Bhabanipur is a sacred site around Karatoyatat located about 28 kilometres (17 mi) from Sherpur Upazila of Bogra District, Rajshahi Division, and Bangladesh. It is one of the Shakti Peethas of the Indian subcontinent. Bhabanipur Shaktipeeth is a place of worship consecrated to the Goddess Maa Bhabani. The Shakti devi here is called Arpana and the Bhairava is Vaman. The part of “Sati” Maa Tara’s body fell at Bhabanipur could be left anklet (ornament), ribs of left chest, right eye, or bedding (according to various sources).
Bhabanipur, located at Sherpur upazilla of Bogra District, Bangladesh, is one of the 51 Pithas of Goddess Sati. It is a sacred pilgrimage site for the followers of Hinduism. The Shakti Devi of this Shaktipeeth is Ma Arpana and the Bhairava is Baba Bamon.
he Bhabanipur Shrine is highly revered as Shakti Peeth. The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati’s self immolation and Shiva carrying the corpse of Sati Deviis believed to be the origin of Shakti Peethas. Shakti Peethas are holy abode of the Mother Goddess. Each temple have shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava. The Shakti of Bhabanipur shrine is addressed as “Arpana” and the “Bhairava” as “Vaman”. It is believed that Sati Devi’s Left anklet fell here. The pilgrimage shrine of Vysakha Mahotsavam, commemorating the Daksha Yaga is believed to be the place where Sati Devi self immolated.
According to the Mahabharata, in the Satya Yuga, King Daksha arranged a ritual called Yagna in which her daughter Goddess Sati and Her husband Lord Shiva was not invited. Still Goddess Sati attended the function. Unable to bear the insult towards Her husband Lord Shiva, Goddess Sati protested by sacrificing Herself into the fire of the Yagna. Enraged with grief, Lord Shiva started the dance of destruction across the Universe with the corpse of Goddess Sati on His shoulder. To stop this, Lord Vishnu cut the corpse of Goddess Sati with the Sudharshan Chakra and as a result the various pieces of Goddess Sati’s body and Her ornaments fell at various places of the Indian subcontinent. These places are now known as Shakti Peethas. Being a Shakti Peeth, Bhabanipur is a historic place of pilgrimage for the followers of Hinduism. There are numerous temples at this Shakti-peeth premises which are visited by pilgrims from all over the country and abroad, irrespective of sectarian differences.
There is a legend saying that while once a conch-bangles dealer was passing by the side of a lonely pond in a dense jungle near the then Bhabanipur temple, a little girl with a tip of vermilion on her forehead approached him and told him that she was the daughter of the Natore Rajbari (Palace). She bought a pair of conch-bangles from him and requested him to collect the price of that bangles from the then Maharani Bhabani from a basket kept in the Rajbari at a specified place. Her appearance and polite words overwhelmed the conch-dealer. The Maharani (Queen) rushed to the place/site with her men and the conch-dealer as soon as she heard this from him. On the earnest prayer by the conch-dealer, Ma Bhabani raised from that pond showing her two wrists with the conch-bangles worn. The Maharani and the men present there were surprised, and the divinity of Mother Bhabani spread throughout this subcontinent. This is that sacred “Shakha-Pukur” (conch-bangles pond) where the devotees take their holy bath when they go there.
Surrounded by a boundary wall, the Temple comprises about an area of four acres (12 bighas) – Main Temple, Belbaran Tala, 4 Shiva Temples, Patal Bhairava Shiva Temple, Gopal Temple, Bashudev Temple and Nat Mandir. On the north side, there is a Sheba Angan, Holy Shakha-Pukur (conch-bangles pond), 2 bathing ghats, 4 Shiva Temples outside the boundary wall and a Panchamunda Asana.
Historical Significance of the Site: According to the Mahabharata, at some time in the Satya Yuga, King Daksha arranged a ritual ceremony called “Yagna” with the sole aim of insulting his son-in-law, God Shiva, the husband of Sati in which almost all the deities were invited except for Lord Shiva and Sati. Unable to bear the insult towards Her husband, Sati protested by self-immolation by jumping into the fire (of the yagna). At this incident, enraged and crazed with grief, God Shiva destroyed Daksha’s sacrifice and picked up the remains of Sati’s body and danced the dance of destruction (with Sati’s body on His shoulders) throughout the Universe. The other Gods had to intervene to stop this dance and the Vishnu’s disc (chakra) cut through Sati’s corpse. So the various parts of Sati’s body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed the sites which are now known as Shakti Peethas/Pithas. At the Bhabanipur Temple premises, the left anklet (ornament), ribs of left chest, right eye or the bedding of Sati had fallen.
Ma_BhabaniA legend says that once a conch-bangles dealer was passing by a pond in a jungle near the temple of Ma Bhabani. At that time, a little girl with a tip of vermilion on her forehead came to him and told him that she was the daughter of Natore’s palace. She bought a pair of conch-bangles from the dealer and requested him to collect the price of that bangles from the Queen of Natore kept at a specified place of the palace. Hearing all this from the dealer, the Queen rushed to the spot with him and her men. On the earnest prayer of the conch-dealer, Ma Bhabani raised from that pond showing Her two wrists with the conch-bangles worn. At this incident, this holy “Shakha-Pukur” (conch-bangles pond) became famous and the devotees take their sacred bath in this pond when they come here.
The Temples: The Temple premise comprises of 4 acres (12 ‘bighas’) of land surrounded by boundary walls. Main Temple, ‘Belbaran Tola’, four Shiva Temples, ‘Patal Bhairav Shiv’ Temple, ‘Gopal’ Temple, ‘Basudev’ Temple and ‘Nat’ Temple/’Atchala’. In the North side, there are ‘Sheba Angan’, sacred ‘Shakha Pukur’, two ‘Bath Ghat’, two Shiva Temples outside the boundary walls and a ‘Panchamundo Asana’.
The devotees of various districts can reach Bhabanipur through Ghoga Bot-tola bus-stoppage (on Bogra-Dhaka highways) of Sherpur Upazilla of Bogra District. In the morning “Pravati” and “Balyo” “Bhog”, at noon worship and “Anna” “Bhog” and in the evening “Arati” and “Bhog” are offered to the Gods and Goddesses on behalf of the committee. Besides the devotees can offer “Bhog” to the Gods and Goddesses every day and take “Prasad” later.
Every year, on the auspicious occasions of Maghi Purnima (in the month of January/February) and Ram Nabomi (in the month of March/April), two major festivals take place on the Bhabanipur Temple premises. Besides “Sharodiyo Durgotshov”, “Dipannyta Shyama Puja” and “Nabanno” festivals also take place here.
Bhabanipur_Shaktipeeth_TempleThe Bhabanipur Temple Renovation, Development and Management Committee had/has been successfully looking after the temples’ activities and Ma Bhabani’s properties since 1991 up until August 2010. But because of the misapplication of a black law named Enemy Property Act or ‘Debottor’ or Vested Property Act, promulgated during the Pakistani period before the gain of the independence of Bangladesh on the 16th December 1971 through a liberation war, a large portion of Ma Bhabani’s properties (Most of which were donated by the Maharani of Natore) are being illegally occupied by miscreants and those properties need to be repossessed by the committee. Besides former publicity and publication editor of the committee, Journalist Diponkar Chakrabarty was assassinated on 02/10/2004 during the regime of the BNP-Jaamat coalition government for being active and vocal for the retrieval of about 500 acres of Debottor properties belonging to Ma Bhabani and for the protection of Bhabanipur Temple, but his murderers have not yet been punished even after the passing of about 11 years and 1 month. The murder of Dipankar was a great loss for the Bhabanipur Temple Committee and exemplary punishment of the criminals is being demanded. Moreover, on 13/02/2007 during the regime of the caretaker government, violating a court order and assaulting the treasurer of the committee, Combined Forces illegally destroyed the Guest House which was being built for the devotees by the committee. Repressive legal action was also taken against one human rights advocate due to his work on the illegal demolition of the Guest House.