Pilgrimages of West Bengal
According to Hindu belief, an insulted Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva, sacrificed herself at an yagna which was being performed by her father Dakshmaharaj. Angry with this incident Lord Shiva started the tandava nritya (a dance of destruction). This forced Lord Vishnu to use his Sudershan chakra to cut the body of Sati into several places. Sati's body was thus scattered all over what is presently the Indian subcontinent. There are 51 such holy spots where temples have been erected and they are called Pithas or the Shakti Pithas. Some of the Pithas are in West Bengal. The most popular of them are Kalighat (in Calcutta), Bakreshwar and Tarapith.
One of the 51 pithas of Hinduism, Tarapith is an important pilgrimage center.
By train from Howrah to Rampurhat. Then by bus or rickshaw to Tarapith.
Hotels and Dharmashalas
Bakreshwar, in Birbhum district, is another of the Pithas. It also has hot springs. Bakreshwar is the site of a large upcoming thermal power plant.
Tranrport and Communication
By train from Howrah to Bolpur. Then by bus to Bakreshwar.
By bus directly from Calcutta.s
WBTDC Tourist Lodge.
Nabadwip 120kms north from Calcutta , is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi. This is the birth place of the great Saint Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1846).Here Sonargouranga Temple is the holy shrine where the Golden statue of Sri Chaitanya is built and a pilgrimage for ‘Vaishnavas’.
Mayapur is the Head Quarter of ISCKON 139 kms from Calcutta . There is Chandodari Temple situated in a beautiful Garden.
Jairambati and Kamarpukur
Kamarpukur and Jairambati , 43kms and 48kms from Kolkata, were the abode of the great Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansha and his consort the holy Sri Sri Maa Sarada Devi respectively. The Mangal Aarti at 4:00 am in the morning and Sandhya Aarti at evening are an enchanting experience. The Ramkrishna Mission Ashrams in these two places witness huge visitor turnout throughout the year from all over the world, especially during the birthday celebrations between January to March.
Transport and Communication
Private vehicles and buses for conducted tours and government buses are available from Kolkata daily. It is also well connected from Bankura.
Apart from hotels and lodges in these two places, accommodations in the Ramkrishna Mission Guest Houses are available prior to booking made earlier.
Tarekeshwar in Hooghly district is one of the most visited pilgrimages of West Bengal. The Shiva temple is flooded with devotees particularly during the Bengali month of Shrabon and the festival of ShivaRatri. On these occasions devotees carry water in various containers and walk all the way from their home to pour it over the Shiva Linga
Dharmasalas and lodges are available ample in numbers.
Transport and Communication
Local Trains from Howrah and buses ply between Kolkata and Tarekshwar on daily basis.
Temples of West bengal
1 Bakranath Temple at Bakreswar near Siuri in West Bengal: Built in the Oriyan style, thie large temple is the most imortant of the several shrines in Bakreswar. Hot springs are another feature of interest in this town.
2 Balrampur Jain Temple at Balrampur near Purulia in West Bengal
3 Bansuli Temple at Nannur near Bolpur in West Bengal: The temple site is like a mound, and the lowest level dates back to the Gupta period.
4 Barakar Temples at Barakar near Asansol in West Bengal: Four stone temples in the North Indian Rekha style built in the 8th through the 15th century.
5 Bargabhima Temple at Tamluk near Medinipur in West Bengal: Large Temple to Shakti influenced by the Oriyan architecture style displaying interesting engineering and architectural features.
6 Bhagwati Temple at Gourangpur near Asansol in West Bengal: A beautiful brick temple over 150 years old, now deserted.
7 Brindabanchandra Temple at Guptipara near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: The biggest in the group of temples in Guptipara.
8 Chaitanyadev Temple at Guptipara near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: 17th century temple in the Bengali style of architecutre.
9 Chinese Temple at Achipur near Calcutta in West Bengal: Chinese temple with inscriptions dating back to the 18th century.
10 Dakshineswar Kali Temple at Calcutta in West Bengal: Famous 19th century Kali temple associated with Ramakrishna.
11 Dhirdham Temple at Darjeeling in West Bengal: Built along the lines of the Pasupathinath temple in Nepal.
12 Dugdheshwar Shiva Temple at Amaragarh near Bardhaman in West Bengal
13 Ekteswara Temple at Ekteswara near Bankura in West Bengal: Famous Shiva temple that looks like a massive solid pillar near the river Dwarkeshwar.
14 Hanseswari Temple at Bansberia near Calcutta in West Bengal: Dates back to the 19th century with ornate arches.
15 Jagannath Temple at Serampore near Calcutta in West Bengal: Large and ancient Jagannath temple famous for its rath yatra second only to Puri.
16 Jain remains at Pakbira near Bara Bazar (Purulia) in West Bengal: Remains of numerous temples and images some about 2000 years old.
17 Jain Temple Ruins at Boram near Jaipur in West Bengal: Ruins of three identical Jain temples
18 Jain Temples at Dulmi near Purulia in West Bengal
19 Jain Temples at Deoli near Purulia in West Bengal: Group of Jain temples, the largest of which has an image of Arhanath worshipped by Hindus as well.
20 Jain temples and ruins at Chharra near Purulia in West Bengal: Old temples and ruins of Jain origin.
21 Jateshwarnath Temple at Mahanad near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: A center for Shiva and Shakti worship.
22 Jaya Deva Temple at Kenduli near Bolpur in West Bengal: Well known temple to Radha and Krishna dating back to the 12th century - current structure over 200 years old.
23 Jor Bangala Temple at Bishnupur near Bankura in West Bengal: Specimen of remarkable sculpture and architecture.
24 Kalighat Temple at Calcutta in West Bengal: 200 year old temple from which Calcutta is said to take its name.
25 Kalna Shiva Temples at Kalna in West Bengal: A group of 108 Shiva temples in concentric circles.
26 Kalyaneshwari Temple at Barakar near Asansol in West Bengal: This is a 500 year old temple a great center for Shakti worship.
27 Kanak Durga Temple at Chikligarh near Medinipur in West Bengal
28 Kapil Muni Temple at Sagar Island near Diamond Harbor in West Bengal: Associated with the mythological descent of the Ganges from the heavens (into the sea) and a site held in great reverence.
29 Kiriteshwari Temple at Murhsidabad near Murshidbad in West Bengal: Regarded as one of the Shakthi Peeths this was once a center of great importance.
30 Krishnachandra Temple at Guptipara near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: Located along with the Chaitanyadev, Ramachandra and Brindabanchandra temples.
31 Krishnarjun Temple at Tamluk near Medinipur in West Bengal: Ancient temple - current structure built 400 years ago.
32 Lalji Temple at Chandrakona near Medinipur in West Bengal: 16th century temple built in Bengali style, enclosed by a high wall with a gateway.
33 Malleswar Temple at Chandrakona near Medinipur in West Bengal: 60 feet high temple dating back to the 18th century, with an even older shrine.
34 Mankeshwar Mahadev Temple at Amaragarh near Bardhaman in West Bengal
35 Radha Kanta Jiu Temple at Rajbalhat near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: A fine specimen of Bengali architecture dating back to the 18th century.
36 Ramachandra Temple at Guptipara near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: Fine red coloured brick temple with a curved roof, with brick panels carved with fine specimen of Bengali art.
37 Sarva Mangala Devi Temple at Garbeta near Medinipur in West Bengal: 16th-17th century temple in the Oriyan style dedicated to Devi along with other temples within the fort.
38 Sheetalnath Jain Temple at Calcutta in West Bengal: 19th century temple - an ornate mass of mirrors, coloured stones and glass mosaics.
39 Shivakhya Devi Temple at Amaragarh near Bardhaman in West Bengal.
40 Sidheswara Temple at Bahulara near Onda in West Bengal: Ancient Shiva temple in the Oriyan style with fine ornamentation depicting replicas of the temple.
41 Suratheshwar Temple at Supur near Bolpur in West Bengal.
42 Swayambhava Kali Temple at Bansberia near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: Located near the Vishnu temple, this temple dates back to the 18th century.
43 Syamaleswar Temple at Dantan in West Bengal: Ancient temple to Shiva in this town where there are 2 large tanks - the Bidyadhar and Sarasankha.
44 Tarakeshwar Temple at Tarakeshwar near Calcutta (Hooghly) in West Bengal: A very well known temple in the Bengali style of architecture attracting scores of pilgrims.
45 Temple Ruins at Chandrakona at Chandrakon near Medinipur in West Bengal: Ruins of several Oriyan styled temples now abandoned.