Bhabanipur, located at Sherpur upazilla of Bogura District, Bangladesh, is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of Goddess Sati. It is a sacred pilgrimage site for the followers of Hinduism. The Shakti Devi of this Shaktipeeth is Ma Aparna and the Bhairava is Baba Bamesh/Bamon.
Historical Significance of the Site: According to enormous mythological stories in the Puranas, 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 Shaktipeeths. At the Bhabanipur Temple premises, the left anklet (ornament), ribs of left chest, right eye or the bedding of Sati had fallen.
One upon a time, after finding out about the increasing number of demons, Ma Kali/Tara got so much enraged that She arbitrarily started destroying demons. Finding no other way to stop Ma Kali, Baba Mohadev/Shiva lay down on the way in front of Ma and the unmindful divine mother unintentionally stepped Her foot on the chest of lying Baba Shiva. After realizing quickly about this disrespectful act to Her husband, Ma Kali returned back to normalcy.
A 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 can reach Bhabanipur through Mirzapur "Ranirhat More" (on Dhaka-Rangpur highways, then Taras-Ranirhat-Sherpur Road, then turning at Amboil Bot-tola towards Bhabanipur Road) or Ghoga Bot-tola bus-stoppage (on Dhaka-Rangpur highways) of Sherpur Upazilla of Bogura 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 and Ram Nabomi, two major festivals take place on the Bhabanipur Temple premises. Besides "Sharodiyo Durgotshov", "Dipannyta Shyama Puja" and "Nabanno" festivals also take place here.
The 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.
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 instead of arresting and punishing his murderers, a mockery of justice has been made / is being made all along in these 19 years (Reports in the Daily Prothom Alo: Oct 3 2015, Oct 2 2016, Oct 3 2017 - 1, 2, Mar 7 2017, Jan 26 2018, Oct 3 2018, Oct 3 2019, Oct 3 2020, Oct 2 2022, Oct 3 2022, Oct 2 2023, Oct 3 2023. Reports in the Daily Karatoa: January 26 2018-1, 2, Oct 3 2018, Oct 2 2019-1, 2, Oct 3 2019, Oct 2 2020-1, 2, Oct 2 2021-1, 2, Oct 3 2021-1, 2, Oct 2 2022-1, 2, Oct 3 2022, Oct 3 2023). 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 Dulal Talukder, Combined Forces illegally destroyed the Guest House which was being built for the devotees by the committee. Repressive legal action was also taken against human rights advocate Rabindra Ghosh due to his work on the illegal demolition of the Guest House.
An email was sent to UN officials praying for investigation into the matters to take some measures immediately to resolve the sensitive and important issues concerning Bhabanipur as well as those of long-standing repression issues on the religious minorities of Bangladesh.
If there is any complaint against the committee, then it is being proposed to reach a solution as soon as possible through proper and impartial investigation by a credible authority.