India, a land deeply rooted in beliefs and History. In the Hindu culture, there are close to 33 Crore Gods & Goddesses. Being located in Bengal, a region steeped in culture, tradition and legends, the lure of seeing the age-old temples has fuelled my desire to explore my surroundings. I have begun the journey to visit all the ShaktiPeeths in Bengal. Hence this post is based on my travels to the various ShaktiPeeths in Bengal.
Journeys can be of various genres and interests. It all depends on what the traveller wishes to see and experience. So while the mountain and sea are profoundly satisfying. A part of me yearns to visit and explore the History of my country, which can be seen through various temples constructed over centuries ago and connected to so many alluring legends over time.
In this context, I have been drawn to Shakti-Peeths that are spread all over the country. While in Bengal , I have embarked upon seeing all the ones located in Bengal as well as neighboring Odisha. My first blog post on this endeavor can be read here. In this present post, I will be talking about two more ShaktiPeeths that I visited:-
- Maha Chandika ShaktiPeeth
- Maa Jogadya Shakti Peeth
Legends of Shakti-Peeths
When Devi Sati, divine consort of Lord Shiva, could not withstand her father King Daksha’s insult towards Lord Shiva, she immolated her mortal body using her Kundalini Shakti. Lord Shiva, in grief, wandered the entire universe with her body. Eventually, to restore the balance of the trinity, Lord Vishnu used the divine Sudharsana Chakra to divide Devi Sati’s body into 51 parts which fell downwards to the earth. The places where these fell were eventually consecrated as Shakti Peeths. I would recommend if one is interested to read this legend in detail; it is utterly fascinating.
ShaktiPeeths in Bengal
Maha Chandika Shaktipeeth
Maha Chandika ShaktiPeeth : Mangal Chandi Temple,Ujani Shakti Peeth is situated in the Ujani Village of Bardhman distt. The legend says that the right wrist of Devi Sati has fallen here. Hence she is in the form of Devi Mangal Chandika.
The temple is painted yellow in colour, forgotten to the frenzy of devotees who come in droves to any major Shakti peeth. This obscurity gives the visitor the most incredible peace and auspicious vibe when he steps into the Mangal Chandi Shakti Peeth. The temple courtyard is surrounded by trees, and birds abound in them. The inner sanctum has the idol of the Goddess with Lord Shiva worshipped here as Kapilambar. The inner sanctum is quite cool no matter what is the temperature outside.
On coming to behind the temple structure, I could see the famous Kash flowers which mark the arrival of Goddess Durga into the homes of her devotees during the festival of Durga Puja. The Ajay river, a tributary of Ganges, meandered silently while rural Bengal fascinated me with her all glory.
My sole desire, and I remember this vividly, was to sit down under the shade of the tree on the bare earth and look into the distance at the river meandering and the Kash flowers swaying gently in the breeze. The worries of everyday life left somewhere behind while the vibe of the Goddess was all around me.
This is among must-visit ShaktiPeeths in Bengal, if any of you can plan to come here, One will see the Goddess and, in addition, soak in rural Bengal at her best.
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.
In case reading blogs is tedious at your end, would you like to check the story posts out here
Jogadya Shakti Peeth
The next ShaktiPeeths in Bengal visited. According to the legends, the right great toe of Devi Sati fell into the earth out here. This is one of the only four Shakti Peeths mentioned in all the Tantras. The temple houses a black stone idol of Mahishamardini. It is said that the Deity lives in the water of the pond where this temple is located called Khirdighi and comes out on the Sankranti day. The temple is locked and opened only that day; it is half-submerged in water, depending on the water level.
According to the spiritual convention of Khirgram, animal sacrifices are made on specific auspicious days, and folklore says that not too great a time ago in History, human sacrifice was also offered to the Shakti out here. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Khirakantha here.
The old temple built in 11the century was destroyed during the Muslim invasion; a new temple was constructed after that in the 17th century. Subsequently, in 2005, a white marble temple was built in the middle of the pond. The idol of the Goddess is in the avatar of a Ugra Chandi.
The location of this particular Shakti Peeth has ensured that it is away from the gaze of hordes of tourists, thereby ensuring that the pristine beauty of the places is Alive even today.
The temple of Maa Jogadya is situated in the ancient village of Kshirgram in the Bardhman district, and I would definitely recommend a visit here.
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Conclusion – ShaktiPeeths in Bengal
This concludes the second part of this multipost series. There will be other posts under this series. When I am able to visit the other ShaktiPeeths in Bengal.
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