Kolkata (formerly called as Calcutta) was the capital of British India. During those times, there have been several social reforms and revolts that took place, which resulted in several of the tourist attractions we see today. Dakshineswarar Kali Temple is one of the important structures that were formed during the reign of British rule in India. Let us know more about this shrine.
The Legend Behind the Temple's Existence
There is an interesting story that led to the construction of the Dakshineswarar Temple. Rani Rashmoni, a brave lady who fought for her land and frequently conflicted the rules and terms of the British rule in India, saw a dream just before she set out on a pilgrimage tour to Benaras. This was right after her husband passes away with an unfulfilled dream of building a Kali Temple.
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In the dream, she was instructed to build a Kali temple. Following the dream, she, along with the help of her trusted people including her youngest son-in-law, set out in search for a suitable plot to build the temple. A 20 acre plot in Dakshineswarar was chosen to build the temple.
Architecture of the Temple
The temple is built in typical Nava-ratna style or the nine-spiral style of architecture which is a Bengali style of construction. The temple is three storeyed and faces the South, and is placed on a raised platform, which has a flight of stairs to reach the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum).
The idol of Goddess Kali, also known as Bhavataraini, is seen standing on the chest of a lying Lord Shiva. These idols are placed on a silver lotus that is thousand petalled. There are 12 smaller identical temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in the temple complex.
Other Facts About the Temple
The temple is also closely connected to a saint Ramakrishna, who had spent a considerable part of his life in the temple premises. Nahavat Khana, a chamber located at the North-western corner of the complex, was where the saint lived for years.
You can also find a Radha-Krishna temple, a ghat by the river that is used to bathe, and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni, the founder of the temple.
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How to Reach Dakshineswarar Kali Temple
The temple is located around 20km away from the city of Kolkata. Once you reach Kolkata, you can take an auto or cab to the temple. Here's how to reach Kolkata.