Kali Pujo and Diwali
Sati Pithas of Bengal Influencing Bengal’s Kali Puja
The Mythology behind Sati Pithas
Sati Pithas in Bengal: Birbhum District
Major concentration of Sati Pithas in Bengal; 6 out of 17; are present in Birbhum district.
Attahas Temple in Labhpur, Birbhum District, is one of the 52 Sati Pithas. It is believed that Devi Sati’s lips had fallen.
Kankalitala at Prantik, 10 km from Shantiniketan, Bolpur, is a Sati Pitha as it is believed that Devi Sati’s ribs/pelvis had fallen here. The fall created a depression which got filled up by water after rains from the heavens and the pond is considered a sacred kund. The temple is on a sprawling ground. It is serene.
Nandikeshwari Temple in Sainthia is the site where Devi’s necklace seems to have fallen.
Nalhateshwari Temple is also in Birbhum district and is sacred as it is believed that Devi Sati’s throat (nali) fell here.
Mahishmardini Bakreshwar Temple in Dubrajpur, Saithia, is one of most visited Sati Pithas of Bengal. The Shakti pitha as well as the Shiva temple are extremely popular. It is said that Devi Sati’s eyebrows had fallen in this place. Bakreswar is also popular for its hot springs. They are very well maintained and are enjoyable to dip into, even for non-religious tourists.
The final Sati Pitha of Birbhum is the temple of Tarapith. It is one of the most popular temples of India. Sadhak (Sage) Bamakhepa worshiped here. Sage Basistha attained moksha under a simul tree in the samshan (crematorium) beside River Dwaraka. The Mahasamshan is also visited by devotees. This place is enormously vibrant, an energy field experienced by many in such manner that they keep returning. It is believed that the goddess’s third eye fell here.
Sati Pithas in Bengal: Bardhaman and Hooghly
Out of the 17 Sati Pithas of Bengal, Bardhaman and Hooghly districts have 3 and 2 Sathi Pithas respectively.
Bahula, on the bank of Ajay River, at Ketugram, 8 km from Katwa, Purba Bardhaman, is the temple which is believed to be the site where Devi’s left arm had fallen. As ‘bahu’ means ‘arm’, the shrine is called Bahula Devi.
It is believed that the right wrist of the Devi had fallen at the site of Ujani Mangal Chandi Shakti Pitha Temple at Mangalkote, Guskura, Bardhaman.
Jogadya at Kshirgram, an ancient village under Mongalkote Police Station in Bardhaman District, is another Sati Peetha of Bengal which has its reference in Ramayana too. The right great toe of Devi Sati had fallen at this site.
Coming to the Sati Pithas in Hooghly District, the Shrinkala Temple at Pandua is almost in ruins and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Part of Devi Sati’s stomach is believed to have fallen here. Next comes the Ratnavali Temple by the Ratnakar River at Ghanteshwar, near Khanakul, Krishna Nagar of Hooghly District. Devi Sati’s right shoulder is believed to have fallen here.
Sati Pithas in Bengal: Other Districts
Kiriteshwari Temple at Murshidabad District’s Kiritikona Village is a sacred shrine as it is believed that Devi’s crown had fallen here.
Jalpaiguri’s Gajoldoba is famous for Bhramari Devi Temple at Boda Village. Devi Sati’s left leg fell here during the tandava. Set amidst the forests of Dooars, at the foothills of Himalaya, the location is extremely serene. Gajoldoba is also famous for the scenic Teestha Barrage reservoir and Pakhibitan Sanctuary.
Kapalini (Bhimarupa) Shaktipeeth Maa Bargabhima Temple at Tamluk, Puba Medinipur, is an ancient temple, where Devi’s left ankle is said to have fallen.
Juranpur Temple in Nadia is a small but significant one. It is the site where Devi Sati’s forehead had fallen.
Ma Melai Chandi Temple at Amta, Uluberia in Howrah District is another of the Sati Pithas of Bengal. It is here that Devi’s left knee is said to have fallen.
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is blessed to have the most prominent of the Sati Pithas of Bengal. In fact, the Kalighat Temple, is India’s one of the most popular temples. Devi Sati’s left little finger had fallen here. The temple stands beside Adi Ganga which meets the River Hooghly.