.
In front of the temple there is a DALAN type NATMANDIR.
Inside, there is a Shiva Lingam & few other deities.
In front of this main temple , there are a number of secondary temples, with some distinction of their own.
1) Annapurna temple, dedicated to Goddess Annapurna , is a JORBANGLA type of temple with a beautiful idol of the Goddess made of black touch stone inside.
2) A small EKRATNA type of temple with Har-Parvati (i.e. Lord Shiva & Goddess Durga) inside. The pinnacle or RATNA of this temple covers almost whole of the roof.
3) A small cave like temple with a conical Shiva Lingam similar to the Shiva Lingams of the Gupta period (3rd-4th century AD).
4) A small new temple of Goddess Kali.
Besides these temples, the other most interesting objects to be seen here are :
1) A very big (more than 10 feet long) Gouripatta ( the symbol of Goddess
Durga). One just gapes in awe thinking about the size of the Shiva Lingam it once held. (sadly, no one knows about that Lingam!).
2) Two Stone idols of Bhairab known as Batuk Bhairab & Ekpada bhairab, below a huge Neem (Margosa) tree.
5) A stone idol of Makara, a mythical aquatic animal like a crocodile, which is considered as the Vahana (vehicle) of the Goddess Ganga.
6) A large number of broken stone idols of different deities.
7) Another interesting & equally mysterious thing to observe is an iron rod in front of the temple complex, the lower end of which is so deep that, as per local talk, no one, even the British could not uproot the rod by force. The iron rod is regarded as a form of Lord Shiva’s companion & is called Maha Bhairav.
Another interesting thing to be seen here is a huge pond, known as Basistha Ganga, & several smaller ones known as Kunds ( two of tem are still there – the JIYOT Kund & the MUKTI Kund, though the former is dry now). It is said that the water of Jiyot Kund once in the remote past had miraculous power of resurrecting the dead!
The second temple complex at Mahaanaad is the temple of Bramhamoyee Kali. Situated at the southern end of the village , this 85 feet tall three – storied Navaratna type of temple was constructed in 1829 by the local landlord Neogies. This temple houses a beautiful idol of the Goddess Kali & 5 stone-made Shiva Lingams, 4 black ones at the 4 corners of the ground floor, & the 5th one (white in color & known as Hangseswar Shiva)) at the top of the temple.
The most depressing thing that one feels after visiting this place is the neglect of the people about the historical importance of this place. Nobody gives any importance to the place & the ancient treasures it holds. Even the West Bengal Government is indifferent to this very important piece of the ancient history of us & our state. Time , the most cruel & impartial form of the natural forces, quietly flows by this priceless treasure of our land, gradually crumbling everything in its relentless march.
I only hope that someone with right frame of mind & right connections see this hub.