The Ghantiwala temple (The Bell Temple) is a heritage known to a few..Located in Tinsukia district, Assam, this is an abode of Lord Shiva, where devotees ask for their wish in a unique way..by tying a bell on the temple premises.
Brief About Ghantiwala Temple:
The Ghantiwala Temple is located in the Bordubi, a lesser known town in the Tinsukia district of Assam. As the name suggests, the temple is called Ghantiwala Temple because the design of this temple is in the form of an inverted bell (Ghanti). The temple as per the locals is decades old and is believed to have been constructed in the 1960’s. The ritual here is to put a bell as an offering to the Shiva Lingam here, which is believed to be located under an old banyan tree. Rows of shops sell thousands of brass bells of all sizes and shapes.
In the Assamese language, the bell is called ‘Tilinga’, and hence the temple is also known as ‘Tilinga Temple’. It is believed that if you are seeking to fulfill a wish, you need to tie a bell inside the temple premises and pray to Shiva for his blessings and fulfillment. When the wish gets fulfilled, the seeker must return here and open any one of the existing bells that have been tied here before, as a respect towards the wish fulfilled.
The nearest station to the temple is ‘Tinsukia’ station. From here, you can drive backwards by road along the AH-1 which brings you the Bordubi village.
The corridor to North East India is through Kolkata station. Hereafter, two different routes can be chosen to enter into North East India, either ‘Guwahati’ or ‘New Jalpaguri’. There are direct trains running from Kolkata to Tinsukia or from Guwahati to Tinsukia Railway Station. AC chair car trains are generally available from both these stations.
You can also take the road route if you are looking for an adventurous road trip along the AH-1 and NH-715. The highway is a flat double lane road with the traffic reducing gradually as you keep inching ahead.
Along the way, you can enjoy the finest views of the exotic tea gardens, dense teak wood forests with high-rise teak trees, almost blocking the sun’s views, the inescapable Kaziranga Sanctuary, and the enormous lengths of Brahmaputra river all the way. I bet you will not complete the journey in a single hop, without taking multiple stops enroute; not because you ‘ll get tired, but because of the irresistible landscape.
By Train: 506 Kms, 11 hrs, 30 mins
By Road: Along State Highway AH-1, 468 Kms, 10 hrs, 30 mins
The Temple Today:
When I visited the temple, the old banyan tree was in a dilapidated state. However, the Shiva Lingam was still accessible. At the entrance, you an see the distinct bell shaped entrance gate painted in brass colours, giving it almost the look of real bells inverted and placed.
Once you are inside the temple, a large passage leads to the banyan tree on which three more large sized bells are kept inverted. Although, the temple seems low profile for the rest of the country, but it is visited by a large number of locals from the state of Assam.
The temple has a vibrant and lively atmosphere and you can instantly feel the spiritual vibes here. The scent of the incense and smoking camphor elates the surroundings even more. Under the passage leading to the Shiva Lingam, a series of lighted oil lamps of different sizes and shapes are kept, and the scintillating flame from the oil lamps fills up the space. Simply an enchanting experience!
I had bought a brass bell as a part of the ritual and after seeking the blessings in the temple, I tied the bell among the numerous brass bells that were all hung along one of the boundary walls inside the temple. I only wish what I earned what I seeked.
In Assam, it is believed that if someone crosses the Brahmaputra River once, he or she has to cross over to visit there seven times in their entire life. I guess it is true to some extent, as I have crossed over several times, until what I thought was a myth became a reality.
If my wish is fulfilled, I must visit again, and untie one of the bells, as a mark of my gratitude towards the Lord for having fulfilled what I asked for. More than the wish, I yearn to travel here again. A wish I guess would just be an excuse!
Got a wish? Then take a trip, tie a bell and ask for it!!! And may your journey bring forth what you seek as you travel this far!!!!