SALBONI : JSW Cement has constructed the new Maa Kali Temple at JSW Ankur Township in Salboni, West Bengal. JSW Cement is India’s leading producer of Green Cement and part of US$ 22 billion JSW Group. The new temple echoes the centuries old world famous Bishnupur architectural style in a contemporary way. The core idea was honed and turned into reality by Kolkata- based architecture firm, Dulal Mukherjee and Associates. This firm previously designed & fashioned the JSW Ankur township in Salboni district. The construction of the new temple was funded through the CSR spends of JSW Cement. The Company has dedicated the new Maa Kali Temple to her devotees in West Bengal. It was inaugurated and opened for public in early July 2022.
According to Mrs Anushree Jindal of JSW, “JSW Cement believes in collaborating with local communities to empower them for a better future. I feel blessed and privileged to have facilitated the creation of a pious, safe haven of worship for the local community in Salboni. Parth and I are pleased to dedicate the new Maa Kali temple to the local communities & devotees residing in Salboni and the surrounding region. Our aim was to create a beautiful place of worship in the lap of nature and celebrate locally sourced terracotta stones. This temple has a step-form designed to offer a social space for the local community members to converge and derive inner peace and sanctity.”
Commenting on the temple’s design Mr Dulal Mukherjee of Dulal Mukherjee and Associates said, “We are thrilled that JSW Cement mandated us to design and construct such a prestigious temple project. While working with the Maa Kali temple’s traditional planning principles, the core design idea was to address the socio-cultural expectations of the local community to create a haven of tranquility.”
The new Maa Kali temple has a pyramid-like form with four sides divided into three steps and three levels. Each side has three all-embracing arches on the ground floor followed by two on the first and one at the very top. The pinnacle is crowned by a castellated Steel ornament, a stylized form of the Kalasha found in Temple architecture. Similar to the Taj Mahal, the new Maa Kali Temple is approached from the sides of a reflecting shallow water body along the central axis. The structure stands on a raised plinth clad in local terracotta tiles with entrances through wide staircases. At the plinth level, there are secondary water bodies at the temple entrance for ablution before setting foot into the holy quarters.
The spatial play of the interior space blurs the lines between outside and inside through an open-to-sky Parikrama (circumambulation path) followed by a shaded Parikrama which encloses the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum that houses the Idol). The walls and niches are adorned by local stylized paintings (Pattachitra). The Maa Kali statue too was designed in a stylized fashion taking inspiration from the pattachitra paintings at Kalighat and from stone idols of Jagannath. The final statue made in stone sits under the shade of an intricate Shola work by artisans of Bardhaman and enclosed with the backdrop made from Bishnupur Silk. Whether sun-kissed or lit by various illumination sources all along its structure, the temple and the lush green landscape around it form a sanctuary to leave aside all the worries and anxiety of the day and engage in life-giving community.