Shaped like an isosceles triangle, Birbhum is located to the northern extremity of the Burdwan Division. The district of Birbhum is bounded on the north and west by Santhal Paraganas, on the south by the district of Burdwan and on the east by Murshidabad and Burdwan. The Ajay River separates Birbhum from Burdwan.
The history of Birbhum states that, in the beginning the present Birbhum was included partly in the country, "Rarh" and partly in "Vajjabhumi ". While part of Rarh, was well watered by rivers and rich in alluvial soil, the Vajjabhumi, the country of Thunderbolt, was wilder and rugged. According to the Jaina traditions, during the 5th Century, B.C., Mahavira, the last great Tirthankara, made a travel through these two tracts of land.
Initially ruled over by the Maurayan Emperors, Rarh came under the rule of the Guptas, of Shasankas and of Harshavardhana and then formed a part of the Pala kingdom. During the middle of 12th Century A.D. it became included in the empire of the Sena kings. The 13th Century A.D. saw the district passing over under the rule of the Muhammedans and after this for many centuries this land was ruled by the Hindu chiefs, called Bir Rajas.
Although until 1787, Birbhum was administered from Murshidabad, later on a separate administration was required and for that Birbhum was joined with Vishnupur and remained like this till 1793. In 1809, Birbhum collectorship was abolished, and in 1820, Birbhum was again constituted as a separate district. It restored to its former area excluding a few estates transferred to the Jungle Mahals. In 1872 the district of Birbhum had a total area of 1,344 square miles. Presently the district covers an area of 4545 Sq. Kms. The important rivers of the district include, the Mor, the Ajay, the Brahmani, the Pagla, the Bansloi, and the Kopai.
Tarapith, known as one of the SHAKTI PEETHAS, is a holy place for all Hindus where Maa Kali is worshipped as Maa Tara. This is the mahapith where Sadhak Bama Khyapa attained "Siddhi Laav". Every year this sacred place is visited by several millions of devotees who come to offer Puja to Maa Tara.
Tarapith is situated at around 300 miles from Kolkata in the state of West Bengal, India. Nestled on the banks of Dwarka river Tarapith has a history of its own. The previous temple of Tarapith which is now buried under the earth was built by Vasistha. The present temple was erected by a merchant, named Joybroto. It is said that Tara Maa came in his dreams and instructed him to unearth the 'brahmashila', or the sacred stone and establish it as a deity in a proper place. Therefore, the shrine of this place is dedicated to the goddess Tara Maa. Tara Maa, an incarnation of Maa Kali, is seen over here with two hands and Shiva sucking the breast of Tara Maa lying in her left lap. The deity is adorned with snakes and sacred thread. The image reflects the elegance of affectionate Mother Kali who saved Lord Shiva by feeding him Her breast milk. According to the legend when Shiva engulfed the poison to save the earth and was suffering from burns and pains, Maa Kali brought solace to him and saved him by feeding him Her breast milk. The devotees come here to get the cosmic blessings and affection of Tara Maa. The supreme mother protects us from the worldly poison encountered by us at every step of life. Maa Tara with all her motherly affection and blessings strengthens us to overcome the hurdles of life and find peace in life. Known as a famous center for Tantric Hinduism, the temple is the place where Tantric rituals are performed. Some practitioners of Tantrism can be seen near the temple. There is a pilgrims' inn near the temple and the grove, just beside is inhabited by monkeys. The closest Rampurhat Railway Station is at a distance of 8 km north.