Tarakeshwar Temple is a popular Hindu pilgrimage destination in West Bengal
. The Taraknath Temple is located in the town of Tarakeshwar, near Serampore, in the district of Hooghly
in West Bengal
. Tarakeshwar Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva
and is the supreme centre of the Shiva sect in Bengal. Tarakeswar is situated at 22.89 degree N 88.02 degree E. The average elevation of the region is 18 m. Tarakeshwar is located 58 km from the city of Kolkata and is well connected by train.
Legend of Tarakeshwar Temple
Tarakeshwar Temple was established in the 18th century. There is a legend related to the formation of the temple. Vishnu Das, a devotee of Lord Shiva, immigrated with his family to the region from Ayodhya
(Oude). He and his family members were not properly accepted by the locals and were viewed with utmost suspicion. Supposedly, Vishnu Das proved his innocence by grabbing hold of a red hot iron bar in his hand and earned a good reputation amongst the locals.
Some time later, Vishnu`s brother discovered a place in the forest nearby, where cattle released the milk in their udders at a specific location every day. After exploring the area, the brothers found a Shiva Lingam on that spot. It is widely believed that the brothers had a divine dream which revealed that the Shiva lingam
was a manifestation of Lord Shiva in the form of Baba Tarakeshwar. Lord Shiva is considered as the primal and ultimate power in the universe and the source of everything. Eventually a temple was built on the exact place which came to be known as Taraknath Temple of Tarakeshwar. The temple has been renovated many times over the subsequent years.
Temple of Baba Taraknath
The Tarakeshwar Temple is one of the prime pilgrimage destinations for the people of Bengal. The structure of Atchala, which consist a Nat Mandir in the front area, is the major attraction of the Taraknath Temple. There are also shrines of Lakshmi-Narayan and Goddess Kali
in the nearby area. There is a tank named Dudhpukur, which is located towards the north of the Taraknath temple, is considered to fulfill the prayers of the devotees who bathe in the holy waters of the tank.
Tourism of Tarakeshwar Temple
Numerous devotees and pilgrims visit Tarakeshwar temple from around the country, throughout the year. Most of the pilgrims come particularly on Mondays. Moreover, during the occasions of Gajan and Shivaratri
, thousands of devotees throng the temple site. Gajan is conducted for 5 consecutive days and concludes on the last day of Chaitra
, during mid-April. Where as, Shivaratri occurs in Falgun, that is between February and March. The month of Sravana, between mid-July to mid-August, is considered auspicious for Lord Shiva and his worshippers. During this time, various celebrations are conducted every Monday.