Birbhum is one the vibrant districts of Bengal. Villages with small paths over the red soil, Ajay river making its way through the district with beautiful landscapes. Birbhum which houses 5 Sati Peeths is also known for Tantra Sadhanas. Birthplace of legendary monk Bama Khyapa, Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan , famous Tarapith shrine, poet Jayadev’s village Kenduli, Dhatrigram and ancient fossil park are the places to visit.
Day 1 :- Starting from Kolkata early morning we will reach Tarapith (212 kms, 5hrs). Tarapith is a Hindu temple town in Rampurhat subdivision of Birbhum district of West Bengal, known for its Tantric temple and its adjoining cremation (MahaShashan) grounds where tantrasadhana (tantric rituals) are performed. The Tantric Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Tara, a fearsome Tantric aspect of the Devi, and is the chief temples of Shaktism. Tarapith is also famous for SadhakBamakhepa, 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, 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. Legend says, Sati, the consort of Shiva, felt insulted when her father Daksha did not invite Shiva to the great yajña “fire sacrifice” he organized. Unable to bear this humiliation, Sati gave up her life by jumping into the yajña fire. Infuriated by this tragic turn of events, Shiva went wild. Then, Vishnu, in order to pacify Shiva, decimated the body of Sati with his chakra. Sati’s body part fell all over the Indian subcontinent. The places where the body parts fell have become centres of worship of the Goddess in different manifestations.
Legend says that Sati’s eye-ball (Tara/Nayantara) fell here which turned into stone later which is worshipped here. Saint Vashistha had seen this form and worshipped the goddess Sati in the form of Tara. After offering Puja at the famous Tarapith Temple, dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 2 :- After breakfast we will start for another Sati Peeth – Nalhateshwari situated at Nalhati 55kms away. Then on the list we have Kankali Tala (45km) and situated further 12 km Fullara. Night stay at Prantik.
Day 3 :- After breakfast we will visit Shantiniketan and return towards Kolkata. Lunch on the way.
NalhateswariTemple :- Legend says, the throat (or Nali) of Sati fell here from which the place Nalhati and the temple derives it s name. Hundreds of years ago the place was covered with hillocks and dense forests, where the throat of Sati fell under a tree. A resident of nearby village Ramchandra Sharma started worshipping the deity in the form of Goddess Kali. Though the deity here is worshipped as Kali, the main Puja is performed during the Durga Puja.
At present the forests are unexistent and Nalhati is a town where a big temple has been constructed where huge celebrations and worshipping is offered during Durga Puja and Kali Puja every year.
The temple is made of “Char-chaala” structure, The idol is 4 feet tall and displays only the calm and composed face of the . Huge numbers of devotees gather here during the Dipanwita Amavasya every year
Kankalitala :- Located on the banks of Kopai river, Kankalitala was once knowns as KanchiDesh. According to tantra churamani it is one of the Peethas of Guchchhapeeths. It is one of the Shakti Peethas where the waist (or kankal in Bengali) of sati fell. There are several temples in the town. This is also a popular Hindu pilgrimage site of West Bengal. There is another temple in Kankalitala, Kanchishwar Temple in Kankalitala Temple complex. Legend says that te pond located here never dries up and is linked with the Manikaranika Ghat at Kashi. The Shakti of the temple is addressed as “Devgarbha” and the Bhairava as “Ruru”.
Labhpur – Fullara – Dhatrigram :- FullaraPeeth. The Goddess here is known as Attahas. The temple is located far away from the congestion of township at a pleasant place, at the top of a cliff, Kopai river flowing below. Beside the temple is crematorium and a large lake. Legend says that Shri Hanuman picked up 108 lotuses for Shree Ramchandra from this lake during the Akalbodhan Puja.
Situated near the temple is the birthplace of famous writer Tara Shankar Bandhopadhyay. Labhpur Panchayat Samity has constructed a museum named Dhatridebata at his place of residence. We will visit the banks of Kulanadi , which is formed by the confluence of Bakreshwar and Shaal rivers. The place has been mentioned by writer TarashankarBandhopadhyay in his creation “Hanshuli Banker Upokatha”