Bhabanipur Shaktipeeth Pilgrimage Site
Located along the Karatoya River, about 28 kilometers from the Sherpur Upazila of the Bogra District in the Rajshahi Division of Bangladesh, Bhabanipur Shaktipeeth is a place of worship dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shakti, also referred to as Durga, Sati or Parvati. As one of the Shakti Peethas, Bhabanipur is historically a pilgrimage destination for adherents to this particular denomination of Hinduism which worships Shakti as their Divine Mother. The numerous temples at the site and the holy Shakha-Pukur pond are visited by devotees from all around Bangladesh and beyond its borders.
While there is some dispute over which version of the legend is true, it is said that the goddess Shakti’s ankle ornament, bedding, right eye or left ribs fell at Bhabanipur, thereby designating it as a holy site. Legend has it that a dealer in conch-bangles was passing along in the dense jungle near the Bhabanipur temple when he met a little girl who bought a pair of bangles from him, telling him that she was the daughter of the Natore Rajbari. She told him to collect the money for her purchase from the Maharani Bhabani, and when he did so, the Maharani rushed to the pond where the dealer had met the girl and plunged into the water. Upon rising out of the water she had the conch-bangles on her wrists leading those witnessing the event to declare her as divine. To this day, devotees immerse themselves in the Shakha-Pukur (conch-bangle) pond as part of their pilgrimage rituals.
Various acts of devotion take place each day at Bhabanipur Shaktipeeth, with devotees making offerings to the Divine Mother. Annual religious festivals taking place at the Bhabanipur temples include Maghi Purnima in the month of Magh/Falgun on the Bengali calendar; Ram Nabomi in the month of Chaitra/Baishakh; Durgotshov in the autumn season; Dipannita Shyama Puja; and Nabanna in the month of Aghrahoyon.