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Indian Culture And Traditions

Shakti Peethas (Tantra Peethas) Of India
By Dr.K.K.Debnath, January 2011 [drkkdebnath@gmail.com]

Chapter :

Peethas Located  in ancient Bangadesha
1. Attahas (laughter) /Maa Fullora Birbhum (at present West Bengal)
Devi's  lower lips fell here and the idols are Devi as Fullara (Blooming) and Shiva as  Bhairabhvishesya (Lord of the universe). The place is in Bengal near Birbhum.  Image of Devi and the Shiva temple is next to the Devi temple. It is a major  pilgrimage and tourist attraction.

We  need to go from Birbhum to Ahmedpur to Labhpur (6.5 miles). Attahas is just  East of Labhpur, around 115 miles from Kolkata. The temple of Bhairab is beside  the temple of Fullora. The deity is made of stone. It is so large that the  lower leap of the goddess is about 15 to 18 feet wide.

2.  Maa Bahula of Katoa, Bardhaman (at  Present West Bengal)
Devi's  left arm fell here and the idols are Devi as Bahula (Abundant) and Shiva as  Bhiruk (who is also Sarva Siddhi Dayaka). Arrive at Katoa rail station and then  go to Ketugram which is a pilgrimage.

3. Bakreswar of   Birbhum (at  present West Bengal)
Devi's  mind or the centre of the brows fell here and the idols are Devi as  Mahishamardini (the slayer of Mahishasur or Durga) and Shiva as Bakranath. It  is near to Ahmedpur station. There are seven hot springs and also the Paphara  (remover of sins) river. The Mahamuni Ashtabakra found enlightenment here. On  Shivaratri night a grand Mela (fete) is celebrated here.

4. Bhavanipur or Karota (river) at Nator of present Bangladesh (ancient  Bangadesh)
Devi's  left seat or her clothing fell here and idols are Devi as Aparna (the one who  ate nothing, not even leaves) and Shiva as Bhairabha (Destroyer of fear). The  temple of karatoya is situated at village Bhavanipur, 28 Kms from Sherpur in  Bogura district, Bangadesha.

The  King of Nator and his grandson the Maharajah Ramakrishna used to meditate here.  The seat, the yognakunda and five skulls are still there. In the month of  Baisakha according to the Bengali calendar, there is a large fete or Mela  organized here to celebrate Ramanavami or Deepanwita.

5. Bivasa – Midnapur (at present West Bengal)
Devi's  left ankle fell here and the idols are Devi as Bhimarupa and Shiva as  Sarvananda. It is situated in Tamluk of  Midnapur district of West Bengal.

6. Chattagram (also called Chattal) at present Bangladesh (ancient  Bangadesh)
Devi's  right arm fell here and the idols are Devi as Bhavani (Devi) and Shiva as  Chandrasekhar (the one who has the moon as the crown). It is said that Mahadeva  has himself pronounced that he would visit Chandrasekhar Mountain regularly  during Kali Yuga. The famous Chandra Nath Temple on the top of the hill is the  Bhairava temple of this Shakti Peetha. This is near Sitakunda station, Chattagram  in Bangladesh.

7. Jayanti (jayantia) at present Bangladesh  (ancient Bangadesh)
Devi's  left thigh fell here and the idols are Devi as Jayanti and Shiva as  Kramadiswar. Jayanti is situated at Kalajore Baurbhag village of Falzur Pargana  under Jayantia Thana of Sylhet district, Bangladesh. This Shakti Peetha is  locally known as Falizur Kali Bari.

Other Versions:
Adorned  by mountains, forests and a river, Jayanti is a quiet little village 11 km.  away from Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal. Tall forests of Sal,  Segun, Simul, Palash and Sirish trees hide the mountains and sky, while the  sparkling Jayanti River flows beneath. Though normally accessible, the pathways  may become difficult to negotiate during the monsoon.

A  two-hour trek takes one to the top of a hill from the Jayanti Railway station, where  there is a Sati Temple. There is also a Mahakaal Temple in three adjacent  caves. In the first cave there are idols of the Brahma-Vishnu- Maheshwar  trinity, in the second there is one of Lord Shiva, and in the third, that of  Goddess Mahakali.

8. Jessore / Yashohar/ Yashor in present Bangladesh (ancient Bangadesh)
Devi's  centre of the hands fell here and the idols are Devi as Jashoreswari and Shiva  as Chanda (Moon or the one who holds the moon). Jashoreswari, situated at  Ishwaripur, Shyamnagar, district Satkhira, Bangladesh. The temple complex was  built by Raja Pratapaditya, whose capital was Ishwaripur.

9. Kanchidesh (Konkaal or Skeleton) at Bolpur – Bardhaman, present West  Bengal
Devi's  skeleton fell here and the idols are Devi as Devagarbha and Shiva as Ruru.  The name Kanchi means very thin bamboo  branches, which is like kankal or skeleton, so the name Kanchidesh appeared. The  place is known as Kankali tala. The Devi is locally known as Kankaleshwari.  There is a well for worship, on the banks of Kopai or Kopar River 10 km towards  north-east from Bolpur station of district Birbhum, West Bengal.

Other Views: Kanchipuram, a  very famous pilgrimage spot, is situated in Tamil Nadu and is very widely known  for the spiritual powers of the Devi Kamakshi. This is one of the Pancha Budha  Shrines situated in Tamil Nadu and represents the earth form. The Shiva is  called “Ekambara Natha”. Kanchi is also famous for the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt,  from where the Great Sage Sri Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati (also  affectionately called as “Sri Maha Perival”) enshrined his blessings to the  thousands of devotees thronging the mutt for a glimpse of him.

10. Khirgram (Yogadaya) at Bardhaman, West Bengal
Devi's  right big toe fell here and the idols are Devi as Yogadaya and Shiva as  Khirakantha. Take Eastern Indian Railway to Bardhawan station. Take Bardhawan  Katoa Rail to Nigam station. Nigam station to Khirgram (village) is 2 miles. A  mela (fete) is held during Baisakha Sankranti.
It  is also widely opined that this is the same as the Chintapurni Temple, where  the toes of Sati goddess had fallen being cut off by the Chakra of Lord Vishnu  when he was cutting away the pieces of Sati's dead body carried by Lord Siva during  Tandava Nritya.

The  Pindi represents Sati's feet and is a manifestation of her. Chintapurni Devi is  believed to fulfill the desires of a person who comes there and devotedly  worships her. The Mantra repeated in the Puja is said to have been  revealed by the Devi herself when she appeared in human form.

11. Kirit – Ajimganj, Murshidabad in present West Bengal
  Devi's  crown or headdress fell here and idols are Devi as Vimala (Pure) and Shiva as  Sangbarta.  It is situated at Kirit at  Kirit Kona village, 3 km from Lalbag Court Road station under district  Murshidabad, West Bengal, India. Take the train to Ajimganj. The temples are on  the shore of the Ganges near Batnagar.

12. Magadha (Patna) at Shrihatta at present Assam (Ancient Bangadesha)
Devi's  right thigh fell here and the idols are Devi as Sarvanandari and Shiva as  Bomkesha. Inside Shrihatta at Jayanti pargana near the base of the Kahshia  Mountain Devi's legs are placed here. One has to go from Shrihatta to Kanaier ghat  by boat and then walk 2 miles. Other  version says it is at Patna may be due to the name “Magadha”.

13. Manav Kschetra (Field) Kogram, Bardhaman at present West Bengal
Devi's  right hand or palm fell here. Idols are Devi as Dakhshayani (Durga) and Shiva  as Amar (Immortal). Take train from Howrah station to Guskar station and then a  few miles to Kogram. Mahadeva is considered Siddhidayaka or provider of all  wishes. Other Version says it is Manas,  located at Tibet near Mansorovar.

14. Mithila at present Bihar ( ancient Bangadesh)
Devi's  left shoulder fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahadevi (Devi) and Shiva as  Mahodara (the big belied one). This is near Janakpur station (present Bihar).  According to ancient literature, Mithila was a part of Ancient Bangadesh.

15. Nalhati in Birbhum, West Bengal 
Devi's  vocal pipe fell here and the idols are Devi as Kalika (Durga) and Shiva as  Yogesh. The temple is known as "Nalateshwari Temple", near Nalhati  station of Birbhum district, West Bengal. One needs to go by train to Nalhati  Railway station from Howrah station (145 Km) and then by Rickshaw to temple.

16. Nandipur at Birbhum, West Bengal
Devi's  necklace fell here and the idols are Devi as Nandini and Shiva as Nandikishore.  The temple is locally known as "Nandikeshwari" temple. Nandipur is  now in Saithia town. The temple is only 1.5 km East of Saithia rail station  (120 miles from Kolkata) under a banyan tree within a boundary wall, Birbhum  district, West Bengal.

17. Shrihatta, Bangladesh (ancient Bangadesh)
Devi's  nape of the neck fell here and the idols are Devi as Mahalakshmi (The goddess  of prosperity and wife of Mahavishnu) and Shiva as Sarvananda (The one who  makes everyone happy). Devi's temple is near Shrihatta town and Shiva's temple  is near Jainpur. Shivaratri and Ashokashtami are celebrated with a mela. Take  train from Calcutta to Goalanda and steamer to Kechuaganj. Then either take a  boat or walk about five miles.

18. Sone (near Sone River) at present MP Sate
Devi's  left hips fell here and the idols are Devi as Narmada and Shiva as Vadrasen.  The place is located in present MP state.

19. Sunanada (Sugandha) at Barisal, Bangladesh (ancient Bangadesh)
Devi's  nose fell here and idols are Devi as Sunanada (Pleasing) and Shiva as Traimbak  (Rudra). Devi's temple and Shiva's temple are situated in a village called  Ponabalia on the banks of the river Sunanda. It is under Shikarpur or Shivahri  Karpur village, Gournadi, about 20 Kms from Barisal town. The nearest railway  station is Jhalkati. A large numbers of worshippers visit this place during  Shiva chaturdashi day of March.

20. Tripura (ancient Bangadesha)
Devi's  right foot fell here and the idols are Devi as Tripurasundari and Shiva as  Tripuresh. Devi is grantor of all wishes or Sarvavishta pradyani. It is situated at the top of  the hills known as Tripura Sundari temple near Radhakishore pur village, a  little distance away from Udaipur town, ancient capital of Tripura.

21. Trisnota (Tristrota) at District Jalpaiguri, West Bengal
Devi's  left feet fell here and the idols are Devi as Bhramari (Bumblebee) and Shiva as  Iswar (God).  It is situated on the banks  of Tista River in Shalbari village of Falakata in Jalpaiguri district in West  Bengal.

22. Ujaani at  Bardhaman District, West Bengal
Devi’s  right wrist (Elbow) fell here. Devi is worshiped as “Mangala chandika” and  Shiva as “Kapilambar”. The place Ujaani is 16 Kms from Guskar Station under  Bardhaman district of West Bengal.

23. Vaidyanath at Deoghar in Jhar Khand state (Ancient Bangadesh)
Devi's  heart fell here and the idols are Devi as Jaidurga (Victorious Durga) and Shiva  as Vaidyanath. It is in modern day Bihar. Joshidi is the train station. One of  the only 12 Jyotir Linga Shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva throughout India is  here.

Chapter :

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[6] Comment(s) Posted
  1. Comment By - Dr Krishna Kumar Debnath Date - 05 Feb 2014 Time - 9:58PM
  2. According to historians, the puranic period is termed as the period of Gupta Dynasty (From 200 AD onwards). These Gupta Kings became anti Buddhist, and to convert them into Brahmanic system, they used carrot and stick policy. Result: Lord Buddha was declared as an Avatar of Vishnu. Budhdha pada at Gaya was renamed as Vishnupada, and many important Budhdha temples were converted as Vishnu Temples. Later on Buddhist Sakti temples were also converted as Brahmanic Sakti Temples. The Fact is that the Todays Brahmins were nothing but the descendent of the then intellectuals (ministers, Professors, poets, Literators etc) of Buddhism and Jainism. They either embraced or form the group of Brahminism probably due to intrinsic benifits made available in Brahmanic faith (Towards hassle protection of interest of their descendents). Ref: Ancient History of India by RS Tripathy, Indian Temple and Architechture by Mr. Srinivasan and others).

  3. Comment By - Ram Prasad Tripathy Date - 26 Jul 2012 Time - 6:40AM
  4. Dear Author, In the initial part of your article, you have given a hymn to prove `Tara Tarini` as the Sthana Khanda, Breast shrine of Adi Shakti. But you have not mentioned a single time in your description that taratarini is the Breast shrine of Adi Shakti. Secondly, you said, “according to historians and researchers, it was originally a Buddhist Tantric temple. Historically Tara and Tarini both are Buddhist Goddesses.” I WANT TO GIVE SOME REFERENCES HERE BY WHICH YOU CAN UNDERSTAND HOW THIS ANCIENT SHRINE WAS ORIGINALLY NOT A BUDDHIST TANTRIC TEMPLE 1.According to the Mythological Puranas the origin of Maa Taratarini is directly attributed to Daksha Prajapati`s Jagna in Satya Yuga. The famous Shakta Peethas of Bimala, Tara-Tarini, Dakshina Kalika and Kamakshi originated from the limbs of the divine Corpse of Devi Sati. Mythological sacred texts like the Shiva Purana, the Kalika Purana attest this fact. 2.According to available historical sources the fall of Kalingan Empire and its capital Sampa (Samapa) in the Kalinga war around 2300 years ago by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, strengthened the grip of Buddhists in this part of India. The then Sampa was hardly 4-5 kms away from Taratarini Hill Shrine. So, scholars believe that Taratarini was worshiped as the principal deity (Ista-Devi) of the mighty Kalinga Empire. 3.After Ashoka conquered Kalinga scholars found it a famous centre of Buddhism. The region of Ganjam near the bank of river Rushikulya was an active Buddhist site as shown from the Special Rock Edicts of Ashoka found at Jaugada at a distance of 4-5 km from Tara-Tarini Hill Shrine. The name Tara (Buddhism), an important deity of Mahayana Buddhist Pantheon, is suggestive of Buddhist influence. An image of Buddha in meditation, present inside the sanctum sanctorum of the taratarini temple lends credence to the claim of this site as an ancient centre of the Buddhist Shakta cult. 4.However, according to the texts of Mahayana Buddhists, in the initial days, the Buddhists didn`t believe in the worship of Goddesses or in Pratimapuja (Idol Worship). But, the ecclesiastical texts of Mahayana`s reveal that from 1st century AD after the fall of Kalinga Empire, for the first time the Mahayana Buddhists accepted the worship of Mother Goddess `Tara`. So there is seldom any doubt that the Buddhists have learned the `Tara` Puja concept from the Tara Tarini Shrine. The contemporary Buddha Tantric texts, texts of Vajrajani sect and Hindu Tantric texts also attest these facts. 5.So, the scholars and historians believe that in the primary days, after the Kalinga war the Buddhists captured and worshiped the famous Hindu Shrine of Maa Tara Tarini, the principal seat of Tantric sect in Hinduism at that time, as Buddha Tara, and later on included `Tara` as the Tantrik deity or spouse of bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in their belief system. Gradually this `Tara` worship spread to different parts of the world and later they included ‘Tarini’ in their believe system. In Japan the Buddhists still worship both ‘Tara’ and ‘Tarini`. Hinduism is much older then Buddhism. THEN HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE THAT ORIGINALLY TARA TARINI WAS A BUDDHIST TANTRIC TEMPLE? Regards, Ram Prasad Tripathy PRO (TTDB) New Delhi

  5. Comment By - Dr Krishna Kumar Debnath Date - 17 Aug 2011 Time - 4:01AM
  6. I am thankful to all readers and their comments.

  7. Comment By - gopi nath Date - 05 May 2011 Time - 12:39AM
  8. and to see really overwhelmed..


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