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Birbhum




Page: 20/29

Hindu Books > Temples And Legends of India > Temples And Legends Of Bengal > Birbhum

Brick-built deul at Bhandirban near Suri, Birbhum Dist. in Bengal Page19

Bakreswar is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. A visit to the place is an education by itself. There are hundreds of images of deities in a large number of temples within a specified area but there is hardly any human habitation not associated with the temples. Whoever is there at Bakreswar having something to do with the temples. At other places the deities live in a habitude village but at Bakreswar the men live for the deities. So Bakreswar is an idyllic deva- gram or a place where the deities live. The men that are there are the pujaris, pandas, pilgrims or the few shopkeepers who entirely depend on the rush of pilgrims to the temples.

Most of the temples are typical Charchala Bangla Mandir. Besides the typical Bangla Mandir type of temples there are quite a few temples of Orissan Rekhdeul type. A large number of temples are without any image. The main Bakranath temple is not a Bangla Mandir type but is more akin to the Rekhdeul of Orissa. The Sikara and amlaka of this large Bakranath temple could be seen from quite a distance. It appears that there was a pooling of skill of Bengali and Oriya artists and architects to execute the main temple of Bakreswar.

The environs are somewhat fearsome. To the east and north of the holy place runs the Bakreswar River and to the south is the Papahara River. By the side of this river there is a crematorium. The Papahara river is traditionally considered to be the agency for wiping out the sins of human frailties and that is why there is never a dearth of dead bodies brought even from a great distance for cremation and obtaining Mukti (salvation). Cremation looks to be a part and parcel of what makes Bakreswar. One is reminded of the Pashupatinath temple at Katmandu in Nepal to whose steps dead bodies are frequently brought for the last rest before confined to the flames.




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