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Temples & Legends of Bengal
Index Of Bengal Kulapati's Preface
Preface Author
The Kalighat Temple of Calcutta Ram Krishna Mission Temples
The Temples in Burdwan The Temples in Hooghly
The Temples in Twenty four Parganas The Temples in Midnapore
The Temples in Birbhum Ektesvara - Siva Temple
The Temples In Bankura Jain Temples In Purulia
Kapilmuni Temple at Sagar Island A Chinese Temple
The Tibetan Temple At Bhotbagan Kiriteswari   Temple
Bhattamati Temple  
Major Sections
Temples & Legends Of India
Andhrapradesh
Maharastra
Kerala
Himachal Pradesh
Tamilnadu

Bengal

Assam
Bihar
Somanatha

THE TEMPLES IN BIRBHUM

The place is literally strewn with various broken images. There is a broken Haragauri image under a tree. The late Mahamahopadhyaya Hara Prasad Shastri, a great scholar had given his opinion that this image was an ancient one and most probably damaged by Kalapahar. There is a Bhairav image that was picked up by Khaki Baba, another Tantrik Sidhapurush and was installed by him. Bakreswar was verily at one time a confluence of Saivism and Shaktism.The following account of the springs and temples by Mr.F.H.B. Skrine, a former Collector of Birbhum, is interesting as a record of local legends and popular beliefs.12

"Once upon a time, the renowned sages Subrita and Lomas received an invitation to attend the sayambar or marriage rites of Lakshmi.  On their arrival at the hall of ceremonies the attendant host, a slight that his companion resented by incontinently quitting the assembly, welcomed Lomas first. So fierce, indeed, was his anger that his limbs assumed ungraceful curves in no less than eight places, whence he took the
cognomen of Astabakra. Thus disfigured and disconsolate, he wandered till he arrived at Kasi (Benares) intent on worshipping Siva.

He was then informed that his prayers could not be answered till they were offered at an undefined spot named Gupta Kasi (the hidden Banares) in the distant remain of Gaur (Bengal). Astabakra's pilgrimage therefore took an eastern direction and ended at Bakreswar, where he adored Siva for ten thousand years. The god, touched by the persistence of his votary, declared that those who worshipped. Astabakra first and himself afterwards would be vouchsafed an endless store of blessings. Viswakarma, the architect of the gods, received a command to erect a temple on the auspicious spot, and a stately shrine soon rose on the eastern shore of the river Bakreswar containing two graven images, the larger of which represented Astabakra.


12Birbhum District Gazetteer by L.S.S. O'Malley (1910).

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Brick-built deul at Bhandirban near Suri, Birbhum Dist. Bengal
About Temples In   Birbhum
Introduction
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