Once a question arose in the Calcutta municipality which came first, the temple or the road? However, this question has not been resolved to date. But some say that the Lal Mandir was already there because an attempt was made to demolish the temple to make way for the road. But it was not possible to do that. Those who were working at that time died as soon as they started demolishing the temple. As a result, seeing that scene, the rest of the workers retreated, fearing destroying the temple. It is heard from the people of the old days; that the English did not believe in our God, Deity. Yet for some reason they also built the road leaving the temple intact.
Another news was widely spread by word of mouth at that time. The engineer who tried to break it to build the road also died. In this way, if 3 engineers die in a row trying to demolish the temple, it is decided by the corporation that the temple will be left. It is heard that in view of this incident, the government once proposed that the road can be moved without removing the Lal Mandir, but that was not possible either.
Why at The Middle of The Road?
It was then said that an overbridge would be built and the road would be taken over the Lal Mandir. But it is heard that every time an attempt has been made to build the overbridge, it has miraculously collapsed. It may be noted in this context that after the construction of the new road from Ganeshchandra Avenue crossing to Bhupen Bose Avenue crossing was named Central Avenue. Long before this naming, the street was called Maharaja Sir Narendrakrishna Dev Street.
When the CIT (Calcutta Improvement Trust) widened Central Avenue, they left the mandir as it was and blocked the road on both sides of the mandir. As was the case at playwright Girish Ghosh’s house. His house was also left intact and the road was blocked. At that time too, the CIT demolished the Biddon Street Theater to make way for the road.
The Lal Mandir was supposed to be moved even when the metro rail was built, but the temple could not be moved due to the protests of countless people. Although the traditional metro runs under it, the temple still stands in its glory in the same place.
Currently, Central Avenue Road is divided into two parts, one named Chittaranjan Avenue and the other named Jatindramohan Avenue. Currently, the temple is on Jatindramohan Avenue but many people still say that the Red Mandir is above Central Avenue.
Now let’s discuss the kings of that time. It is heard that the Lal Mandir is the temple of Dev’s (Raja Naba Krishna Dev) house. There was a tunnel from Rajbari to this Kalimandir. The path through which the royal girls used to come to worship. The house deity of Devbari is Krishna, so he resides in the house and he resides in the temple next to the house.
Some believe that this temple was built by the famous Raja Nabakrishna Dev of Sobhabazar Rajbari, while others say it was built by Raja Kalikrishna Dev (a minor king of Shobhabazar Rajbari). As the tunnel was detailed from the palace to the temple, it is assumed that the temple was built from the palace.
There are several stories behind the construction of the temple. One of them is that one day in the middle of the night, a man named Karthik brought the Kali idol and started performing puja in front of the palace of King Nabakrishna Dev Bahadur. The king could not accept this kind of puja in front of the palace, so one night his porter called the pujari and his black idol is another specialty of the temple which few people know.
He asked to move away from the Lal Mandir. In this context, it may be noted that King Nabakrishna Dev was not a devotee of Kali, although there was a good reason for this, Kali Puja was not so prevalent in the household at that time. Kali was worshiped only by Tantrics. Puja was done in crematoriums or street temples. It was Rani Rasmani who gave Maa Kali a place to worship at home and after Savarna Raychaudhuri family’s Santosh Raychaudhuri gave 25 thousand rupees to renovate the Kalighat temple, Kali puja gradually started in the home.
However, on the day and night of that incident, Mother Kali ordered King Nabakrishna Dev in a dream to restore the priest Kartika and his idol to its proper place and establish a temple. Forced, King Nabakrishna Dev reluctantly built the Kali temple and organized puja. That may be why the temple was initially called ‘Fela Kartik’s Temple’ by the local people, but later it came to be known as Lal Mandir’. However, one more secret about the establishment of this temple was learned from Shukla Bhattacharya, a nurse of Lal Mandir. He said, Tantric Amarkrishna Chakraborty rescued this Kalimurthy from the pond of Nabakrishna Dev’s palace and established it here. It is also known that this goddess was the worshiper of the king of Bhagalpur.
After stealing the idol, the robbers secretly threw it in Nabakrishna Dev’s pond for fear of being caught. Tantric Amarkrishna Chakraborty received the dream of Mother Kali and rescued the goddess and established it here. He also said that when Devi was sitting in Bhagalpur Rajbari, the height of Devi’s idol was almost human-proof. But the tantric Amarkrishna Chakraborty found the Kalimurti to be made of rough stone only eight inches high. However, although the statue is small, Makali’s face bears a resemblance to the statue of goddess Kalika stolen from the Bhagalpur palace. Later the king of Bhagalpur came here and claimed the authority of the goddess, but that claim was rejected in one word only for height.
Here Temple is dedicated to the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Srikalkadev, which is not widely known. A stone figure can be seen in this temple. Incidentally, one such temple can be seen in the middle of the road just near this temple B. K. Pal Park in front of B. K. Pal Avenue. But it is white and relatively small.
The annual festival of the three-peaked Lal Mandir is on the day of Kali Puja on the new moon of the month of Kartik. Puja is also done with the mantra of Dakshinakali. This Kali temple is also known as Yogamaya Lalmandir or, Pute Kali as Kalimurti Chhota. The red-colored temple is located in the middle of four streets next to the Sobhabazar metro station. The temple attracts everyone’s attention. The temple is probably named Lal Mandir because of its red color.
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