Bakreshwar Temple(Mahishamardini Shaktipeeth), West Bengal
Mahishamardini Shaktipeeth in Bakreshwar is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of India. The temple is situated on the banks of the Para River in idyllic surroundings. It is believed Sati Mata’s eyebrows fell at this spot. Mata Sati is worshipped as Mahishamardini. Her protector is Bhairava Vakranath.
The Grand Yagya of Daksha Prajapati
Sati Mata was one of Daksha Prajapatis’ 28 daughters. She had wanted to marry none other than Lord Shiva and did penance to obtain Him. Daksha Prajapati was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and had a strong dislike for Lord Shiva. Sati Mata married to lord Shiva against Daksha Prajapati’s wishes. In a Yagya organized by Daksha Prajapati, Lord Shiva was insulted. Sati Mata entered the sacrificial fire and ended Her life. Lord Shiva, furious and grieved, took Her body and started the destructive Tandava. To save the world Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshan Chakra cut Sati Mata’s body into 51 parts. The places where the body parts fell came to be Shaktipeeths.
The Legend of Rishi Ashtavakra
Two fellow Rishis – Subrita and Lomas were invited to Lakshmi Mata’s swayamvar. They arrived and Rishi Lomas was the first to be welcomed. This enraged Rishi Subrita to such an extent that all his nerves got twisted along with his whole body. This gave him a deformed look. Rishi subrita then regretted his anger and he went to Kashi and prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva advised him to go to Bakreshwar and do penance there. Rishi Subrita did as advised. After long penances, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed him to be worshipped forever in this temple. Thus came to be Bhairava Vakranath.
Mahishamardini Shaktipeeth is also known simply as Bakreshwar Temple. This ancient temple has been maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. There are two temples within the complex. The second temple is dedicated to Vakranath. A beautiful Murti of Mahishamardini with ten hands, seated on a lion and killing Mahishasura can be seen in the sanctum. The temple is built in the Oriya style of architecture and has several depictions of the Goddess.
Seven Hot Springs and a Holy River
This region is known for its natural verdant beauty, countless temples, and sacred sites. There are seven hot springs in the nearby area. They are named – Agni Kund, Brahma Kund, Surya Kund, Saubhagya Kund, Amrita Kund, Kheer Kund, Jibat Kund and Vairav Kund. Each spring has a small temple with a Shivling enshrined. Even the Paphra River is said to wash away sins.
- 05:00 AM to 10:00 PM
How to reach Bakreshwar
- The nearest railway station is Birbhum, about 35 km from the temple.
- Kolkata Airport is about 215 km from the temple.
- Durgapur Airport is about 52 km from the temple.