An insight to the beautiful Dakshineshwar Kali Temple

A place worth visiting

by Subhechcha Ganguly

In Dakshineswar, Kolkata, West Bengal, India, there is a Hindu navaratna temple called the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. The presiding goddess of the temple, which is located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, is Bhavatarini, a manifestation of Parashakti Adya Kali, also known as Adishakti Kalika. Rani Rashmoni, a Zamindar, philanthropist, and devotee of Kali, erected the shrine in 1855. The temple is well-known for its connections to Bengali mystics Ramakrishna and Ma Sarada Devi from the 19th century.

The Radhakanta temple in Navaratna style, constructed by Babu Ramnath Mondal of Tollygunge, served as inspiration for the main temple. In addition to the main temple with nine spires, the temple compound also has rooms along the perimeter walls of a sizable courtyard. Along the riverfront are twelve shrines to Shiva, Kali’s spouse, a Radha-Krishna temple, a riverside bathing ghat, and a shrine to Rani Rashmoni. Ramakrishna and Maa Sarada spent a large portion of their lives in “Nahabat,” the room in the northwest corner just past the final Shiva shrine.

Rani was so deeply impacted by the dream that she searched for and bought a 30,000-acre tract in the village of Dakshineswar right away. Between 1847 and 1855, a sizable temple complex was constructed. Jake Hastie, an Englishman, sold the 20-acre (81,000 m2) site, which at the time was known as Saheban Bagicha. It took eight years and nine hundred thousand rupees to finish the construction of the partially old Muslim burial cemetery, which according to Tantra traditions is shaped like a tortoise and is suitable for the worship of Shakti. On May 31, 1855, during celebrations at the temple formerly known as Sri Sri Jagadishwari Kali, head priest Ramkumar Chhattopadhyay erected the idol of Goddess Kali.The row of twelve identical Shiva temples, built in the distinctive aat-chala Bengali style and facing the east close to the main temple, are situated on either side of the ghat on the Hooghly river. The Vishnu Temple, also known as the Radha Kanta Temple, is located to the northeast of the Temple Complex. A set of stairs leads to the temple, where a silver seat is adorned with an idol of Lord Krishna that is 21+12 inches (550 mm) in height and an idol of Radha that measures 16 inches (410 mm) in height.

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