Maa Kiriteshwari Temple, Kiriteshwari mandir
West Bengal , Murshidabad
Kiriteswari Mandir is situated in kireetkona village of West Bengal, just five kilometers from Dahapara rail station. It is one of 51 Sakti Peetha (sati Peetha) and it is where Sati's 'kirit' or crown fell. It is the oldest temple in the Murshidabad district.
The original temple of Maa Kirateshwari was erected by the King Darpanarayana Roy but with the passage of time, this temple was dilapidated in 1405. Another source says that it was one Bhagwan Roy, who built the temple of Maa Kirateshwari along with the help of his few followers. It is also said that this land was given to him by Mogul emperor Akbar. People also believe that the old temple with the entrance toward south was built by Bhagwan Roy while the new edifice with east facing was built by Maharaj Dharpanarayan Roy. Much later, a predecessor to the ruler of Lalgola, King Yogendranaryan Roy took the responsibility of renovating the temple and declared that Maa Kiriteshwari was the Kuladevi or the presiding deity to the rulers of the then Murshidabad. Per history, a contemporary of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Mangal Vaishnab was a shebait of this ancient temple of Bengal.
With the gradual Muslim invasion and with the coming of British, the glory of Maa Kirateshwari Temple faded away. As the crown of Maa Sati was dropped at this place the Shaktipeeth is known as Kirateshwari. Currently the headressf of Devi Sati is preserved at the Rani Bhabani's Guptamath.
Many legends surface around the temple of Maa Kirateshwari. It is said that Mir Jafar, the blacklisted sultan of Bengal for ditching Siraj-Ud-Daulla requested to consume the charanamrit made from the great bathing water of Maa Kirateshwari on his death bed. He was terribly suffering from leprosy.Another story says about the legend of Tara, the daughter of Rani Bhawani. Local people believe that she was rescued by Mata Vimala from the evil wishes ...View more
f Siraj-ud-Daulla, the Nawab of Bengal. Temporality she was gifted with the disease of small pox. When Siraj reached her, he left immediately after seeing her suffering from small pox. Later, Tara was cured in some time by the blessings of Maa Vimala or Kirateshwari.This temple is part of the famous Shaktipeetha Darshan Yatra of West Bengal.
The terracotta colored red temple of Maa Kiriteshwari temple is a quintessential example of a Bengal Shakti Peeth. The one storied building is not that artistically adorned, yet the ancient temple is a silent onlooker of many bygone days. Pilgrims are allowed to enter the sanctum with fresh clothes if they are willing to offer pujas to Ma Kirateshwari and Lord Shiva. Inside the sanctum sanctorum only a stone is found that remained wrapped in a re...View more
colored veil all throughout the year. The crown of Devi Sati that fell on this holy ground is preserved at the Rani Bhabani's Guptamath. The temple of the Bhairav is located a few minutes from the main temple by the banks of River Bhagirathi. This temple of Bhairav Maharaj is not well maintained and remained locked for hours.
Timings : The temple remains open from 6.00 AM to 3.00 PM and again from 5.00 PM to 10.00 PM. Pilgrims have to follow the time schedule to visit the temple to worship as well as to submit their offerings to the deity.
There is no such dresscode mentioned by the temple trust. But to honor the Goddess, it is expected from devotees to be in traditional and fresh clothes while visiting the temple of Maa Kirateshwari.
Known to be the 'mini-India' for its diverse geographical as well as cultural variations, West Bengal is also popular for housing over 14 shakti peeths. Coming back to the culture of this eastern state of India, since prior and the post-partition times, Bengal is famous for its enriched culture. From Darjeeling to the Sundarbans, and from Puruliya to the 'Rarh' area of Birbhum- each of the provinces has a unique cultural approach. Starting from the Bengali music, dance, theater, literature, art, and notwithstanding the mouthwatering cuisine- West Bengal has successfully created a mark for its exclusive aesthetics in the world panorama.
Regular buses ply from Kolkata to Murshidabad. Pilgrims can also get regular trains for Murshidabad. But those who are intending to reach the pilgrim via air will have to land first at the Dumdum airport in Kolkata and from there either they can hire a car or can get a train or luxury bus to reach the destination.
As the crown of Devi Sati fell at this place, so no idol is worshipped here. A red colored stone is wrapped with a red veil. This stone is worshipped as Devi Kirateshwari for centuries. Every year on Durga Astami, the veil is removed and the deity is bathed. Next to that ritual, a new red veil is again wrapped across the stone that is supposed to be the Goddess. The temple purohits start worshipping the Goddess from 6.00 AM in the morning. She is also offered with fruits, flowers, incense and diyas by the shebait priest as well as the devotees. At noon, the deity is served with Anna Bhoga (prepared with rice, lentils and vegetables), sweet dishes such as payasa and more. Later on, the pilgrims visiting the temple can receive the Prasad of Maa Kirateshwari and Her Bhairav.
Flowers, garlands, sweets, anna-bhoga (rice and other preperations), diyas and new clothes
Besides the regular worshipping, on significant days such as Durga Puja, Kali Puja and on all Amavasyas (no moon) special pujas are held by the temple purohits (Hindu priests). Even on every new moon a special ritual is performed in the name of the Goddess Kirateshwari. Alongside, whole night yajnas are also performed. The Devi is offered with fruits, sweets and is adorned with fresh flower garlands and flowers. A specially made bhog (rice food) is offered to Maa Kirateshwari during these puja performances. On the day of Astami, the stone that is deified as the deity is bathed and the veil is also replaced.
March - Mahashivratri
October - Durga Puja, Navaratri
November - Kali Puja
Kiriteshwari Mela is one of the primary local fairs that is held every year in the Bengali month of Poush (December-January) by the western banks of Bhagirathi River. On every Tuesday and Saturday the fair is held, mainly to attact the pilgrims who bathe in the river to worship Goddess Kirateshwari.