Ekachakra is a small village, located 20 km away from the town of Rampurhat in the Birbhum District of West Bengal. Within Hindu tradition, the five Pandavas from the epic, Mahabharata are described as staying in Ekachakra during their years in exile. It is also famous as the birthplace of Nityananda Rama (b 1474 CE), a principal religious figure in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.
The village extends north and south for an area of about eight miles. Other villages, namely Viracandra-pura and Virabhadra-pura, are situated within the area of the village of Ekacakra. In honor of Virabhadra Goswami (the son of Nityananda), these places are renowned as Viracandra-pura and Virabhadra-pura.
There is an old Pippala tree here called 'Mala Tala'. Just before Nityananda departed the village in his youth, Hadai Pandita came here and chanted japa under this tree. Mala means “japa beads” and tala means “tree.” When Nitai was about to depart Hadai Pandita left his japa beads here due to anxiety. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Ekacakra many years after Nityananda left. It is said that at that time Chaitanya left his flower garland on a branch of this tree. Mala also means “garland.” Therefore also for this reason this tree was called Mala Tala.
Also known as Jahnu Kund It is said that Nitai brought all the sacred waters from all the holy places to this kunda to save the local residents from having to journey to the Ganges to take a sacred bath. It is named Hantugada because Nityananda Prabhu used to perform the Dadhi-cida festival of distributing chipped rice with yogurt prasadam here and He would take the prasada while kneeling down.
This place is a five minute walk (400m) into the fields, southeast of Nityananda’s birthplace. It is surrounded by a group of Keli-kadamba trees. The Pandavas are said to have lived here with their mother, Kunti, when they were exiled to the forest.
Bankima Raya Mandira:
The current deity within the Bankima Raya temple was found by Nityananda himself, within the Yamuna river of Ekachakra. The deity was then installed in a temple that is now submerged within Jahnu kunda. Nityananda is believed to have merged within this deity at the time of his disappearance. The present temple of Bankima Raya is also an old one. The deity of Jahnava Mata (Nityananda's wife) was placed beside him. In this temple there is also a small samadhi of Virachandra Goswami.