Banoyārībāda – Śrīpāṭa of Śrīla Uddhārāṇa Datta Ṭhākura


Banoyārībāda/Sonārundhi is situated in the district of Murshidābād. At a distance of twelve kilometers from Kāṭwā towards north-west, Banoyārībāda is situated. Boarding a train from Kāṭwā in Kāṭwā-Āhmadapura narrowgauge railway route one gets down at Pāṅcandi station. From there one can travel three kilometers towards east by rickshaw-van to reach this Śrīpāṭa. Or else, one gets down at Bandara by bus towards Bolapura from Uddhāraṇapura and from there to reach Banoyārībāda palace takes ten minutes by walk. Or, one can go to Banoyārībāda by bus from Kāṭwā towards Śālāra or Baharampur and from the palace-gate, one can reach this Śrīpāṭa.

The old, huge palace can be seen here. Once upon a time, the state affairs were performed here in a big way and worship of God also was done in grandeur. There are still many Deities in the corridor of this old house. Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deities suurounded by eight sakhīs are there in the middle and at the left, the Deities of Śrī Śrī Gaura-Nitāi of Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura are exhibited. On the other side, Śrī Śrī Girirāja and Gaura-Gopāla are present. At the left of the temple, there are Deities of Balarāma, Bāla-gopāla and Brahmā. The local people consider them as the symbol of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva.

Śrī Śrī Gaura-Nitāi and Balarāma go to Uddhāraṇpura on the day before the last day of Pauṣa month (End of December). A ceremony in memory of separation from Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura is performed there. Bhoga kept in earthen pots is offered to the Deities. The Deities stay there for one day and then They come back. A big fair is set up on the occasion of the arrival of the Deities in Uddhāraṇapura. Samādhi of Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura is there. It is engraved on a piece of black stone near the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā- Kṛṣṇa Deity as, ‘The Deities are installed by Banoyāḍī Mukundadeva Bāhādura Dāsa Nandy in the year 1216, Śakābda 1731.’ There is no doubt that the Deities were worshiped before in a grand way. Presently, it is in a bad shape and very unclean. Pigeons are living there. Their stool and feather are scattered all over the place. There are two pūjārīs. They carry out the worship. It seems there is no proper arrangement of worship. At the left of the enrance of the palace, the eight sakhās (Friends) are worshiped in a room.




Sonarundhi, West Bengal
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