– Dr A Pranesh
Bakreshwar is situated on Siori-Dubrajpur road in Birbhum district in West Bengal. According to mythology, during the wedding of Lakshmi and Narayana in Satya yuga, Indra insulted Muni Subrata. The saint got so enraged by humiliation, that his body got bent at eight places. Hence he was called Ashtavakra muni.
Later Ashtavakra muni went to Varanasi to do Tapas but he was directed by a divine lord to go to a distant place in Gaur (Bengal). So he came in search of a suitable location and found this place convenient and started his penance here for several years. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva blessed him. Shiva also requested Vishwakarma to build a temple for him. There is also an idol of Ashtavakra muni in the temple. It is customary to have darshan of Ashtavakra muni first and then Lord Shiva.
There are many old temples around main Bakreshwar temple but idols are missing in most of them.
Bakreshwar is also considered as one of the Shakti peetas, as Sati Devi’s forehead and eye brows had fallen here. A tablet record says a portion of the edifice was erected in 1761 A D by Darpanarayan.
There are eight hot springs of varying temperatures. But they are not separated. Temple has built steps all around and springs from all the eight pour out into one pond. There is also piped spring water facility adjacent to pond for people to bathe.