Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu temple located in Dakshineswar near Kolkata. It is situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River. In this temple Bhavtarini a form of Goddess Kali is worshipped.The meaning of Bhavtarini is 'She who takes Her devotees across the ocean of existence'.
In 1855, the temple was built by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is situated alongside the Vivekananda Bridge north of Kolkata, about 20 km. from BBD Bagh.
The speciality about this temple is that it is built on a raised platform.It is built in the traditional 'Nav-ratna' style of Bengal architecture. The three-storeyed south-facing temple has nine spires distributed in upper two storeys, and stands on a high platform with a flight of stairs, over all it measures 46feet and rises over 100feet (30m) high.
The garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum) houses an idol of goddess Kali idol, known as Bhavataraini, standing on the chest of a lying Shiva, and the two idols are placed on a thousand-petaled lotus made of silver.
Close to the main temple are the row of twelve identical Shiva temples built facing the east in the typical ‘Aat Chala’ Bengal architecture, they are built on either side of the ghat on the Hoogly river. To the North east of the Temple Complex is the Vishnu Temple or the Radha Kanta’s Temple. A flight of steps lead to the columned verandah and into the temple where a silver throne rests with a 21 and half inches idol of Lord Krishna and 16inches (410mm) idol of Radha.
In the middle of 19th century this temple was found by Rani Rashmoni. It is said that once Rani Rashmoni decided to go for Kashiji. The night before the journey begin, Goddess Kali came in her dreams and said,
There is no need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganges river and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place.
After that dream, Rani immediately looked for and purchased land, and promptly began construction of the temple. The large temple complex was built between 1847 and 1855. It took eight years and nine hundred thousand rupees to complete the construction, and finally the idol of Goddess Kali was installed 31st May 1855, amid festivities at the temple formally known as Sri Sri Jagadishwari Mahakali, with Ramkumar Chhattopadhyay as the head priest; soon his younger brother Gadai or Gadadhar (later known as Ramakrishna) moved in and so did nephew Hriday to assist him.
The next year, Ramkumar Chhattopadhyay died, the position was given to Ramakrishna, along with his wife Sarada Devi, who stayed in the south side of the Nahabat (music room), in a small room on the ground floor, which now a shrine dedicated to her.
From then until his death 30 years later in 1886, Ramakrishna was responsible for bringing much in the way of both fame and pilgrims to the temple.
To the north of the Kali-temple is a Dalan of Radha-Krisna. To the west, twelve Siva temples of Bengali atchala style stand in rows on the Hughli river with a 'chandni-bathing ghat', which is flanked by these Siva temples, six each on either side. The temple compound on three sides - north, east and south - are enclosed by rows of guestrooms and offices.
The main temple’s vast courtyard is surrounded by 12 other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The respective twelve Sivalingas in the Dakshineswar temple are – Yogeswar, Jatneswar, Jatileswar, Nakuleswar, Nakeswar, Nirjareswar, Nareswar, Nandiswar, Nageswar, Jagadiswar, Jaleswar and Yajneswar
No visit to Dakshineswar is complete without offering prayers at the Adya Ma temple just 2km away from the main temple at Dakshineswar Ramakrishna Sangha Adyapeath which was commenced in the year1921. The dharshan at this temple is for a limited time. One should be there by 10 a.m. You can watch the one hour Puja and Arti and also have bhog (lunch),
There are umpteen shops on both sides of the main entrance of the temple.
Hot Spot for tourists
The Panchavati, a congregation of five ancient trees, is a spot for peaceful meditation. Here Sri Ramakrishna used to meditate and performed severe penances sitting on the 'Panchamundi (5 skulls) Ashana' - a custome which is mandatory for the 'Tantrika' form of worship.
It is 3km. from Dakshineswar temple. The Belur Math is an important place of Pilgrimage includes the main monastery, several temples and the head quarters of Ramakrishna Mission and Ramkrishan Math.
HOW TO REACH:
Kolakata is one of the important metro in India. Hence, reaching this city by air, rail and road is easy from anywhere in India.
From Railway Station: Dakshineswar stn. is connected by a service from Sealdaha.
By bus/Taxi: If you are not staying nearby rail station then come by Bus. Nowadays, its very easy to reach dakshineswar
Kolkata, WEST BENGAL, INDIA
Posted By : Vinod Jindal on Jun 08, 2011