The famous Dakshineswar Kali Temple is situated on the bank of Hoogly River and is in close proximity to the well known metro city and the city of joy named Kolkata. Dakshineswar Kali Temple is considered to be one of the most sacred and holy places among the Hindu Shrines and has the reputation to attract most number of devotees tourists over the years. Goddess Bhavatarini, an aspect of Goddess Kali, is the deity of this Dakshineswar Kali Temple. The work Bhavatarini depicts to one who liberates the followers and devotees from ocean of existence. The Dakshineswar Kali Temple is hugely built and covers area of over acers with excellent structure. Other than being well structured, this temple is also reputed for cleanliness. This famous temple was built in the year 1855 by a devotee and philanthropist of goddess Kali named Rani Rashmoni.
History of Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Rani Rashmoni is known for being a wealthy queen. She was a devotee of Goddess Kali and wanted to make a pilgrimage to other devotees in Varanasi in order to express her devotion to the Divine Goddess. But in the year of 1847, there was no railway connectivity between Kolkata and Varanasi and it was comfortable to travel by boats rather than by road. Thus Rani Rashmoni decided to arrange twenty four boats to carry her relatives, suppliers and servants to Varanasi. But the night before the start of journey, Divine Goddess intervened in the dream of the queen in the form of Goddess Kali and appealed to her to make a temple and worship there instead of going to Varanasi. Profoundly, Rani Rashmoni got influenced by the dream, immediately purchased land of 20 and started construction of the temple. Gradually the temple was constructed and the large temple complex had a shrine of Goddess Kali at the center. Other temples were also built hich were dedicated to the deities of Lord Shiva and Radha Krishna.
The architecture is built in traditional Bengal style with resemblances with the nire spires or Nava ratna. It is a south facing three storeyed construction with the upper two storeys having the nine spires. The idol of Divine Goddess Kali stands on the chest of Lying Lord Shiva and the idols are placed on lotus of one thousand petels made up of silver. The Dakshineswar Kali Temple consecrated 31st May 1855 and one lakh brahmins were invited by Rani Rashmoni to attend the auspicious ritual. An elderly saga, the guru of the queen, Ramkumar was given the responsibility to perform and lead the rituals of worship. But within a very short span of time, the priest expired and his responsibility was handed over to Ramakrishna, the younger brother of the previous priest. Ramakrishna performed his duty sincerely over the next thirty years since then and brought a great fame to sacred temple.
A total number of twelve identical temples of lord Shiva were also established within the premises of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple which are at close proximity to the river bank. The interior of all these temples is constructed with black and white stones and the Shiva Lingas are made up of black stones. These temples are facing in eastern direction and is equally divided by the river bank. Six Shiva temples are situated to the right side of the bank and the other six to the left. Other than series of Shiva temple, Vishnu temple is also located in the north east part of the complex.
During the Kali Puja festival, the Dakshineswar Kali Temple becomes center of attraction for all people. The Dakshineswar Kali Temple is decorated with lighting and flowers. Thousands of devotees visit to offer worship to the deity of Goddess Kali. The devotional songs played at the premises of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple enhances the spiritual appeal of this place in an excellent manner. On every Amabashya, i.e. New Moon day, the temple is decorated beautifully and extended arati in the evening is performed.
Other than the deities, the Dakshineswar Kali Temple consists of a library which has a collection of over seven thousand books. A membership is required to have an access to the library and borrow books from there. The books are in Hindi, Bengali and English languages and covers the subjects associated with religion, philosophy, social science etc.
In spite of thousands and thousands of devotees visiting the Dakshineswar Kali Temple premises every day, a well discipline and peaceful ambience is maintained by the temple committee. Devotees believe that the Dakshineswar Kali Temple serves as a spiritual energy and helps them get rid of all anxieties, mental agonies, family criticalities and enables to lead a happy and successful life. Whoever visits this Dakshineswar Kali Temple like to visit time and again.