Bono Bibi : The spirit of Sundarban

The largest mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans, are home to the Bengal Tigers and are spread across Southern Bangladesh and West Bengal in eastern India. Bonbibi is a legendary lady of the forest, revered by both Hindu and Muslim locals and known as a guardian spirit of the forests.Before going into the forest, the woodcutters and honey gatherers mostly rely on her for defense from tigers’ assaults . It is thought that Banbibi’s archenemy, the demon lord Dakkhin Rai (or Dakshin Rai; meaning Lord of the South), truly materializes as a tiger and assaults people.


The accounts of Banbibi are found in a few writings named as the Banbibir Keramati (the enchanted deeds of Banbibi) or the Banbibir Jahuranama (radiance to Banbibi). Among its most punctual writers, Bayanuddin and Munshi Mohammad Khater are well known and their writings within the Bengali verse meter known as dwipodi-poyar (the two-footed line) are nearly comparative and are intensely affected by Persian and Quranic Arabic. These writings comprise of two major scenes, her fight with Dakkhin Rai and the story of Dukhe.

Within The Hungry Tide, his 2004 earthy person novel, Amitav Ghosh specified two accounts of the Banbibi story of “Dukhey’s Redemption.” In Stream of Fire, Qurratulain Hyder notices in a commentary that “Ban-Bibi” is Fatima, girl of prophet Muhammad and she is respected as the patroness of the woods by the timberland staying Muslims of Bengal.

Temple of Bono Bibi

In most of the shrines of Banbibi in the Sundarbans, Banbibi is worshipped along with her brother Shah Jangali and Dakkhin Rai.

Fight with Dakkhin Rai
Banbibi is accepted as the girl of Berahim (Ibrahim), a fakir from Mecca. When his to begin with spouse Phulbibi may not bear any child, Ibrahim (locally known as Berahim) hitched Golalbibi with Phulbibi’s authorization labeled with a condition of satisfying a wish of her in future. At the same time, God chosen to send Banbibi and Shah Jangali from paradise for a divine mission. He educating them to require birth as the children of Golalbibi. When Golalbibi got to be pregnant, Ibrahim cleared out her in a timberland to fulfill his to begin with wife’s wish, as he guaranteed her prior. Banbibi and Shah Jangali were born within the timberland to Golalbibi. Allah sent four house keepers from paradise to require care of them. Golalbibi deserted Banbibi within the timberland cleared out with Shah Jangali in her arms. Banbibi was raised within the woodland by a doe. After seven a long time, Ibrahim caught on his botch and took back Golalbibi and her two children to Mecca.

Once, while imploring at the mosque of the prophet of Islam, Banbibi and Shah Jangali gotten two mysterious caps. With the assistance of those enchanted caps, they flew to the nation of eighteen tides (atharo bhatir desh) in Hindustan (but, concurring to another form of the story, they were brought to the nation of eighteen tides by Gibril). After coming to there, Shah Jangali gave the adhan (call to supplication). The nation of eighteen tides (the Sundarbans) was beneath the control of the devil lord Dakkhin Rai, till their entry. The sound of adhan come to his ears. He sent his companion Sanatan Rai to investigate about them. When, Sanatan educated him approximately the twosome, he chosen to toss them out of his region. Whereas he was around to go into the fight, his mother Narayani anticipated him from going and she herself went with her armed force of apparitions and trolls to fight them. Banbibi vanquished Narayani after a long battle. But out of benevolence, she returned the half of the recent kingdom of Narayani and her child. Narayani got to be a companion of Banbibi.Whereas the possessed portion of the Sunderbans is accepted as the domain of Banbibi, Dakkhin Rai is accepted as the ruler of the profound timberland.

Story from Dukkhe
Once, there were two Moule (nectar collector) brothers, Dhona and Mona (or Dhanai and Manai) in a town named Barijhati. Dhona arranged to go for an undertaking with a armada of seven pontoons to gather nectar in a mahal (thick timberland) of the nation of the eighteen tides but his brother Mona restricted it. He took a poor shepherd boy, Dukhe at the side him. Some time recently clearing out, Dukhe’s mother told him to keep in mind Banbibi in case of any genuine inconvenience. When the fleet come to the Kendokhali char, which was a portion of the kingdom of Dakkhin Rai, Dhona overlooked to give an advertising to Dakkhin Rai. As a result, he was not able to gather any nectar or wax for three days. On the third night, Dakkhin Rai showed up in Dhona’s dreams and inquired him for a human give up. After a few contentions with Dakkhin Rai, greedy Dhona concurred to give up Dukhe in trade for nectar and wax. So, after collecting sufficient wax and nectar, he left Dukhe there and returned to his town. When Dukhe was approximately to be murdered by Dakkhin Rai within the disguise of a tiger, he begun chanting supplications conjuring Banbibi. On hearing his chant, Banbibi came beside her brother Shah Jangali to spare him. Shah Jangali vanquished Dakkhin Rai. After his vanquish, Dakkhin Rai took asylum with Bara Khan Ghazi (Gazi Pir). Banbibi and Shah Jangali taken after Dakkhin Rai there. At long last, Bara Khan Ghazi was able to persuade Banbibi not to hurt Dakkhin Rai. In return, Ghazi gave Dukhe seven carts full of valuable things, whereas Rai gave him a adequate sum of wax and nectar. Banbibi requested her pet crocodile, Seko, to drop him to his town. After his return to the town, Dukhe popularised the revere of Banbibi in the neighboring zones. Afterward, Dhona hitched his girl Champa to Dukhe, who had gotten to be the Chaudhury (chief) of the village.
Banbibi is adored by her Hindu devotees as Bandurga, Bandevi or as Banbibi, and her overwhelmingly Hindu pictures are found as wearing a crown and garland, carrying a club and trishul and her vahana (vehicle) may be a tiger. She is worshiped by her Muslim adherents as Banbibi and she is known as a pirani. Her transcendently Muslim pictures are found with braided hair, wearing a cap with a tikli. She wears ghagra and pajama (rather than a sari) and a combine of shoes. Both Hindu and Muslim pictures have a boy in her lap, believed as Dukhe by her admirers. Her vahana (mount) may be a tiger or a hen.

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