There is this intense desire in me to see in this lifetime all 51 Shakti Peeth, or at least all those in India. It is a journey in progress over the years, and I am sure it will take some more years to reach its closure. For now, I am in the distinct joy of being able to explore the various Shakti Peeth in India. This post talks about Satipeeth in Birbhum.
It’s the onset of Winter, and the sunrise is happening on the horizon. I lower the window panes of the vehicle letting the cold breeze rush into the car as I find myself on the road piercing through the heart of Bengal, speeding towards the region of Birbhum. The early morning winter mist still hangs lightly on the earth and the fields which are being prepared for the winter sowing season. In Bengal, it’s all about fields as far as the eye can see, fertile land in every sense of the word
Satipeeth in Birbhum
Birbhum, Bengal, is a region sanctified by the presence of several Shakti Peeth. The temples are simple without too much adornment, which gives them a feeling of mysticism and aura. Indeed, if the desire to pay homage to all the Shakti peeths germinates within oneself, it leads to one coming across some of the most venerate lands in the entire subcontinent.
Our travels generally indicate much more than what we wish to see. They are, in a sense, composed of a collage of events that have shaped the mind over the past many years. We carry the past in our travels, a set of invisible lenses we wear all the time. It shapes our outlook subtly. Hence I don’t understand why I am drawn to visit architecture and mythology so much, and maybe it has to do with some events that shaped who I am.
Kankalitala Shaktipeeth Birbhum
One of the most auspicious yet simplest Sati peeth in Birbhum is Kankalitala Shakti Peeth in Birbhum. As I move further outwards from the epicentre of Kolkata in search of Sati Peeths in Bengal, my search takes me further towards the peripheral regions of the state of Bengal.
The Kankalitala kali temple is simple in construction and consists of a rectangular hall with an enclosed sanctum on one end. The typical pyramidal roof surmounts the square shrine, and within their sanctum lies a garlanded portrait of Goddess Kali and a small mound of earth suitably covered with adornments. There is no idol or statue, which is a departure from the norms. That may be why there is so much openness in allowing devotees to visit the inner sanctum, thus imparting a sense of deeply mythical vibes.
As per mythological lore, when Goddess Sati’s body was cut into 51 parts and distributed all over the earth, her WAIST (Kaankal) fell here. Thus, creating a deep indentation in the ground covered with water now, known as Dudh Pukur. It is believed that the waist bones of the Goddess are buried inside this sacred pond just adjoining the temple.
It’s so crucial that temples remain the way this way with less fanfare and more openness. I saw crowds of devotees, too, but everyone made space for the other, and there was no jostling or pushing. The Kankalitala temple Bolpur location is scenic in the middle of fields and local rivers, thus imparting a sense of calmness to all visiting Kankalitala.
How to reach Kankalitala Temple Shantiniketan: The nearest rail station is Bolpur. Bolpur is well connected to Kolkata and Howrah by daily trains. Kankalitala temple is around 9 km from Bolpur and can be reached using rickshaws.
Where to stay: There are numerous places to stay at Shanti Niketan, Bolpur. So, one can choose as per the budget in mind.
Fullara Shakti Peeth Birbhum
On the banks of the river Ishani, in the interior village of Birbhum called Dakshindihi, is the beautiful shrine of Maa Adi Shakti Devi Fullara. It is said that Goddess Sati’s lower LIP had fallen at Fullara. There is again no idol here but a large stone adorned and covered with flowers and vermillion.
The Fullara temple Birbhum is new in place of the original one destroyed a hundred years ago. The expansive temple houses shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as Vishwesh.
Labhpur Attahas Shakti Peeth
I loved the vibe of Labhpur Fullara Shakti Peeth, a sense of déjà vu of being a place I never thought I would come across, but then life leads on meandering paths like the river Ganges across the Indian Subcontinent. The temple premises welcomed me on that Sunday afternoon, with hardly any devotees jostling to glimpse the Goddess, a sacred shrine I yearned to enter. A flood of thoughts washed over me as I realised how fortunate my day was to be out here, in the heart of Birbhum Bengal, on the steps of Fullara Shakti Peeth. Life is not always scaling skyscrapers and being successful in this world; sometimes, it is looking at the quiet simple things that call out to us.
How to reach: Fullora Labhpur is 30 km from Kankalitala and takes 01 hour by road. One can hire a vehicle from Shanti Niketan to visit both Kankalitala and Labhpur on a single day.
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What is my Blog about ?
The ruins of Hampi ( read here ), the Cave temples of Badami ( read here ) and the Panch Kedar in Uttarakhand (read here ) are few examples of diverse Historical grandeur and legends. I have been fortunate to have got the opportunity to see these gems of India.
My blog focuses quite a bit on the ancient history and art of India, among other places of travel that I keep doing. The history posts come up because there is in ancient Indian History, so many monumental architectures created.
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Shakti Peeth in West Bengal.
West Bengal and Odisha Shaki Peeth comprise the central portion of the list of 51 Shakti Peeth in India. There are some conflicting data regarding the Shakti peeth list of West Bengal. However, taking the more extensive list, I would like to bring out that there are 15 Shakti Peethas. These Sati piths of West Bengal are listed here. Out of these, the Satipeeth in Birbhum region are the most numerous: –
|01||Attohas||Dakshindihi ( read )|
|02||Bahula||Ketugram ( read )|
|04||Kalighat||Kolkata ( read )|
|06||Kiriteswari||Kritikona (read )|
|11||Vibash||Tamluk ( read )|
|12||Jogadya||Kshirgram ( read)|
Among the most potent Shakti Peeth are Maa Kamakhya Shakti Peeth in Guwahati and Maa Kali at Kalighat, Kolkata.
The Satipeeth in Birbhum have an aura on themselves, and irrespective of the beliefs that are associated with them, I feel that one should take the opportunity as a traveller to visit these unique mystical, legendary places to know about the history and myths that are an integral part of their existence in the social fabric of India.
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