Shibmandir (the odyssey of an institution)
Two hundred years ago, the area around Rabindra Sarobar or the Lakes, like much of what is today’s sprawling metropolis, was marshy land with hardly any sign of human habitation. Amidst this stretch of wilderness two Shiva lingas, close to each other, appeared at some unknown date. For decades, they stayed there under the open sky. The only reference to this spot is to be found in the archival maps with Fort William.
Time rolled on at its own unhurried pace …. Like any typical forest with wild animals and big trees, there were only some clusters of huts far away from each other. The people who lived there would often be the targets of brigands who roamed around the area unchallenged. According to hearsay, some of these dacoits would make it a point to visit the Shiva lingas before they would start on their exploits.
The big break………….It was around the 1920’s that a break came. A stream of people from among those who had struck roots in the emerging city chose to move further south of Kalighat temple, which was one known landmark in kolkata of those years. A development plan for the area with digging of the lakes, filling up of the marshy tracks, and laying of roads was started. One by one, families moved into the neighborhood.
And then formed Sri Sri Shankar Dharma Pratisthan.
SRI SRI SHANKAR DHARMA PRATISTHAN
By the 1930s the local population had grown to a sizable figure. Some of the people of the Para (locality) felt bad of the way the Shiva lingas were lying uncared for. They chose to do something about it. In 1934, they formed Sri Sri Shankar Dharma Pratisthan to look after the deities and the upkeep of the surrounding areas. The ‘ Temple’ of Lake Temple Road came into being. In the year 1936 they choose to start a community Durga Puja called Shibmandir Sarbojanin Durgotsab Samiti.The Durgapuja is one of the most popular community puja now in Kolkata.Which draws a huge crowd around 3 lakh per day during puja days.Shibmandir celebrated PLATINUM JUBILEE YEAR in 2011.
The Dharma Pratisthan and Durga Puja has not looked back since then. The Pratisthan is adding to its activities all the time. In the last few years, several gods and goddesses have chosen the pratisthan as their new adode and joined with the Jora Shiva lingas who started it all, believed to be around 180 years ago, and the Sitala Ma who dates back to the 1930s.Sarbani Kalimata, Bhabani Mata, Krishna-Radhika, the triumvirate of Ramji-Lakshmanji-Sita Ma and their inseparable Bajrangbali have followed in quick succession. Sri Sri Ganeshji idol is installed on 2nd May’07 at the shibmndir premises on demand from the devotees. Very recently Shibmandir is renovated with new look, which attracts devotees.
Senior citizens have formed the Path-o-Chakra where they exchange views on assorted subjects and also invite speakers to give discourses on ‘Values of Life’.
SHIBMANDIR SARBOJANIN DURGOTSAB SAMITI
Durgapuja is one of the biggest festivals of our country – India. Durgapuja is a grand homecoming of Ma Durga with her children. The time when Kolkata changes its face by decoration and light at around 1500 puja pandals for the puja hoppers. Kolkata always has been a big attraction for the foreigners during Durgapuja– A LAND OF CELEBRATION.
SHIBMANDIR started its journey in 1936, —a long march and one of the most popular community (BARO YEARI) puja in KOLKATA now. It draws a huge crowd of around 60 lac during puja days. Located near Rabindra Sarobar Lake on Lake Temple Road a calm and quite place.
Shibmandir have changed the entire concept of community Durga Puja in Kolkata since 1999, by presenting a beautiful courtyard with terracotta art of Bisnupur. (1999) won many prizes including Asian Paints, archaeological aspects of Maluti gram (2000), impression of Lord Buddha (2001), 64-Jogini temple of Hirapur at Bhubaneswar (2002), a colourful Monestry of hills in West Bengal (2003), “Bankim bhabnay Saktipuja ” in 2004 and “Jogsadhanar parnakutir”in 2005, which won many prestigious prizes including Asian Paints Sharod Sanman,in 2006 we have projected the transformation of durgapuja in kolkata”Durgapuja-sekaal theke ekaal”, In 2007 it was ‘kalchakra-atiter remake’, In 2008- we have projected the activity of Debi Durga –‘Rupe Gune Durga’. In 2009 it’s once again a great success using banana skin and banana fibre as mode of decoration. The handicraft of Bengal just over flowed.The theme was ‘Utsaber Bhela’, drawn huge crowd and won 16 prizes. In 2010, Shibmandir seeks to capture the three incarnations of Mother Sakti – creator, preserver, and destructor. Our theme was based on to Save Tree, Save environment. Modern science also says there will be life on this earth as long as trees are there. The green is the epitome of life, and also of energy. This time tree is the theme of our celebration. The Theme sristi, sthithi, Binasini is again another hit and won 22 prizes.
Our puja pandal has been frequently visited by the most dignified members of society of every stream including quite a handful number of foreigners.
Shibmandir received extensive reviews in the print and electronic media all over the world.
No wonder Shibmandir won all the major prizes announced by different organisation in the last few years for its excellent artistic presentation (click Achievement).The art loving people are taking special interest to visit our puja pandal with different mood.
However, the success of all such plans depends on your participation. It is not just a question of helping with money, though that certainly is important (and don’t forget the inflation!). But more important is your ideas, your help in diverse area.