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West Bengal - Bakreshwar
Bakreshwar (also spelt Bakreswar) is a pilgrimage centre situated at a distance of 230 km from Kolkata. On the way to Bakreshwar, Mama-Bhagne hill of Dubrajpur is an attractive destination for picnic lovers. The name Dubrajpur has come from the old name Yuvrajpore Pahareshwar Shiva temple, Kali temple and 3 other temples depicting Terracotta architectures are some of the well known places of Dubrajpur. If you are a lover of old temples then the Shiva temple, one of the ancient temples of India, built in 1296 depicting terracotta architectures, should be a destination for you.
Brakreshwar is famous for its hot springs, along with the Bakreshwar River and the Paphara River. Brahma kunda, Agni kunda, Jibita kunda, Chandra kunda, Soubhagya kunda, Surya kunda, Khar kunda, Bhairav kunda are the names of the ten hot springs of Bakreshwar. It is said that the water has healing powers. There is a large pond for bathers. Piped water is also available for those who do not desire to get down into the pond. The water of Soubhagya kunda attains a dull white color during early morning probably due to ozone concentration. The temperature of hot springs varies from 36 – 72 degree Celsius. Bakreshwar, The major pilgrimage spot for Hindus is renowned as one of the 51 Shakti Pithas. A temple, dedicated to Adi Shakti is there. The main temple of Bakreshwar is Bakreshwar Shiva temple which depicts Rekhdeul architecture of Odissa. Temple lovers will also enjoy the divine atmospheres of Mahishmardini temple, Harishwari Kali temple, Devi Rudra Chandi temple etc.
Bakreshwar is also famous for its Thermal Power Plant which is built in joint collaboration of the central Govt of India, the State Govt of India and the O.E.C.F of Japan in the year 1999.
Beside Bakreshwar in the village of Tantipara, there are a large number of handloom levers can be seen. Varieties of silk products are available here. You should take a short tour to Tantipara- "The village of Handloom products".
Hetampur, situated at a distance of 3 km from Dubrajpur is well known for its Ranjan Palace. Ranjan Palace was built with care by the king Ram Ranjan Chakraborty in 1780. The Ranjan palace resembles the architecture of Hazarduary of Murshidabad. Besides the palace, Laldighi is also very popular along with 8 Shiva temples situated at the right hand side of Laldighi. The mausoleum memorizing the beautiful Serina, the daughter of the king Sultan Ahmed is built on the near by field is an attraction to the visitors.
Travelers can contemplate visiting Hetampur and have a look at the octagonal Chandranath Shiva temple and the Dewanji Shiva temple. For those who would like to spend a night, they would have to retreat to Elambazar which is 21 Km away from Bakreshwar, as there is no facility for a night stay at Hetampur. Ilambazar Bugalow is a nice place if you decide to spend a night there. Watching the natural beauty of the forest from Ilambazar Bungalow is a delightful experience. You can also stay at one of the cottages of Babli forest, a 6 km away destination from Ilambazar.
If time permits you can also visit to Birnagar, a 9 km away place from Bakreshwar. Birnagar is a place for those who love historical places. The name Birnagar is associated with the name of the king Lakhan Sen, the son Ballal Sen. 32 mile long wall which was built to protect Birnagar from British and Bargi soldiers is now stands destroyed. The two storied Imambada built at the time of Siraj-Ud-daula, Debi kalika temple situated in the middle of the pond Kalidaha, Matichura mosque depicting Hindu and Muslim architectures together, Tatloy hot spring situated at a distance of 12 km at Jharkhand border are the other sought after places.
How to reach: About 59 km from Santiniketan is Bakreshwar. Take a train to Dubrajpore or Suri which is situated at a distance of 19 km from Bakreshwar. Bus is the best option to Bakreshwar from Suri. If you decide to avail bus service from Kolkata you can take a CSTC bus from Esplanade, Kolkata to go to Bakreshwar, situated at a distance of 129 km from Kolkata. Pwd bungalow in Bakreshwar is a very good place to stay there. It is not a bad idea if you can plan your trip by a rented car or by your own vehicle.