Ma Malai Chandi Temple

Ma Malai Chandi Temple
Ma Malai Chandi Temple

Located in Amta, Uluberia subdivision of Howrah District in West Bengal, Melai Chandi Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the veneration of Goddess Sati. The holy site stands on the eastern bank of an old river named Damodar and holds great significance as one among 51 Shakti Peethas for worshippers devoted to Shakti sect of Hinduism.

Amta is mentioned in numerous ancient Bengali verses, such as the acclaimed Chandi Mangal of 16th century Bengali literature written by Kavikankan Mukundaram Chakraborty. The current atchala temple was constructed by Krishna Chandra Dutta of Hatkhola, Calcutta who owned a salt-depot there. Although the date plaque on this building has become illegible with time, it is said to have been built during 1056 B.S or 1949-50 A.D for a local carpenter named Karmakar . it is also believed that the temple was not erected by Karmakar, he may be the temple architect, as it was a popular custom to inscribe the name of the temple-architect on the facade.

The Temple is surrounded by a four-sided compound wall, and each side has its own entrance. The Temple measures approximately 25 m x 35 m in area. It consists of the Sanctum, service area, office room, Nat mandir, an atchala Durgeswar Shiva shrine and a recently built Ramakrishna Shrine. This structure exudes simple elegance with its detached mandapa hall (assembly hall) situated in front while South houses the entrance gateway – all enclosed within the sprawling compound walls.

The idol of Melai Chandi is constructed out of black basalt rock and has since been covered with a layer of vermillion. This iconography dates back to the Pala period (8th – 10th Century A.D.), as evidenced by the padapith located at its base. Images of Basudeva and Karthick, which were around during this era, are also worshipped in conjunction with Melai Chandi. To further accommodate devotees, a large tank complete with two Ghats and dharmashala have been built next to the temple complex for convenience.

Every year, the grand festival of Baisakhi Purnima is celebrated with great enthusiasm during April-May. In addition, Durga Puja and Maghi Purnima (January-February) are also observed joyfully along with Saptami Dol festivities.

The Temple is conveniently located 500 meters from Amta Bus Stop, 1.5 kilometers away from the Amta Railway Station, 12 kilometers between Munshirhat and Ranihati, a 31 kilometer drive to Howrah , 45 kilometers of travel to Kolkata and only 54 kilometers away from Kolkata Airport via the picturesque route of Howrah – Bargachia – Bagnan.

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