Among the five ShaktipiTha-s in the land of Birbhum in Bengal, the one considered most terrifying since early times was Kankalitala. It is believed the skeleton of Sati fell near a pond in this place. Close to the temple is a cremation ground and a north-flowing river named Kopai. All such areas which have a cremation ground and Northern rivers are considered extremely auspicious for Shakti sadhana. Particularly, this pitha was famous for the vikata Shakti of the Divine Mother, as mentioned in texts, only some rare and particularly dangerous sadhanas were performed here which could not be done in any other place. The other reason why this pitha invoked a sense of awe and fear was that mistakes or unethical Tantric practices are believed to invite immediate and ruthless penalty from the Devi. The Goddess resides here in the form of Smashana Kali. The temple has only a photo drawn in a Tantrik manner without any idol. At an ancient time this area belonged to tribals, the word “bir” in their language meant forest (not be confused with vira of Sanskrit).

Photo: Kankalitala, from Google Image Search.

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