Shakti Peethas are very significant centres of Shakti worshippers. A rich mythological history and relevance is attached with all the 51 Shakti Peeth. Some of them are in India and some outside in other countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal as well. But our very own West Bengal has many of these Shakti Peethas which are very popular sites of pilgrimage for the devotees. One of those temples is the Kankalitala in the Bolpur subdivision in the district of Birbhum.
Furthermore Bolpur is one of the major tourist spots for people in Bengal and around because of Shantiniketan and its connection with Famous poet and Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Many people make a trip to the Kankalitala Mandir on their journey to pay their visit to the Goddess here. Furthermore even the Goddess is considered as one of the most revered Shakti shrines and the faith of the devotees on her makes it even more powerful. So if you are ever visiting Bolpur then Kankalitala Temple should definitely be a part of your itinerary. In this article I will be mentioning all the necessary information about Kankalitala Satipeeth. So keep on reading because this is going to be a helpful read for you in planning a trip to this temple.
Location: Bolpur Labh Pur Road, Kankalitala, West Bengal
Kankalitala Temple timings: 6 am to 8 pm
Entry fee: There is no entry fee
How to reach Kankalitala Temple:
The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in Kolkata which is around 153 km away from the Kankalitala Temple.
You can get multiple trains from Howrah like Ganadevta Express, Black Diamond Express, Vande Bharat Express etc to reach Bolpur from Kolkata in about 2 hours and 10 minutes. From Bolpur Railway station the Kankalitala Temple is about 8.5 km and you can reach there via local transport like rickshaw or you can even hire a car.
Kankalitala distance from Kolkata is about 167 km and it would take around 4 hours and 15 minutes to reach there in a car. Tarapith to Kankalitala distance is 58 km and it takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach there. Bolpur to Kankalitala distance is about 8 km and you can reach the temple in about 19 minutes via NH 14 and Bolpur- Labhpur Road.
History of Kankalitala Temple
Kankalitala temple history in Bengali culture holds a lot of importance. The main legend behind the creation of the temple is related to the origin and formation of the shakti peethas. It is believed that Devi Sati married Lord Shiva against her father’s wishes. Later once she wanted to attend a Havan arranged by her father but Lord Shiva was not invited there. Still Devi Sati wanted to attend that Yagna against Lord Shiva’s wishes. However when she reached there Devi Sati was humiliated there along with Lord Shiva.
Furthermore Devi Sati could not bear the humiliation of her husband and therefore decided to sacrifice herself in the fire. When Lord Shiva came to know about this incident he was deeply hurt and became furious. He started his Tandav or Dance of Destruction with the corpse of Devi Sati carried on his shoulder. If this had continued further then the whole world would have been destroyed. Therefore Lord Vishnu came for the rescue. He let his Sudarshan Chakra cut the body parts of Devi Sati and everywhere that her body parts fell the Shakti Peethas were created. However it is believed that the waist of Sati, that is the Kakal in Bengali, fell here out of the 51 body parts.
It is further believed that when the waist of Goddess Sati fell here it created a depression on Earth and later in the times the same area was filled with water. At present that same area is worshipped as the Divine Kund or Holy Pond. Furthermore this Kund is even more significant than the main idol inside the temple. The shallow pond is surrounded by a concrete wall and topped with red fencing and the barrier of the pond is open. From there you will find steps down to reach the holy water of the Kund.
Architecture of Kankalitala Temple
Kankalitala Shakti Peeth is one of the simplest temples with a straightforward architecture. The Garbhagriha or the Womb Chamber of the temple that contains the main idol is a pyramidal structure embellished with metallic spires. There is a raised platform known as the Nat Mandir which is rectangular in shape and from there the main idol is visible. Unlike other temples here you will not find a deity of the Goddess made with Clay, Metal or Stone. At the Kankalitala Temple you will find a framed painting of the Goddess Kankali.
Furthermore like any other Shakti Peeth here the Goddess is accompanied by his divine partner in the form of Ruru Bhairav or Shambhu Baba. You will find a dedicated Shiva temple near the entrance of the Kankalitala Temple which is a paved white marble temple. However here the Shiva lingam is buried and the devotees offer holy water into the pit where the lingam was shattered. Previously this Shiva lingam was massive but during the 16th century Afgan rule, the temple was destroyed by Muslim invaders.
Best time to visit Kankalitala Kali Temple
The ideal time to visit the Kankalitala Temple is from October to March. During this time the weather here is pleasant and is ideal for exploring the area. Also if you want you can visit here during the Durga Puja and Navratri festivals. These are prominent festivals in the temple and many devotees visit here during this time to offer their prayer to the Goddess. You may skip visiting here during the peak summer months as the temperature of Birbhum goes above 40 degrees which can be very uncomfortable.
Pooja in Kankalitala Temple
On a regular basis Snana and Nitya Puja is performed here. Also there are specific pujas done here on specific festivals or occasions like Shivaratri, month of Shravan and Navaratri. Tuesdays and Saturdays are the most important days for the worship of the deities here.
Significance of the Kankalitala Temple Visit
The Kankalitala Temple is believed to be one of the most powerful Shakti shrines and people visit here to receive the blessing of the Goddess
- To attain salvation
- For seeking prosperity in wealth
- To seek relief from diseases and improvement of health
- For the wealth for purchase of vehicles
- And to gain knowledge
Festivals in Kankalitala Temple
Many festivals are celebrated in the Kankalitala Temple throughout the year. They are
- Durga Puja
- Kali Puja
- Annakuta Puja
- Sawan Puja
- Makar Sankranti
- Sharad Purnima
Nearby places to visit from the Kankalitala temple
Bolpur is one of the major tourist destinations in Birbhum and there are many popular tourist spots that you can visit near the Kankalitala temple. Some of them are
This is a weekend open market that is extremely popular in Bolpur. Here the local artists and sellers gather and sell various handicrafts items, home décor, household items, handmade jewellery, handloom sarees, handloom jewelleries, bags and a lot more. It is like a haven for the shopaholics so do not miss visiting the Haat. Kankalitala to Sonajhuri distance is about 7.7 km and by taking any local transport or car you can reach there in about 18 minutes.
This is another important centre for shopping local art and craft goods. It is a cooperative society which is created to promote the indigenous art and craft and culture of the land. Also this place is known for providing support and employment to women.
A tributary of the Mayurakshi River, the Kopai is one of the popular tourist spots here. But during off months the river is usually dried down and only a very small string of water will be visible.
As the name suggests this place is made like a hub for showcasing the traditional art and craft. Here you will find museums dedicated to different states, tribal art, folk paintings and a lot more.
Other than that you can also visit Uttarayan Complex, Visva Bharati University Campus, Khoai, and Deer Park as well.
Places to stay near Kankalitala Temple
Bolpur is a developed tourist destination and you will find a good number of hotels and resorts here where you can stay. Some of the well known ones are Hotel Royal Bengal, Ram Shyam Village Resort, Amravati Homestay Shantiniketan, Shakuntala Village Resort, Camellia Shantiniketan , Shantiniketan Residency, Rangamati Garden Resort etc.
There is a lot of relevance attached to this revered Shakti shrine in Bengal and if you are Shakti worshipper and believer then you cannot miss out on visiting this temple. What makes it even more significant is the kind of belief and faith the devotees have on the Goddess here. It is believed that one can attain salvation after visiting the temple here. It is one of the most peaceful temples that you can visit with a beautiful serene atmosphere.
Furthermore you can also enjoy the terracotta work done around the temple along with enjoying traditional Santhal Dance inside the temple premise on special days and enjoy the essence of folk culture. Overall this can be one of the most cherishing and peaceful experiences for you. Do let me know when you are planning a visit to the Kankalitala Shakti Peeth. Also do let me know if this article on the Kankalitala temple is helpful for you in planning a trip there.