© Sangram Datta
Lord Shiva Temple popularly known as
Shibbari, one of the ancient and most traditional structures in the Indian subcontinent, has been a spiritual practice for many centuries.
It has become known as holy place for spiritual thirst. Nirmay Shibbari’s name is written in golden letters in the history of this country.
The Shibbari is located at Sankarsena village in Srimangal Upazila under Moulvibazar District of Bangladesh .
Shivalinga is enshrined in an ancient house on the banks of the Vilasachara, 5 km south-east corner of Srimangal town. One has to climb the stairs on the high hill to visit the Baneshwar Shiva Linga.
There are various facts and legends about the establishment of the traditional Shibbari.
At first, in the 14th century, the region was under the dominion of the Maharaja of Tripura, but the vast barren forest was home to the indigenous Kukis. Often the Kuki feudal lords rebelled against the Maharaja of Tripura. Similarly, on the news of the rebellion of a feudal king, the Maharaja sent a group of soldiers under the leadership of his son-in-law to quell the rebellion. The Kukis were defeated in a fierce battle with the troops of the Tripura Monarch in the said region of Balishira Pargana, but the Maharaja’s commander was killed on the spot. The said commander’s wife, the daughter of the Maharaja, was widowed at a young age. In India, the practice of co-death was in use at that time. The princess came to the place where her husband was killed and expressed her desire to spend the rest of her life worshiping Shiva. Maharaja’s soldiers had earlier reported that a Shiva was staying at the deep forest here. On the other hand, Maharaja established Shiva Temple. After a long period of worship, the said princess attained success. Her name was Niramayi. According to her name the Shibbari is named Nirmai Shibbari. When Niramayi left the royal family, her younger sister Hurmayi also came with her. She also worshiped Shiva. But could not achieve success. Later she ( Hurmai) moved from here to Udaipur near Agartala.
On the other hand, two beautiful daughters of the Tripura royal family, Niramayi and Hurmayi, were arranged for marriage when they were marriageable, so they expressed their reluctance to marry. At that time, the Kuki feudal king in the Balishira region declared rebellion, and the Kuki king was defeated in a fierce battle with the troops of monarch from the capital to win their hearts. The royal soldiers had a vision of a Shivalinga on the bank of a lake in the deep forest. On Hearing the news, the two princesses came here and expressed their desire to spend the rest of their lives worshiping lord Shiva. The king accordingly sent his both daughters here along with the soldiers and vassals. Of the both Nirmai gained lord Shiva Baneshwar by worshiping Shiva. She spent the rest of her life here.
It is said that the princesses dug temples and jheels with the ornaments they brought with them when they came from the royal palace. The Dighi was named Nirmai Dighi after her. Near Nirmai Dighi there was another Dighi called Humai Dighi. Currently it is filled due to lack of renovation. According to another they came three sisters. The other sister’s name was Suramayi. Another dighi named Sur dighi has been found after her.
When the princesses moved here, the Monarch established a Shiva temple here in 1954 in AD. It is mentioned in the Assam district gazette vol. II( Sylhet) Chap. III, Page 107).
The Monarch donated Ashidron or 512 acres of land in the name of Shiva Temple for the maintenance of the princesses. Since then the name of this area is Ashidron.
Currently Ashidron is a separate union of Srimangal Upazilla. For security in this region ie Shiva Monarch sent a large number of army to protect Shankar (God Shiva). The region where the soldiers were stationed came to be known as Sankar Sena.
Later, a large population developed in this region. As it became a center of learning and culture, the toll was opened for Sanskrit learning. As about seven tolls were opened, the place was named Sattula or now known as Saitula. The said information is included in Srihatta’s book Itivarta.
Many ascetics have become immortal by pursuing this ever-awake Lord Shiva. There are many miraculous stories about this Shiva Temple. Adjacent to Shiva Bari a Kalimandir and now a Ganesha temple has been established. There is a perfect saint used to stay in that Kali temple. Both temples were almost destroyed by the disaster of the period. The temples were renovated with the help of various social astrologers with cooperation.
Late Bikas Dev Chowdhury, a prominent devotee of Srimangal rebuilt the Kali temple and re-established the Kali statue.
In March 2020, the sons of late Kamda Ranjan Bhattacharya, a resident of Uttarsur, established a Ganesha temple next to the Kali temple in their father’smemory.
Ratish Chandra Dev, education affairs secretary of the committee, said that after the partition of India in 1947, some land was registered in his name by a priest of the temple. Which is about 30 acres of land of Dighi’s ( large mere) watershed. On the other hand, about 720 acres of land is occupied by the neighboring Kalighat tea plantation.
At the time of settlement in 1990/92, about 18 acres of lands were declared devatar.
In 2010, A prayer has been put up to the DC office for about one acres of land for lease but the lease has not been granted so far.
In 2003, This temple was awarded the National Award by the Prime Minister for tree plantation.
Shri Ratish Babu also said that there are about 36 acres of lands at present.
Currently, Lord Shiva, Goddess Kali and God Ganesha are daily worshiped.
The 1953 Bhuvan Mangal Yajnanushthan in English was celebrated in the said Shiva Temple. Traditional fairs are being held every Shiv Chaturdashi and Chaitra months in Varani. Countless devotees from far and wide come here to pay their respects.
Shibbari had lost its past glory for a long time due to the erosion of time and mismanagement. Ignoring various adversities, former president Balai Bhattacharya’s board of directors took up the renovation and development plan of Shibbari and Kali temple with the help of philanthropists and religious individuals.
The implementation of the plans with the cooperation of the government and the local Union Parishad has been accelerated.
The Board of Directors of the committee is getting deep motivation in their activities with the tireless cooperation of the local religious people.
Nirmai Shibbari, the famous pilgrimage site of the subcontinent, has faced many disasters and has maintained its existence even today.
A distinguish doctor named Sattakam Chakraborty used to see local poor patients in a day every week.
Experienced circles are of the opinion that to strengthen its existence and bring back the past glory, it is necessary to expand the assistance and cooperation by all quarters.