Kiriteshwari in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal has been selected as the Best Tourism Village of India 2023 by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Kiriteshwari village was selected as the winner from among 795 applications received from 31 states and UTs. The annual contest aims to improve and promote rural life and the cultural heritage of potential rural tourist destinations in India.
Located in Kiritkona, near the Bhagirathi River, in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, the village got its name from the Kiriteshwari temple, which is considered a holy place for Hindus.
Kiriteshwari village is famous for its local handloom businesses and a 1,000-year-old Kiriteshwari temple, which is one of the 51 Shaktipeethas in India. Shaktipeethas are important places of worship in Shaktism, built where it's believed different body parts of the goddess Sati fell. The Kiriteswari temple and the Kiriteswari Gupta temple are part of this shrine.
What's remarkable is that there is unity among the people of different faiths. The committee that looks after the temple has members from the Muslim community, and they actively participate in Hindu religious and cultural events. The Muslims have even given a piece of land to the Hindus because a part of the temple was located there.
How to visit the village?
If you want to visit the stunning village and its old temple, you can get down at the closest railway station, Dahapara train station on the Azimganj-Katwa railway line or Murshidabad railway station, and take a taxi or bus from there to the village.
If you're traveling on NH-34, it's 9 kilometers from Palsandamore.