Chilkigarh~ A tiny village with a glorious past.
Chilkigarh is a village in Jamboni block of Jhargram district in West bengal, approximately 180kms away from Kolkata. If you are a history and nature buff, then this place should be on your list of weekend gateaways from Kolkata. There are two most important sites to see in this village:
The Chilkigarh Kanak Durga Temple.
The Chilkigarh Raj bari
The Dulung River
Besides these two sites, the Dulung river flows nearby, on the banks of which one can sit on wintery afternoons and have a nice picnic. Indeed, winter is the most amazing time to visit this place. Of course, if you love greenery, then monsoon is the time to visit. It is the time that the Dulung river is filled to its brim.
Now, coming to the Chilkigarh Kanak Durga Temple, according to locals, it is an ancient temple, which was reconstructed in 1348. According to folklore King Gopinath had built the temple. The king dreamt the idol of Goddess Kanak Durga, and he built the temple of the goddess. As the name suggests Kanak, the idol, was completely made of Gold and is 2(two)feet in height. It was believed that human sacrifice formed a vital ritual during the times of the royal. Until and unless the sacrificial blood reached the Dulung River, the ritual continued. However, it is in utter disrepair now.
Old Kanak Durga Temple
A new temple has been built adjacent to it, which is about a century old and the earlier Navratna temple has been abandoned and nature has taken over. The Dulung River flows between the deserted Chikligarh Rajbari of the Jamboni dynasty and the Kanak Durga temple. The temple is about 15kms away from Jhargram town.
Beware of monkeys!
PS: There are a lot of monkeys in the temple premises and one need to be careful with them.
Way back in 13th century, Jagannath Dhabaldeb invaded Jungle Mahal. He defeated the local ruler over an easy clash and reigned for decades thereafter. During those days, Maratha dacoits called ‘Borgi’ used to often attack this part of Bengal. To prevent their invasion, Dhabaldeb constructed his fortress on the other side of Dulung River inside the forest so that his private residence is protected by the water stream. The Rajbari is now in a dilapidated state. It consists of two floors and a huge grounds which has two temples in it. But the utter lack of maintenance was appalling, given the historical importance of the Rajbari and its strategic location.
The whole area bore a touch of eternal stillness.
Temple inside the Rajbari complex.