One of the 51 Shakti Peethas in the country is the Kankalitala Shakti Peeth or Kankalitala Temple, which is located near Shantiniketan in West Bengal. It is said that the waist part of Goddess Sati fell here. Quite different from other temples, the atmosphere here is very calm and far away from the hustle and bustle. Here Maa Kankali is worshiped in the form of Maa Kali.
Tagore’s place Santiniketan is famous all over the world. The Government of India has declared it a heritage. People from all over the country and abroad come to see and feel this place. But only a few people go to see the Kankalitala Shakti Peeth situated at a distance from it.
Situated on the banks of the Kopai River, this Shakti Peeth is far away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Rather it would be more appropriate to say that Kankalitala Shakti Peeth is situated on the edge of the village. The reach of people here is not very much. Till a few years ago, there was not even a proper way to reach here.
The Legend Behind Kankalitala
One of the total 51 Shakti Peethas located across the country is Shakti Peeth Kankalitala. According to mythology, in Satyuga, King Daksha organized a yajna to take revenge on Lord Shiva. Actually, his daughter Sati had married Yogi Shiva against his wish. For this Yagya, Daksha invited everyone except Shiva and Sati. On being insisted by Sati, Shiva sent Sati there along with his ganas. Sati was not welcomed there.
Rather Daksha insulted Shiva. Saddened by this, Sati killed herself. Saddened by this trouble, Shiva cut off the head of Daksha and put a goat’s head in its place. Despite this, he was so sad that hanging the body of Sati, he started performing the tandava dance. After a failed attempt by the gods to stop her, Lord Vishnu cut the body of Sati into several parts with his Sudarshan Chakra. Where the parts of Sati’s body fell, that place was called Shakti Peeth. One of them is the Shakti Peeth, Kankalitala, where the back of Goddess Sati fell. The waist is called Kankal in Bengali.
Specialties of Kankalitala Temple
The KankalitalaTemple is situated on the banks of the Ko Pai River. There is also a cremation ground here, where there is also the tomb of many big tantric. This place is also famous for Tantra-Mantra Vidya. The residents here tell that many big tantriks achieved their accomplishment here. There is no idol of the Goddess in Kankalitala temple but only a picture (oil painting) of Maa Kankali.
Maa Kankali is a form of Maa Kali. Obviously, this form of Maa Kankali is very similar to Maa Kali. The same blood-stained long tongue and fierce form! Maa Kankali is worshiped at this place for years. This temple is quite small and simple, not far from fame. In terms of beauty, this temple is very simple in appearance. There is neither carving nor any noise. Devotees also tie broken brick pieces on a tree here in the desire to fulfill their wishes.
Another important place in Kankalitala is the small pond located behind the temple. According to legends, the waist part of Sati Maa’s body was contained in this pond. At this place, there was a pit due to the fall of mother Sati’s waist and later it was filled with water. It is said that his waist is still contained under this water. This is the reason that for the local residents, this pond has a lot of importance from a religious point of view.
The garlands used in prayer hang on the trees outside the Sati temple. The premises outside the temple are crowded with song singers and Siddha Babas. When the hairs of these song singers are tied in tune, then what to say when the hairs of these singers are tied in tunes wearing garlands of basil. These lyrics singers mainly sing in the Bengali language. Through songs, they bring out hidden feelings in their hearts.
Inside Kankalitala Temple
Many small shops are decorated for Prasad even before the temple. Apart from traditional Bengali sweets, garlands of red hibiscus flowers are also available here as prasad. The red flower of hibiscus is specially offered to Maa Kankali. As soon as you go inside the temple with the prasad, the priests sitting there start worshiping by taking the name of you and your loved ones. Then you want to name each member of your entire extended family.
Perhaps this is where worship takes place so engrossed. As soon as they leave the temple, devotees sit on the platform built under the premises and trees. Many big people including small children also start asking for prasad with outstretched hands. Like other temples, Baba sitting here is ready to see your future.
How To Reach Kankalitala Temple
Located in Bolpur of Birbhum district, this Shakti Peeth is situated at a distance of nine kilometers from Bolpur Railway Station and about twelve kilometers from Shantiniketan. Although this place is away from the hustle and bustle of the cities for twelve months of the year, it seems to be asleep in the afternoon. In fact, Bengalis like to sleep only in the afternoon. The distance of this place is two and a half hours from Kolkata and about one hour from Durgapur.
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