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Photographer's Note

It is not easy to find a place in West Bengal (from where I come from), a province in eastern India, where 38 different temples, all aged more than 150 years, are co-existing in a small complex. Bouwali or Bawali, a place hardly 55 Kilometres from Calcutta (Kolkata), is where this amazing treasure exists – though in a sorry state. The temples lie in a dilapidated condition, home for rats, snakes and hideouts of anti-socials.

The name Bouwali was derived from an old Bengali word, mouli, which means collector of wood and honey. It is believed that this place was once a part of the Sunderbans and many made a living by collecting honey and wood from the forest.

The towering nine-domed (Navratna) Gopinath Temple dominates the skyline of Bawali. Built in 1794 by Manik Mondal is one of the finest examples of Bengal's temple architecture, and is now in ruins. This 70 feet high temple is annexed with a Naat Mandir, a common meeting place.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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