Birbhum is one destination which will bring about peace and calm in one’s mind, body and soul. It will definitely enrich us with newer and fresher perspectives of life as we know it. Also, if you love collecting souvenirs do visit the Amar Kutir Society for Rural Development to get to know the creative side of Bengal’s legacy. Be it the kantha-stitched sarees, leather goods or bamboo crafts – these handmade art and craft items will definitely lure everyone! Do carry some of these memories home.
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Bolpur – ( Santiniketan)
One of the most valued places in all of Santiniketan, Tagore’s Aashram is located in the Uttrayan Complex. Known as Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore’s abode, Tagore’s Ashram is one of the must visit places in Santiniketan. It was founded in 1863 by his father, Maharishi Devendranath Tagore. A heritage site well preserved by the authorities, this place is a giant mark left by our beloved Gurudev. The site has archived his life in the form of his literary works, his awards, and accolades, daily items used by him and his love for nature. One cannot help but feel his presence all over the area.
Housing every detail of Tagore’s life, it takes visitors back in time. Along with the very well-curated museum, it houses other important buildings including the 5 Tagore houses. School classes and primary functions are held under the Amra Kunja (mango grove). Irrespective of whether you have read his works or not, this place is bound to instill a sense of pride in you and give you peace of mind.
It is famous for its very relaxing atmosphere with some of the most picturesque views in the whole of Santiniketan. The place still bears tradition of educating students, not in confined spaces but the lap of nature. Bengali culture is showcased at its best. Guides are easily available if you do not want to follow the crowd.
Amar Kutir showcases a number of locally made handicrafts, including leather printed bags, printed cloth etc..
This place was the meditation spot of Tagore’s Father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore.. A scholar himself, he advocated meditation and introspection as the keys to success and world progress.
Every student is very deeply connected to this place as graduates are honored with a branch of Saptaparni tree seen in Chhatimtala.The prayer hall, one of the prettiest places in Santiniketan is located in close vicinity. The site is considered to be very sacred and highly revered.
The Sangeet Bhavan is the block that fosters talents of Music and Dance.
Rabindra Bhaban Museum
The museum is perhaps the most satisfying place for your historical inquisitiveness. Built back in 1961, it houses some of Tagore’s original manuscripts, letters, documents, paintings, certificates and photographs.
It also includes the Nobel Prize Medallion he received. everyone who comes to Santiniketan must see this place.
The forest shelters a naturally bred large family of deer. It is now known as
About 3 km from the main campus is the Ballavpur forest. The forest shelters a naturally bred large family of deer. It is now known as the deer park.
The beautiful park is the perfect example of the contrast between the man made university and nature crafted forest.
Kala Bhavan, as the name suggests, promotes art among the students. The place focuses on developing the artistic bent among its patrons and very aptly also has the most beautifully done block.
Santiniketan comprises many academic blocks, each dedicated to a separate branch of study. The China Bhavan, as per its name, focuses on studying of Chinese Culture, traditions and language.
The place is regularly visited by Chinese Scholars as well. The building, not too large in size, is beautifully made with intricate patterns on the exterior.
Prayer Hall- Upasna Ghar
The prayer hall is one of the most stunning buildings in all of Santiniketan. Made from Belgian Glass, the hall Is also called Kanch Mandir, which derives its name from the glass laden walls (kanch means glass in Bengali).
Prayers are held every Wednesday and the hall is lined with candles every evening, accentuating its beauty.
The Uttrayan complex takes you down Tagore’s memory lane. The one particularly worth seeing is Udayan, where Tagore lived. The beautiful heritage building is very well maintained.
Other places to see are Konark, Shyamali (mud hut), Punascha and Udichi. The complex has beautiful gardens and the Rabindra Bhaban Museum in close vicinity. Combined entry fee for the two is Rs 5. Cameras and hand bags not allowed. The complex remains shut on Wednesdays.
If you want to attend this fair, you will have to plan your trip around a Saturday. The fair starts at 4 am in the morning and artisans from all the nearby places set up stalls. Household items, Handicrafts, clothes etc are sold in plentiful
Nippon Bhavana, just like the China Bhawan, aims to foster Japanese- Indo relations. The Centre, though located in the main campus is an autonomous body and not controlled by the university.
There is a Japanese study department located in Nippon Bhavan that educates about Japanese culture, literature, art and the language. It also conducts many exchange programs to and from Japan.
The small rural town is located about 7 km from Santiniketan. The drive, and if you prefer the walk, takes you through the beautiful landscape of semi urban India.
The stunning fields and village setting will take you by surprise. There is also a small temple that is considered to be highly sacred by its devotees that you can see. however, it is better to go to Kankalitala on a pleasant day to enjoy your trip fully.
Fairs and festivals
One of the most celebrated events of the year, the Poush mela is held every year in late December to mark the harvest season. The mela sees local artisans and tourists from all over the country coming together in this spirit of celebration. Folk dances, music, food and culture are in rampant display during these days. Santiniketan leather bags, earthen wares, paintings, etc are sold in this fair.
Poush Mela, Tribal sports, folk songs and dances including songs by bauls, the itinerant singers, are a part of the fair and festivities. Some sort of “bhanga mela” or broken fair, with some shops, continue till the end of December.
Maghotsav, Anniversary of Brahmo Samaj celebrated on the 11th of Magha (25th January), with prayers and songs at Chhatimtala.
Vasanta Utsav, Held to celebrate Holi (March). The students dance and sing their ways through Amrakunja, followed by open-air variety programmes.
Rabindra Jayanti, Although the birth anniversary of Rabindranath falls on 25th Baisakh (May 8/9), the anniversary as well as the Bengali New Year (Nabo Barsho) is celebrated on the first day of the Bengali New Year (Poila Baisakh) in mid-April with songs, dances, and recitations by the students.
Briksharopana planting of saplings and Halakarshana ploughing of the fields on 22nd and 23rd Sravana (August).
Varshamangal, Festival of rains during August/September. Tagore was a poet of nature and some of his finest creations were about the rains
3 km from Santiniketan, the university town in West Bengal, is Sriniketan, a rural reconstruction center that was established in 1922. A sister unit of Shantiniketan, Sriniketan was mainly established to bring back life in its completeness to the villages and help people solve their problems on their own. Today, Sriniketan is a shopper’s paradise, offering traditional handicrafts, such as batik, pottery, weaving kantha embroidery and dokra. Apart from this, major attractions in Sriniketan include Kala Bhavana, Rabindra Bhavana, Uttarayan Gardens and Deer Park.
There are legendary tales about how Shakti or Sati self-immolated herself outraged at Daksha’s insult of Shiva. Following which a sorrowful Shiva performed the Rudra Tandav, carried the remains of her body which fell and scattered in different corners of the Indian subcontinent. The Tarapith is regarded as the place where Sati’s eye ball (tara) fell, Kankalitala where Sati’s waist fell. Moreover, the Nalateshwari temple in Nalhati is regarded as a Pitha and is located on a hill.
A huge number of pilgrims and bauls (folk) attend the annual fair held in the village Kenduli which is regarded as the birth-place of the great Sanskrit poet, Jaydev. It emerged as a religious centre with the establishment of numerous hermitages. The Bauls are a special attraction as they are a group of minstrels and the mysticism in their folk music is enthralling and unique.
The ‘Data Saheber Mela’ is held annually during the month of March-April. It is believed that the Sufi thinker and saint, Hazrat Data Meheboob Shah Wali breathed his last in this place. His tomb is situated in this village which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims, especially to commemorate Data Saheb’s death anniversary. It is said that the saint had miraculous powers to cure diseases with ashes of dust.
Tārāpīṭh is a small temple town near Rampurhat in Birbhum district of the Indian state of West Bengal, known for its Tantric temple and its adjoining cremation (Maha Smashan) grounds where sādhanā (tantric rituals) are performed. The Tantric Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Tara, a fearsome Tantric aspect of the Devi, the chief temples of Shaktism. Tarapith derives its name from its association as the most important centre of Tara worship and her cult.
Tarapith is also famous for Sadhak Bamakhepa, known as the avadhuta or “mad saint”, who worshipped in the temple and resided in the cremation grounds as a mendicant and practised and perfected yoga and the tantric arts under the tutelage of another famous saint, the Kailashpathi Baba. Bamakhepa dedicated his entire life to the worship of Tara Maa. His ashram is also located in bank of Dwaraka river and close to the Tara temple
Sited in the village Tarapur, Tarapith is a religious and sacred place. While some believe that Tarapith is so called because the eye ball (tara) of Sati fell here, the others are of the opinion that Sage Basistha worshipped Goddess Sati in the form of Tara, at this place. The latter belief says that the place is not a shaktipeeth and owes its sanctity to Sage Basistha. Whatever be the opinion, Tarapith is a must-see for tourists in Birbhum.
The Tara temple in Tarapith steeped in the narrated myths is a medium-sized temple in the rural precincts of Bengal. Its fame as a pilgrimage centre with the deity of Tara enshrined in it is due to “the temple’s founding myths, its type of worship (which includes blood offerings), the hymns sung there, the powers of the nearby tank, and the inhabitants and rituals of the adjacent cremation ground”.
The temple base is thick with thick walls, built of red brick. The superstructure has covered passages with many arches raising to the pinnacle with a spire (shikara). The image of the deity is enshrined under the eaves in the sanctum. There are two Tara images in the sanctum. The stone image of Tara depicted as a mother suckling Shiva – the “primordial image” (seen in the inset of the fierce form of the image of Tara) is camouflaged by a three feet metal image, that the devotee normally seen. It represents Tara in her fiery form with four arms, wearing a garland of skulls and a protruding tongue. Crowned with a silver crown and with flowing hair, the outer image wrapped in a sari and decked in marigold garlands with a silver umbrella over its head. The forehead of the metal image is adorned with red kumkum (vermilion). Priests take a speck of this kumkum and apply it on the foreheads of the devotees as a mark of Tara’s blessings. The devotees offer coconuts, bananas and silk saris, and unusually bottles of whisky. The primordial image of Tara has been described as a “dramatic Hindu image of Tara’s gentler aspect”.
The priests of the temple offer puja (worship) with great reverence to bring out her motherly aspect to the devotees, blending the North Indian fierce depiction of the Sati myth of the goddess with the peaceful motherly visionary form of Tara seen by Buddha and his disciple Vasishtha of the Tantric tradition – the Buddhist Tara form. At Tarapith, though the softer motherly aspect of the fierce goddess is emphasized. Chanting hymns or poems in her praise is also a part of the devotional appeal made to the goddess.
The devotees take a holy bath at the sacred tank adjacent to the temple before entering the temple premises to offer worship and even after the worship. The waters of the tank are said to have healing powers and even restore life to the dead.
Blood sacrifice of goats is the daily norm in the temple. Devotees who offer such goat sacrifices seek blessings from the deity. They bathe the goats in the holy tank near the temple before the sacrifice. They also purify themselves by taking bath in the holy tank before offering worship to the deity. The goat is then tethered to a stake, the designated post in a sand pit, and the neck of the goat butchered with a single stroke by a special sword. A small quantity of the blood of the goat is then collected in a vessel and offered to the deity in the temple. The devotees also smear their forehead with a bit of blood from the pit, as a mark of reverence to the deity.
A saint, held in great reverence in Tarapith and whose shrine is also located in the vicinity of the Tara temple, was Bamakhepa (1837–1911) popularly known as the “mad saint”. Bama-khepa, literally means the mad (“khepa”) follower of “left handed” (“Bama” or “Vama” in Sanskrit) path – the Tantric way of worship. Bamakhepa, goddess Tara’s ardent devotee lived near the temple and meditated in the cremation grounds. He was a contemporary of another famous Bengali saint Ramakrishna. At a young age, he left his house and came under the tutelage of a saint named Kailsahpathi Baba, who lived in Tarapith. He perfected yoga and Tantric sadhana (worship), which resulted in his becoming the spiritual head of Tarapith. He also went to Devi Moulakhsi Temple at maluti village for worship. People came to him seeking blessings or cures for their illness, in distress or just to meet him. He did not follow the set rules of the temple and as result was even once roughed up by the temple priests for taking food meant as offering for the deity. It is said: Tara appeared in the dream of Maharani (“Queen”) of Natore and told her to feed the saint first as he was her son. After this incident, Bamakhepa was fed first in the temple before the deity and nobody obstructed him. It is believed that Tara gave a vision to Bamakhepa in the cremation grounds in her ferocious form and then took him to her breast.
The cremation ground (maha smasan), amidst dark forest surroundings, is located on the river side at the end of town limits, away from the village life and practices of the Bengali social order. In Bengal, the cremation ground of Tarapith is also considered integral to the Shakti pith. It is believed that goddess Tara can be seen in shadows drinking blood of goats which are sacrificed every day at her altar, to satiate her anger and seek favours.
Tantric practitioners believe that Tara is attracted to bones and skeletons and the cremation ground is her preferred residence.Goddess Tara’s iconographic depictions show her amidst cremation grounds. Tantric practitioners have, therefore, been flocking these grounds for generations for performing their Tantric sadhana (spiritual practice); many Sadhus permanently reside here. The cremation grounds are flowed by the “dread locked ash-smeared sadhus“. Sadhus have built their hutments, amidst banyan trees and embellished their huts with red-painted skulls embedded into the mud walls. In addition, calendar pictures of Hindu goddesses, saints of Tarapith and a trishul (trident) decorated with marigold garlands and skulls at the entrance are a common sight in front of the huts. Human as well as animal skulls like those of jackals and vultures – which are unfit for Tantric rites – and snake skins decorate the huts. Good skulls used for tantric rituals and for drinking purpose by the Tantrics are cured before use; skulls of virgins and people who have committed suicide are said to be powerful
Suri, better known as Suiri, is just the place for those who want to taste rustic beauty and rich cultural heritage in Birbhum. The picturesque exquisiteness of the place, coupled with rolling green farms, blissful ambience and aromatic atmosphere, gives way to a perfect holidaying experience. Though Suri is the district headquarters of Birbhum, the city is a hidden gem of West Bengal and is far away from the evils of the city life. It boasts of a glorious past in the bygone era, the rich culture heritage and ancient monuments promising the facts.
Prior to the advent of the British in India and their acquisition of the territory of Bengal, Suri was but merely a small village. Yet, the British colonists preferred to choose Suri as the district headquarters of Birbhum, probably owing to convenience of transport and communication. Suri was well-connected to many places via road, however, it is not possible to tell about the conditions of those roads clearly. These roads can be traced in James Rennel’s map of the ‘Jungleterry District'(1779). After the defeat of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, the British placed many puppet-kings in his place. When Mir Quasim was the Nawab, he ordered all the zamindars (landlords) to pay more revenue. At this, the ruler of Rajnagar, Asad Jama Khan disagreed. In December 1760, the army of the Nawab and the British marched together to attack Birbhum. Asad Jama Khan also got prepared with a cavalry of about 5,000 soldiers, and an infantry of nearly 20,000. In the battle, Asad Jama Khan was defeated and his zamindari was snatched. He took shelter amidst the very dense woods of Chotanagpur. There he had a clandestine meeting with a Maratha army general, Shivabhatta, and Shivabhatta joined him with a cavalry of two to three thousand soldiers as well as a large infantry. Another battle was fought near Kariddhya in 1763 in which he was defeated again. Thus, the British got the control of Suri. During the early years of the British rule, Bishnupur and Birbhum was administered from Murshidabad. Then, a new district was formed joining Birbhum and Bishnupur, and Suri was made the headquarters. During this time, British officials used the name ‘(Laat) Hydrabad’, the name Suri was also used, but only later. G.R. Foley was the first District Collector of Birbhum. He was appointed in 1786. Then, J. Sherburne became the collector and after him, Christopher Keating became the collector. Suri Municipality started functioning from 1876. Then, the population of Suri was no more than 7,000. The first Chairman of the municipality was A.A. Owen. Rail transport arrived in Suri in 1859 when the first train started on the route Andal–Sainthia.
Bakreswar is geologically renowned due to the presence of many hot springs which are believed to cure chronic ailments. The Khar Kunda, Bhairav Kunda, Agni Kunda, Dudh Kunda and Surya Kunda are some of the famous ones where the temperature of the water is above 60 degrees Celsius. Bakreswar also houses a Shiva temple and a large number of pilgrims worship and offer their prayers here.
Deocha is situated at a distance of 22.5 km from Suri. Bindu and Digha are some of the popular villages located nearby. Tarapith, a temple town, also attracts several tourists.
Chinpai village is located at a distance of 17.6 km from the administrative headquarters. Durgapur, Asansol and Digha, situated nearby, can also be visited from here.
Ahmadpur city is situated at a distance of 21.6 km from the administrative headquarters and is popular for the temple town Tarapith and Bindu village. The city is known for numerous educational institutes.
The Massanjore Dam was built across the Mayurakshi River in 1955, with the help of Canadian authorities. Hence, it is also known as the Canada Dam. It measures about 155 ft in height and 2,170 ft in length. The dam water irrigates around 50,000 acres of agricultural land located between the Murshidabad and Birbhum districts.
Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary (popularly known as Dear Park) is a must visit place near Santiniketan. The park is situated near Santiniketan, Birbhum district of West Bengal. The place is approximately 3 km from Santiniketan Bolpur. Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Dear Park) was established in the year 1977. Visitors can enjoy the real flavour of Birbhum district for its lush green field and red soil. Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary is now a large wooded area with herbs of deer and makes a natural bird sanctuary. The park is home of variety of deer and birds. There are some towers from where you can see the whole place. Any nature-lover will be charmed by the ever green beauty and natural greenery forest.
Birbhum offers explorers and those in quest of excitement and thrill an excellent opportunity to indulge in adventure escapade. Located near Shantiniketan, in Bolpur subdivision of Birbhum District, Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1977. Popularly known as Deer Park, the sanctuary is home to a number of wild animals, including the blackbuck and spotted deer. Apart from this, the fauna of the region includes jackals, foxes and a variety of water birds. The eco system of the sanctuary is excellent.
The Area of Sanctuary Palace is 2 square kilometer. There are many animals like Blackbuck, Spotted deer, jackals, foxes and a variety of water birds. This is the main attraction of Sanctuary. Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1977. The eco system of the sanctuary is excellent. The natural greenery forest, red soil attracts tourists from all over West Bengal. This is also commonly known as wooden area. The Deer Park is opened to visitors from 10 am to 4 pm and it is closed on Wednesday. If you are visiting Santiniketan you may have a look at the park. This is a great site seeing near Santiniketan.
The fundamental attractions of this asylum are the blackbuck deer and spotted deer. There is likewise a tremendous tract of wetland made by the three water bodies (Jheel) which has a great many transitory flying creatures in winter like Lesser Whistlings, Pintails, Teals, and so forth. The haven is likewise home to a sound populace of inhabitant feathered creatures like Black Hooded Orioles, White Bellied Treepies, Commorants, Hoppoes, Egrets and others. The Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary may need in size yet it is exceptionally great for its amazing thick neighborhood vegetation embodying Sal, Akashmoni, Sisoo, Cashewnut, Amlaki, Bahera, Haritaki and different trees. The entire asylum can be secured by foot and voyagers can catch looks of untamed life from the watchtowers situated at vital destinations.
The most huge touring choices close Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary is the Viswa Bharati University and its diverse offices, the most prominent being the Kala Bhavan. You can recognize some frescoes and figures of Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij around Kala Bhavan. Tagore’s Ashram includes various structures in particular the Santiniketan building, Dehali, Nutan Bari, Kaalo Bari and others. School classes and some significant exercises are held in the Amro Kunja (Mango Grove). You can likewise detect a hillock highlighting an age-old banyan tree on the eastern side of the ashram. The Uttarayan complex has a few structures like Konark, Udayan, Shyamali, Chatimtala and others. The Rabindra Bhaban Museum prevalently called Bichitra houses letters, compositions, decorations, archives, depictions and declarations connected with Tagore.
The Khowai locale and Kopai River (Rabindranath’s Amader Choto Nadi) are different destinations where you can invest some energy. Aside from this, you can likewise visit Hindi Bhavan, Cheena Bhavan, Nipon Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan, Patha Bhavan, Vinaya Bhavan, Sihsha Bhavan, and Kaalo Bari and so on. Kankalitala, only 9 km from Santiniketan is a sanctuary mainstream as a Satipeeth. Surul situated close Sriniketan, highlights sanctuaries embellished with terracotta carvings. You can likewise visit another Satipeeth at Labhpur-Fullara, only 30 kms, from Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Another decent close-by destination is the Tilpara Barrage over River Mayurakshi (around 30 kms away). Dusk from the torrent over River Mayurakshi is an aite to value. Visitors likewise visit Nanoor, celebrated as the origin of the Sanskrit artist of the 14th century – Chandidas. Kendubillo is another destination, prominent as the main residence of another prestigious Sanskrit artist, Jaidev. You can likewise make excursion to Bakreshwar, the acclaimed Satipitha, lodging the Bakranath sanctuary and hot springs. Tarapith, the well known Saktipeetha, is additionally gone to from Santiniketan.
Birdwatching and untamed life viewing is the real action at Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. You can take long strolls in the well laid out wilderness ways and watch the blackbucks and seen deer in their normal territory. You can invest some energy in the early hours of the day in the watch towers close to the tanks (Jheels) and appreciate bird watching. The Sanctuary is an awesome spot to take a nature walk. There are couples of tribal towns in the eastern edges of the haven where you can investigate town life. Touring in other prominent destinations around Bolpur like Shantiniketan, Kopai, Khowai, Sonajhuri and Kankalitala can likewise be delighted in
Fullara is just 50 km from Bolpur linked with Nanur/ Kirnahar. The myth is that, the lip of Sati cut down at Fullara. There is an old temple with no deity in it. As a substitute there is a piece of tortoise-shaped rock admired by the disciples. A fair is organized yearly in the month of Magh. Labhpur is famous as it is the birth place of Tarasankar Bandopadhyay, renowned novelist of Bengal. For residing here one can make contact with the Labhpur Guest House.There is a temple of Dharma in close by the village, Bele. Those who are suffering from arthritis come to this village to have a bath in the pool, adjoining to the temple which is believed to have a celestial healing power.
Nalhati, famous for the Nalateswari Temple, is so called because the Nala or throat of Sati fell here as known by tradition. Another report says that it was the Lalat or forehead that fell here. Located on a small and beautiful hill, Nalahati is another one of the 52 pithas. It is situated near Nalhati Railway Station on the Howrah Sahebganj loop line of Eastern Railways. Trains and frequent buses ply to Nalhati.
Dubrajpur, located 22 kilometers from Shiuri, is a small township which contains a number of temples of Lord Shiva. A number of gigantic rocks are found in the vicinity. The granite is gray and composed of glassy quartz pink, gray feldspar and black mica. Two remarkable exhibits of these rocks are known as Mama and Bhagne (Uncle and Nephew). The place is well-connected from Shiuri by bus.
Patharchapuri, a village in the Shiuri Police station area, is famous as the residence of the Mohammedan Saint Hazrat Data Meheboob Shah Wali famously known as “Data-Baba”. He was a great Sufi saint who is believed to have died in 1892 A.D. It is said that he was gifted a miraculous power and used to cure dangerous diseases by applying ashes of dust. His tomb in the village is frequented by many visitors every year. A large fair locally known as “Data Saheber Mela”, perhaps the largest in the region, is held in Patharchapuri village in the month of Chaitra (March-April) every year commemorating the death anniversary of Data Saheb. Hundreds of pilgrims visit and form part of this fair. Patharchapuri is well connected with Suri by bus and other forms of road transport.
Birbhum tourist spot:-
About 15 kms away from Rampurhat city, is the holy site of Maa Nalateswri Temple. This temple was been established around 1400 years back when “Kamdev” had dreamt Nalhati is one of the 51 shakti peethas was discovered to be under a banyan tree where the Nala or the throat was fallen of Maa Sati, whose body was being cut into many prices by the chakra of lord Vishnu.
Also known as Maa or “Bhagobidhata-Nalateswri” or “Devi Parvat”i or “Kalika” by the devotees who line up this this temple.
If you have a look at this holy shrine, then you would be amazed to how beautifully “Garb Griha” (sanctum sanctorum) of this temple is crowned with a raised pinnacle where deity of Maa Nalateswri is worshipped.
The “Nala” or throat of the divine sati, gives the cause of this temple get the name Nalateswri. No matter how much water is being poured down the throat, it will never gets overflowed or dried up even in the absence of it for many days. Even when the water is moves down the throat there is a sound produced which can be recognised as a gulp echo. Such interesting facets make worshippers believe in the liveliness of the blessings of Maa Nalateswri.
History behind Maa Nalateswari Temple
The goes beyond fourteen thousand years, actually it stretches since the dawn of the history, when Birbhum which is appeared as the part of the district was getting constituted with the inclusion of the tract known as the “Vajjabhumi” and “Rarh”. During 5th century B.C there was the influence of Mahavira, their last great Tirthankara was prevailing in the country of Thunderbolt. You can say that during that time the country was rugged and wilder from every direction.
Maurayan Emperor was gallantly ruling the territory or the “Rarhbhumi”. Many known emperor like “Harshavardhana”, “Shasankas” and “Guptas” was ruling over the whole area. The “Palas” and “Senas”are also forming a part of this kingdom after the dismemberment of Harsha’s Empire.
This “Rarhbhumi” was a place of Sant, Pir and Fakir, Nalateswari at Kalindipukur village was a place known for its simplicity. Presently this place is a carrier of many historical influences. This is one of the 51 places where parts of Sati’s body fell thus it is known as Shakti peethas. The throat of Sati or “Nala” fell here as known by tradition on the other hand some people do believe that “Lalat” or forehead that fell here.
There are all total 51 “Shakti Peethas” over which the temples were established all over india. Three such peethas namely “Kalighat”, “Kamakha” and “Nalateswri” are present in West Bengal. According the narration of several pre historic legends, the importance and origin of this place, resembles to the goddess Nalateswri temple. This is a raving legend which actually relates with the “Shakti Peethas”. The consort of lord shiva, goddess sati, felt insulted as her father, “Dakhs”, the king of mountains, haven’t invited shiva, (the lord of all gods and goddess) to the great fire sacrifice or yagna. Sati was unable to bear this humiliation, hence sacrificed her life in the yagna fire. The tragic turn of the infuriated events led to the bewilderment of Lord shiva. In order to pacify lord shiva, the creator of this world, lord Vishnu had decimated her body with his chakra (discus). This in turn had dispersed the pieces over the whole sub continent of India. And each of these sites has been developed into sacred places or peethas, manifestation of goddess.
According to the localities, in 252th Bengali year or “Bongapto”, “Kamdev” (the Hindu god of love or desire) who had dreamt about its existence discovered the larynx of maa sati at this Nalahati forest. Another oral legend depicts that Ram Sharam Devsharma was known to be the first discoverer of “Nala” and this had marked the beginning of Maa Nalateswri devotion.
In the later half, Bramhachari Kushalnan had offered the first “Bhog” or food offerings. He had started the salvation on the “Pancha-munda-ashana” or the five headed throne. Nalhati is a beautiful place with fine vicinity and plateaus all around it where Maa Nalateswri resides and has resemblance with Kamakha and Kalighat pithas. The goddess of this place is known as Maa Nalateswri who is also praised as Maa or “Bhagobidhata-Nalateswri” or Devi Parvati or Kalika. The orientation of this name came from pre historic story that narrates how the throat of Sati or “Nala” which one of the 51 parts of sati fell here as known by tradition on the other hand some people do believe that “Lalat” or forehead that fell here. So the name “Nalateswri” comes from “Nala” or throat of Maa sati. Within this natural beauty, the eastern side of the plateau provided secret formation of Nalateswri temple.
Thousands of pilgrimage visits this place as a lot of peace and serenity resides in the minds of the worshippers. Nalhati which is the average elevations, situated in the tropics, comprising a climate of hot dry summers while cool wet winters, happens to be the birth place of rishi bankim chatterjee, is a beautiful conglomeration of nature , history and religion. Here, within deep forest, under the mysterious old banyan tree where the “Nala” of maa sati had dropped on this earth.
If you’re a nature’s child, then your trip won’t be complete without a trip down Deul Park. Take a bus and head down this expanse of green forests that have been turned into a resort.
The park is perfect hideaway from the drone of the city. The park is bordered by Ajoy River and is frequented by flocks of elephants. It has been commercialized to accommodate a few water rides, a resort, lawns for picnics etc. If you want to spend more than a few hours there, then they also have overnight lodging facilities. One of the prime attractions of the place is the Ichai Park
Prakriti Bhavan Nature Art museum (PBNAM)
Located in the Ballavpur area of Santiniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal. The world’s unique Nature Art museum with an impressive indoor display of natural sculptures in driftwood, dry wood and transcreation in metal with a sprawling open air garden of natural rock sculpturesSet in the most picturesque part of Santiniketan it is an aesthetic manifestation of the legacy of Tagore’s Santiniketan in linking man with nature through Art, music and poetry.
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