Sikarpur, Jalpaiguri, WestBengal
Idols of Devi Choudhurani and Bhabani Pathak are worshipped in a temple amid the Sikarpur Tea Garden, believed to have been the worship place of Bhabani Pathak, a devotee of MaKali. The temple, according to local residents, has been there for ages and so has the river whose gurgling waters still flow behind the temple. The river is known as the Trisrota.
According to legend, Devi Choudhurani, originally known as Prafulla, was the queen of Manthani estate of Rangpur district. After being abandoned by her husband, she was given shelter by Pathak, who also led a band of dacoits. Devi later became a part of their gang. Bhabani Pathak was also known to have led the Sanyasi revolution in Rangpur and Estern Himalayan Foothills.
Legend has it that theBajraof Devi Choudhurani used to sail on the waters of this river, moving between Rangpur (At present a district in Bangladesh) and Baikunthapur. Several idols of Devi Choudhurani and Bhabani Pathak are still found in this area.
The temple, which resembles a pagoda, has a steady stream of worshippers from the nearby areas who throng the place during the puja of Devi and Pathak. Kali puja is celebrated in a big way in this abode of the goddess, continuing a tradition that the local priest says was started by Bhabani Pathak.
The idols of Devi Choudhurani and her associates, carved out of wood, have a medieval look about them. The resemblance that the wooden idols share with the people of the area can only be explained by the fact that the artist seems to have drawn on the natural features of local residents while working on his creation.