Maa Dhakeshwari of Dhaka became a refugee in Kolkata like millions of Hindus after partition of Bharat


Sangram Datta:
It's unpleasant but true that the original murti ( Statue ) of Dhakeswari is presently situated at Kumartuli in Kolkata of Bharat.

Partition of Bharat-Pakistan was accomplished in 1947 by declaring independence at midnight.  
In the bloody riots, People specially Sanatans left their homes of their motherland
in the darkness of the night  in one piece of cloth. Those people started fleeing from East Pakistan as refugees in the West Bengal of Bharat.  
On that day, not only people were refugees, but the goddess Dhakeswari was also compelled to leave the country.  She ( Deity)had to secretly come to Kolkata and take refuge at Kumartuli in the North Kolkata.

Dhakeshwari Temple of Dhaka is now a national temple declared by the government of Bangladesh. Not only that, this temple is also known as Satipeeth.  

Legend says it that Sati's crown jewel fell here.  It is one of the famous Shaktipeeths of  Bharat's subcontinent.  The word Dhakeshwari means 'Ishwari of Dhaka' or protectress of Dhaka city'.  The name 'Dhaka' is derived from the name of the Goddess Dhakeswari.  But how strange that the protectress of Dhaka city one day had to flee to the West Bengal like countless refugees after the partition of Bharat in 1947.

It is said that King Adisur exiled one of his queens to the forest beside the river Buriganga.  The queen gave birth to Ballal Sen in that forest.  As a child, Ballal Sen found an idol in the forest.  Later, he established the temple in Raja Hall where he found the murti (Idol )of the goddess. The name of the goddess is either 'Dhaka + Ishwari' or 'Dhakeshwari' as the murti ( Idol) was found covered in the forest.  
The temple is also known as 'Dhakeshwari Temple'.  Raja Mansingh, who was the Subedar of Bengal from 1594-1606 found the dilapidated condition of the temple and arranged for its renovation.  At this time, he established four Shiva Lingas in the premises of temple  and also constructed four Shiva Mandirs ( Temple).  
The original murti (Idol) of the Goddess Dhakeswari is 800 years old.  The height of murti is one and a half feet. The goddess has ten hands. She is in the form of Mahishasuramardini Durga. The deities Laxshmi, Saraswati on the side and Kartik and Ganesha below.  Pasuraj standing on a lion as a vehicle killed the goddess Mahishasur.  Raja Mansingh employed a Tiwari family  from Azamgarh as it's priests.

Bharat obtained independence in August 1947.  And with the independence, the two divided provinces of Punjab and Bengal began to be filled with refugees. Overnight the village is deserted, no one can find the family again.  Dhakeshwari temple also faced such a situation. Hindus wanted to protect the goddess from attacks and looting during the post-partition riots. No matter how Dhaka's tradition is, murties (Idols) need to be protected during such an exciting situation.

The priests  became active there. It's decided that a special flight will be arranged for Dhakeswari Mata for Kolkata. The arrangement started very secretly.  The original murti (Idol) was secretly and hurriedly brought to Kolkata in 1948 by Rajendra Kishore Tiwari and Harihar Chakraborty.  The real Dhakeshwari murti was brought to Kolkata secretly in a special plane from Dhaka.

For the first two years after the murti was brought to Kolkata, the goddess was worshiped at the house of Devendranath Chowdhury in Har Chandra Mallick Street.  Later, around 1950, Businessman Devendranath Chowdhury built a Mandir (temple) of the goddess at the Kumartuli area and established it and donated some property for the daily service of the goddess.  After the re-establishment of the goddess in Kolkata on 26 March 1950, Puja ( Worship) has been taking place there.  The Mandir also has a picture of how the goddess was brought from Dhaka unadorned and almost coverless. Descendants of the Tiwari family from Dhaka fled a way to Kolkata and re-engaged as priests, they still serve the goddess daily.  Navratri is celebrated in this Durga Mandir (Temple).  According to Bengali, Saptami to Dashami puja ( Worship ) is performed.  All the arrangements of this puja are performed according to Brihanandikaran Durga Puja method.  Panchvanjan and chutney are offered on Saptami.  Polao, khichuri ( Hotchpotch ) vegetables, pies and chutney are served on Ashtami.  Polao and Puri are served on Mahanavami.  Undevided lamp is lit here in honor of Shukla Pratipada of Shardia.  Three pots or pitchers of the Goddess are placed.  Lamps are placed on the occasion instead of dabs and towels.  Barley is planted in the shape of Mars sign with soil on the body.  Devotees are offered Khichuri ( Hotchpotch) Prasad every year on Mahasthami.  At one time there was a practice of sacrifice here like Dhakeshwari temple in Dhaka but now it has stopped.  During sandhi puja only chalkumro is sacrificed here.

Historian and professor of Maulana Azad College of Kolkata Ayan Bandyopadhyay said, hundreds of such examples can be given from the mediaeval time.  But there are such examples in the modern era as well.  The real murti ( idol) of Dhaka's presiding deity Dhakeshwari had to be brought to Kolkata in 1948 to save it from fear and riots.  The ancient murti of the goddess Dhakeswari is still worshiped in Kolkata.

Along with millions of people, the goddess Dhakeswari also took refuge in Kolkata .  She had to move a way from the place where she was so many years. The original temple still stands in the heart of Dhaka city, about 305 km away from Kolkata.  Another murti similar to that of Dhakeswari mother is kept and worshiped here.  And murti or statue of
about 800-year-old is set at Durgacharan Street of Kumartuli area in Kolkata.  The temple stands in silence, witnessing the bloody history of partition at a narrow lane of Kumortuli beyond Shubabazar in North Kolkata. The temple worships the Goddess Dhakeswari who came to Bharat from East Pakistan ( Now Bangladesh)as a refugee.

Sources : 1) 'Kolkata Karcha', 25 September 2017, Anandabazar Patrika, 2) ' Anadrita Ratna (Unsung Gem) 47: Dhakeswari Mata Mandir, Kumartuli', Ashish Kumar Chattopadhyay, Kaulal and Journalist Raktim Das.

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