108 Shiva Temple of Kalna is a grand example of architectural spirit of colonial modern Bengal. This temple is located in Kalna, just opposite to Pratapeshwar Temple complex of Kalna.
108 Shiva Temple of Kalna was built in the year 1809. These temples are constructed in two circles. The concept of 108 temples was taken from Rajarajeswara temple (dedicated to Lord Shiva) which is located at Taliparamba in the Kannur district of Kerala. Rajarajeswara temple is an example of ancient Chola art.
In 108 Shiva Temple of Kalna or Nava Kailasha Temple, one circle consists of 74 temples while the other inside circle has 34 temples dedicated to Mahadeva. The outer circle has the white marble and black stone shiva lingas, while the inner circle has only white marble ones. Due to its ingenious planning, all the Shiva lingas can be seen from the centre of the temple complex. It has a full proof mathematical explanation. All the Shiva Linga are centred to North, as the local myth confirms the linga faces to the northward direction only. It has another concept also. This concept proofs that the 108 Shiva Temple of Kalna is just a clock and the Shiva Lingas are only the hours of a day.
It is most gorgeous and stunning temple in Kalna for its architecture. 108 Shiva Temple was built by Maharaja Teja Chandra Bahadhur, the Maharahja of Bardhaman Royal Lineage in the year 1809. He built this temple to celebrate the transfer and ownership of the Royal Estate of Bishnupur.
It is an architectural marvel; the structure of this magnificent temple is a combination of two concentric circles, each of which has small temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. These represent beads in a rosary (like 108 beads of a rosary) and its walls depict episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata and even hunting scenes that are portrayed in these epics.
The outer circle of Nava Kailasha Temple has seventy-four temples and the inner one has thirty-four temples. It is also called the Nava Kailasha Temple (locally known) and each of these 108 temples has a Shiva linga. The lingas in the inner circle are all white marble, which is symbolizing the good deeds of a human being, while half of those in the outer circle are in black marble, which is symbolizing sins of human.
The temple structure of 108 Shiva temple or Nava Kailasha Temple also bears a concept the outer circle, which portrays the world we live in while the inner circle symbolizes the world with pure thoughts.