This post will delve in the historical Shakti-peeths in india and will specifically talk about my trip to see the various Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal.
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India is a land of deep-rooted History and beliefs. There are close to 33 million Gods & goddesses in the Hindu system of belief. After my relocation to West Bengal, a region which is steeped in culture, tradition and legends, I found myself exploring the historical sites of importance especially with the aftermath of the Pandemic which has restricted long-distance travel as such.
Introduction to the post
So there was this thought which came to my mind to visit the 51 Shakti-Peeths in India. These are pilgrimage centres of immense spiritual belief spread all over India. The Shakti-peeths are devoted to Goddess Shakti or Sati as she is called , the main deity of energy; also known as Shaktism.
Most ancient Hindu texts mention these places in India and the subcontinent. There are 52 Shakti-Peeths out of which 4 are Adi-Shakti Peeths,18 are Maha Shakti-Peeths and rest are Shakti-peeths. West Bengal has quite a number of them, and I so wished to see Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal while I was in this region. Accordingly, I charted my route and have started visiting these. Below is an account of three of Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal out of the total 51 Shakti-Peeths.
This country of ours has so much to offer with each region abounding in different aspects of what one is interested in finding and exploring. I have tried in visiting the places of beauty and nature but a part of me is also inclined towards History of our country.
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.
Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal
Vibash Shakti Peeth
Vibasha Shakti Peeth is one among the Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal. Located on the banks of the Roopnarayana River in Purab Medinipur, West Bengal. It is the place where the left ankle of the Mother Goddess had fallen. Here the Devi is worshipped as Kapalini and Lord Shiva as Sarvanand.
The present temple was built around 1150 years back by the Maharaja of Mayur Dynasty. The architecture of the Shakti Peeth resembles Kalinga Temple as well as a Bengal styled aatchhala Natyamandir ( these are two-tiered temples, with each level having four curved triangular sectors).
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How to reach
Just type Tamluk In google maps, and one should have no difficulty in reaching here. It Is on the NH16 till Kolaghat and then takes a left turn towards the town of Tamluk. A total distance of 85 km. The entire journey is through populated areas, especially while one is on the NH16.
The town of tamluk is just like any other rural Bengal town with modernity creeping in. The lanes are narrow and more suited for small vehicles definitely not for more oversized wheelbase vehicles. However, the people are friendly and patient in letting outsiders come to terms with the pace and the vibe of the town.
The temple was very calm, with no money seeking priests or touts. With hardly any tourist save the local visitors of the region, it was a very calming experience to see the idol of the mother goddess. The main part as per the legend which is the left ankle is of course not visible. It is buried deep inside the earth. However, the idol of Mother goddess is what is worth seeing. The presence of Lord Vishnu avatars was also surprising and pleasant to see. This visit marked the beginning to see Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal.
Attohas Shakti Peeth
The temple of Attohas, is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths and is part of the Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal. Legend speaks that the lower lip of goddess Sati fell here. Located in Ketugram near Katwa in Bardhamann district, this temple is a must-visit owing to the serene atmosphere and calming vibes. Managed by a very few numbers of priests, the authenticity of the temple is still very much evident.
The temple premises is at the edge of human settlement and located among the fertile fields of Bengal thus emanating a soothing effect. One can visit the temple as well see the other places within the perimeter such as the place where the sages used to do siddhi ( tantric) mediation as well the place where it is said that human sacrifice used to be offered to goddess Kali in the yesteryears. Quite an eye-opener a place to visit indeed.
The presence of a large number of water storks caught my attention for there were indeed raucous with their activities. I could have a vague idea of how this place would have been many 40-50 years back with no motorable road barring a waling trail. Indeed the pilgrims would have had the full impact of reaching a holy place owing to the fantastic location of this Shakti-Peeth.
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Bahula Shakti-Peeth is one of the historical Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal in India. Legend says Devi Sati’s Left Arm fell here. The main idol out here is Devi as Bahula and with the Bhairva as Bhiruk. There is an idol of Lord Ganesh too in the inner sanctum. Both the idols of Mother Goddess Sati and Lord Ganesh are of stone.
The temple is a large courtyard right in front of the garbagriha, and flooring is done in red sandstone. The stone image of the deity along with that of Lord Ganesh was installed by Raja Chandra Ketu.
How to reach the Bahula Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal
I took the National Highway to Bardhmann and then turned towards the Kalna-Katwa highway. Meandering through numerous state highways and country roads, I finally reached Nirol village from where once can visit both the Bahula Shakti Peeth as well as Attahas Shakti Peeth.
Both these three Skati-Peeths that I have mentioned are wish-fulfilling for those with an open and sincere heart. Owing to their remote locations in rural Bengal, they do not have the aura of commercialisation. This is rampant on many of the more extensive and more renowned shakti peeths in India.
This concludes the first part of this multipost series. There will be other posts under this series. When i am able to visit the other Shakti-Peeth in West Bengal
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