Founded: 1396 (Rath Yatra of Mahesh)
Founded By: Kamalakar Pipilai
Place: Serampore, Hooghly district, West Bengal, India
Height: 50 feet
Architect: Martin Burn Company
Patron: Bose family of Kolkata
The Rath Yatra of Mahesh in the Hooghly district of West Bengal is also of historical repute. This is not only because it’s the grandest and the oldest Rath Yatras in Bengal, but because of huge congregation it manages to attract. The Mahesh Rath Yatra of 1875 is of special historical significance: A young girl was lost in the fair and amongst many, the district magistrate Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay – the great Bengali poet and author of India‘s National song – himself went out to search for the girl. A couple of months later this incident inspired him to write the famous novel Radharani.
It was the fourteenth century. Drubananda Brahmachari, a great Bengali sage went to Puri for pilgrimage. He had a desire to offer Lord Jagannath ‘Bhoga’ with his own hand. But the Temple authority prevented him do so. Broken-hearted Drubananda decided to fast until death. On the third day, he heard the Lord’s voice in his dream, “Drubananda, go back to Bengal. At the bank of Bhagirathi, you will find a place called Mahesh. There I shall send you a huge Daru-Brahma (Neem trunk). Make Balarama, Subhadra and my Idol with this trunk. I am eager to have ‘Bhoga’ in your hand.” So Drubanada returned to Mahesh and started his Sadhana. Then in a scary rainy night, that Daru-Brahma appeared at Mahesh. He jumped into the water and received it. Then he made the Idols of the Holy Trinity and established a Temple.