Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sacred Shakti Peethas across Bangladesh: (Part-2) The Southern Trail

Previously we did a blog about Shakti Peethas in North Bengal. This is a continuation of that blog providing information about Shakti Peethas that are located in the Southern part of Bangladesh-Barishal, Khulna and Chittagong. The three Shakti Peethas to be discussed in this piece are as follows: Shugandha Temple in Barishal, Jeshoreshwari Kali Temple in Khulna and lastly Chandranath Temple situated in Shitakunda.

Shugandha Temple:
Sugandha Temple
Sugandha Temple , one of the Shakti Peethas of Bangladesh is located in the village of Shikharpur, 10 miles away from the northern portion of Barishal.
It is said that a prominent body part of Sati's , ‘nose’ had fallen at Sugandha.The name Sugandha means a pleasing personality. In Sugandha, this Shakti Peetha is dedicated to the Goddess Sunanda, which means pleasing. It is famous for the festival of Shiva ‘Chaturdashi’ (14th moon during the month of March). Devi Sati is also known as Sondha and Lord Shiva or Bhairav is worshipped on this festival. A large number of devotees come here during this festival Special celebrations and rituals are held during this time of the festival. The whole complex of the Sugandha Shakti Peetha Temple is made of stone, with images and statues of gods engraved on it. The sculptures present a mesmerizing look of the temple to the visitors. Shine of the marble that decorates the temple, and how it reflects on the water is surely one thing that people do not want to miss out here.

Jeshoreshwari Kali Temple:
Jeshoreshwari Kali Temple
Jeshoreshwari Kali Temple is a famous Hindu Temple in Bangladesh , dedicated to the goddess Kali. The temple is located in Ishwaripur, a village in Shyamnagar Upazilla of Satkhira. The name "Jeshoreshwari" means "Goddess of Jeshore.
It is said that people consider Jesoreshwari as one of the 51 Peethas of Sati. It is one of the place where the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava(the destruction of dance). Jesoreshwari represents the site where the palm of Sati fell. It is said by many, that General of Maharaja Pratap Aditya discovered a meditative ray of light which came from the bushes, and came upon a piece of stone carved in the form of a human palm. Shakti Peethas are divine places or holy abode of the Mother Goddess Parashakti . These shrines are believed to be sanctified with the presence of Shakti . There are 51 Shakti Peeth located all around South Asia. Each temple have shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava, The Shakti of this shrine is addressed as Jeshoreshwari and Bhairava as Chanda. Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of Protection from evil, Salvation, Destruction of Ego and Liberation.

Chandranath Temple:
Front side of the temple
Chandranath Temple is situated on top of the Chandranath hill, where a famous Shakti Peetha is located near Sitakunda. According to Hindu sacred texts, the right arm of Goddess Sati fell here in Sitakunda, Chandranath Temple is a holy place of pilgrimage.

The Chandranath temple in Sitakundu may have been founded by an ancient king of the then Chattala (now Chittagong).The Chandranath Temple is known as a Shakti Peetha. The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati's self immolation is the source of mythology behind the origin of Shakti Peethas. Shakti Peethas are divine shrines of Shakti, due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered throughout Aryavartha in sorrow. This Shakti Peetha is known by the name Bhavani. 

A festival named 'Siva Chaturdoshi' is held during the month of February every year at Sitakunda. A big fair is also held on 'Amabashya rat' (newmoon night) of that month. Tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims of all ages from all over the country come to Sitakunda during the fair every year.

Photo Credit: Internet

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