Published: 19 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/gfm57f27ys.1
Md Siddique Hossain MD S HOSSAIN


Abstract: The district of Birbhum in the Indian state of West Bengal is named after King Bir Singh; the area is renowned for its many myths and folklore figures. This article delves into the historical context and importance of three famous West Birbhum folk deities: Rudreshvara (also called Kalarudra or Kalaraya), Banesvara (also called Sankatatabhairava), and Vanadevi Ma Dwarvasini. The origin myths and rituals of these deities are deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of each community. The local populations' traditions, cultural importance, and historical backgrounds will be illuminated by this investigation. The article highlights the strong beliefs and traditions that are alive and well in Birbhum, even in the face of contemporary influences. Keyboards: Birbhum district, Folk deities, Rudreshwar, Baneshwar, Vanadevi Dwarvasini , Rituals and traditions etc. Introduction and Background : Birbhum district, situated in the western part of West Bengal, is a region steeped in cultural heritage and folklore. The name "Birbhum" is believed to be inspired by King Bir Singh, reflecting the area's historical significance. The district is divided into several sections, each with its own unique cultural and religious practices. Among the notable aspects of Birbhum's cultural landscape are its folk deities, which are revered by the local communities and play a vital role in their daily lives. This essay focuses on three significant folk deities from the western part of Birbhum: Rudreshvara (also known as Kalarudra or Kalaraya), Banesvara (Sankatabhairava), and Vanadevi Ma Dwarvasini. These deities are not only central to the religious practices of their respective villages but also embody the historical and cultural ethos of the region. Through detailed descriptions of their origin stories, rituals, and the role they play in the lives of the local people, this essay aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of their significance. The village of Rupuspur, located in the Khairashol Panchayat Samiti, is home to the deity Rudreshvara. The legend surrounding the black stone Shivalinga of Rudreshvara highlights the deep-rooted belief in divine interventions and the rituals performed to honor this deity. Similarly, Banesvara, worshipped in the same village, has unique rituals involving kadam flowers and a significant historical association with the local royalty. Further, the essay explores the deity Vanadevi Ma Dwarvasini, located in the Hinglo Panchayat of Mohammad Bazar Panchayat Samiti. This deity, believed to be a manifestation of Mother Durga, has an ancient rock idol and is worshipped with great reverence by the local communities. The rituals and festivals dedicated to these deities underscore the rich tapestry of cultural traditions that define Birbhum. ..


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Conclusion: This study explores the complex web of folk gods venerated in the western part of the Birbhum district, where towns like Rupuspur are located. Rudreshwar, Baneshwar (Sankatabhairava), and Vanadevi Dwarvasini are some of the local deities described in depth in this article. The author draws attention to their religious importance, distinctive rituals, and the enduring faith of the local people. The villagers' cultural and spiritual life are greatly impacted by these deities, who are worshipped with great devotion and in accordance with ancient rituals. The inhabitants' unwavering commitment to maintaining these holy rituals highlights the lasting significance of these deities in their lives, even in the face of modernity and increasing human activity. The essay comes to the conclusion that the community's faithful observance of rituals and festivals, which are manifestations of their unfaltering devotion to these folk gods, has maintained them through generations and will most certainly do the same in the future.


Bangabasi Morning College


Literature, Folklore