Nalateswari Temple, Maa Nalateswari Mandir
West Bengal , Birbhum
Nalhateshwari temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeethas where parts of Sati's body fell. According to the mythologies it is here where the "nala" or throat of goddess Shakti had fallen and so the shrine came to be known as the Maa Nalateswari. It is located in Nalhati, a municipality in Birbhum District of West Bengal near the West Bengal - Jharkhand border.
The foundation history of the of the Nalateshwari Shakti Peeth is allied with the Dakshya Yajna and on the very day when Devi Sati self-immolate Herself without bearing the pain of Her Lord Shiva's insult by Her outrageous father Dakshya. To pacify the angry Shiva, performing Tandava with corpse of Sati on His shoulder, Lord Vishnu let His Sudarshan Chakra to mutilate the lifeless body of the Devi so that Lord Shiva can find solace. It is believe...View more
that around 1400 years back, in 252th Bengali year, it was Lord Kamdev who discovered the larynx of Devi Sati from the nearby Nalhati Forest. Many other different legends are associated with this ancient temple of Birbhum, Bengal. According to many, it was Ram Sharam Devsharma who found the larynx of the Devi and started worshiping Maa Nalateswari. In Bengali, larynx is known as 'Nala'. This is the source from which the deity is known as Maa Nalateswari and the place is also named Nalhati, for the shrine. It is said that there is a Nala under the throat of the Devi's idol and how much water is poured, it never gets overflowed. In fact, the sound of gulping the water is heard as humans do while drinking water or any liquid.It is also believed that it was Bramhachari Kushalnan who first offered the 'Bhoga', which means the food offerings to the Goddess. This worshipper attained moksha or salvation after worshipping and meditating after sitting on a Pancha-munda-ashana.This temple is part of the famous Shaktipeetha Darshan Yatra of West Bengal.
The terracotta designs on the quintessential 'aatchala temple' of Bengal entice pilgrims. The temple architecture is very old and signifies the presence of enriched Bengali heritage enshrined in the temple designing. Inside the sanctum sanctorum- Mata Nalateshwari is consecrated. The stone idol of 4 feet height has three eyes (trinetra) and a huge golden tongue hanging in between the teeth. The larynx or the "Nala" of the deity is positioned wher...View more
the tongue ends. She drinks water creating the sound of the gulping. On the way to the sanctum sanctorum or the garbha griha, Ganeshji is sitting and is surrounded by eight snakes. Rani Bhavani of Natur constructed the Ganeshji Shrine here.At the northern side of the temple, the Pancha munda asana is placed. There is also a Neem tree that offers sweet leafs. There is also the foot prints of Mata Shasti preserved on an ancient tablet by this tree.
Timings : The temple timing is from 5.30 AM to 8.30 PM. Devotees can choose to prefer Tuesday or Saturday to visit the temple as these two days are considered the best ones per Shakta traditions.
Devotees are expected to be in modest and fresh clothes while entering the mandir premise.
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.
Nalateswari Temple Nalahati Temple Road,Nalahati Township, Nalhati, West Bengal 731243
By road, the distance of Nalhati from Kolkata is around 235 Km. By Rail it is 214 Km. Regular buses and trains are available from Howrah, Sealdah Stations and Esplanade and Kanunamoyee Bus depot. Else, private cars and rented vechicles are also available to reach Nalhati.
The regular temple rituals start with the opening of the Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum) sharp at 5.30 AM. At different intervals, worshipping is performed by the temple purohits (Hindu priests). By noon, Devi Nalateshwari and Her Bhairav is served with Rice Meal for Prasad. Per Hindu rites, this is known as Anna Bhoga. Devotees can have the bhoga for their lunch after the deities are served and worshipped.
By the evening the aarti is offered. A sanctified ambiance is created with the continuous humming of the Vedic mantra and the ringing of the brass bell when the priest moves the burning oil lamps to glorify the deity's existence.Pilgrims are allowed to stay and witness the pious event of presenting the aarti to the Devi.
At 8.30 PM, the Garbha Griha is closed as the gods are believed to be retired for rest.
Sometimes, this schedule is changed during some special puja or occasions. But it is notified to the devotees before.
Hibiscus flowers, oil lamps, candles, incense, saree to the devi and dhoti to Mahadev, ghee, sugar and animal sacrifice.
Animal sacrifice is still practiced here. Goats are sacrificed on the harikath and in the strike of one chop the head is cut off from the shoulder. The blood is collected in a pot and is offered to the Devi to satisfy Her thirst. The devotees are offered with tilak of that blood as a mark of blessing from the Holy Mother. Usually, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the bali or animal sacrifice is offered to the deity. On the fulfilment of one's mannat (wish fullfilment), the goat sacrifice or double goat sacrifice is also offered.
October - Dusshera, Navratri
November - Kali Puja