West Bengal Pilgrimages

West Bengal is a state which accepts many religions. One can find many spiritual places in the state. These spiritual places are visited by pilgrims as well as tourists to experience the divine and the marvelous. These places have an intense history of religion in the state. Some of the Pilgrimages places in West Bengal are:

Adyapith

One of the most celebrated religious places of West Bengal, Adyapith has a rich religious history that adds to the sanctity of the place. Located in the Barrackpore sub division of the North 24 Parganas of the state, Adyapith is one of the revered religious place that draws many devotees who are overwhelmed by the divine sanctity of the temple.

Adyapith was founded by Sri Anand Thakur in 1915 after he encountered an unusual dream. Devoted to Adya Maa, the statue of the deity was chipped out of a black stone. After some time the original statue of Adya Maa had to be immersed in the sacred Ganges as per the wishes of the divine entity.

Sri Anand Thakur had religiously followed the instructions of the Supreme Being who said that she desired to be a part of every family and be worshiped all over the world as Adya Maa. According to the divine command, the photo of Adya Maa was distributed. Sri Anand Thakur had further spread the spiritual song in Sanskrit popularly known as the Adyastotram, to all the devotees. The devotees believe that Adya Maa will help them under any circumstances if they recite the Adyastotram with pure heart and clear conscience.

As per legend, it is further believed that the great mystic saint and ardent follower of Goddess Kali, Sri Ramakrishna dictated to Sri Anand Thakur that the primary aim of his life would be to construct a religious monument of the Supreme Being of Adya Maa. The present Adyapith is the culmination of all the aforesaid mystical and magical events.

An important place of pilgrimage in West Bengal, the very mention of the divine name of Adya Maa inspires a sense of awe and intense devotion among the followers.

Bandel

The ancient place of Bandel has been a witness to many different kinds of cultures and civilizations. The present day Bandel bears relics to the rich historical heritage and cultural legacies of the bygone golden eras. Representing the varied cultural traditions of the ancient times, Bandel has gained a world wide popularity because of the famous Bandel Church.

Situated at a stone's throw distance of just two kilometers from the Bandel station, the Bandel Church stands tall with its splendid architectural structure that reflects the artistic imagination and the engineering skills of the Portuguese. The lavish religious monument was erected by Gomez de Soto way back in 1600 AD. The holy premises of the Bandel Church houses a monastery which was constructed around the same time.

Constructed in the unique architectural style of the Portuguese, the Bandel Church attracts several devotees from different religious communities. The interior of the Church is decorated with beautiful chandeliers. The colored glass windows of the Bandel Church adds to the glory of the religious monument.

According to a religious and historical legend, a ship had survived a deadly sea storm by the divine intervention of Lady Virgin. To immortalize this unusual event the captain of the ship had gifted the huge mast which still finds a place within the holy premises of the church. The statue of one Lady of Happy Voyage is worshiped by the devotees with intense devotion and dedication. The sole reminiscent of the Portugese rule in the area, the Bandel Church portrays the glorious past of the region.

Dakshineswar Temple

The Dakshineswar Temple is situated in Kolkata and is dedicated to Goddess Bhavatarini, a form of Goddess Kali. The temple was established in 1855 over 25 acres of land. It is one of the largest temples in Kolkata. There are nine main temples dedicated to Goddess Kali and twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Kalighat Kali Temple

The Kalighat Kali Temple is situated in Kolkata and is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Maa Kali. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India. It is believed that the right toe of Goddess Sati fell here. The temple reference can be found in 15th and 17th century composition of Mansar Bhasan and Kavi Kankan Chandi. However, the current temple form is known to be only 200 years old. The temple receives many pilgrims throughout the year.

Mayapur

Mayapur is an important pilgrim destination for Vaishnavism followers. It is the birth place of Chatanya Mahaprabhu, a reincarnation of Lord Krishna and Radha. It is also the world headquarters of ISCKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). Today, the place receives more than thousands of pilgrims each year.

Tarakeshwar

This small village is situated nearly 60 km from Kolkata and is famous for the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was built by Raja Bharamalla and dates back to the 18th century. Pilgrims visit the temple throughout the year and the numbers increase during the huge fair organized in the month of Shravana during Shivratri as per the Hindu calendar.

Last updated on May 20, 2013