Dakshineswar Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Deity: Goddess Kali
Location: Kolkata
Built in: 1885
Built by: Rani Rashmoni
STD Code: 033
Best time to visit: October to March

The Dakshineswar Kali Temple located in Dakshineswar locality, Kolkata. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali.

The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls. There are twelve shrines dedicated to the aspects of Shiva, Kali’s companion, along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river, a bookshop, a shrine to Rani Rashmoni. The chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples is where Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa spent a considerable part of his life. It is Holiest place in the Universe.

Dakshineswar Ramakrishna Sangha Adyapath operates in the region. The compound contains many orphanages, schools and homes for elderly people. The organization has been dedicated to the great spiritual leader.

Legend:
In the year 1847, the wealthy widow queen Rani Rashmoni prepared to go upon a long pilgrimage to the sacred city of Banaras to express her devotions to the Divine Mother. In those days there was no railway line between Calcutta and Banaras and it was more comfortable for rich persons to make the journey by boat rather than by road. We are told that the convoy of Rani Rashmoni consisted of twenty four boats carrying relatives, servants, and supplies.

But the night before the pilgrimage began, the Divine Mother, in the form of the goddess Kali, intervened. She appeared to the Rani in a dream and said, “There is no need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Gangas River and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place.” Profoundly affected by the dream, the Rani immediately looked for and purchased land, and promptly began construction of the temple. The large temple complex, built between 1847 and 1855, had as its centerpiece a shrine of the goddess Kali. A scholarly and elderly sage was chosen as the head priest and the temple was consecrated in 1855. Within the year this priest died and his responsibility passed to his younger brother, Ramakrishna, who over the next thirty years would bring great fame to the Dakshineswar temple.

Places of Interest:
To the north of the Kali-temple is a Dalan of Radha-Krishna. 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 Shiva temples, six each on either side. The temple compound on three sides – north, east and south – are enclosed by rows of guestrooms and offices.

How to reach:
by Air: Kolkata is well connected by air to all major countries in the world, as well as to Indian cities.
by Rail: Trains are available from all parts of the country to Calcutta. Most inward bound trains stop at Howrah, which is also the station from which major trains to other cities depart.
by Road: A few buses ply from Orissa and Bihar to Calcutta Buses are also available to nearby towns.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Radha-Shyam Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Deities: Radha-Krishna
Location: Bishnupur, Kolkata
Built in: 1758
Built by: Chaitanya Singha

Heart is the symbol of Love.Love is Truth. Love is Power.Love is God. To love God is to love manand to love man is to worship God.
-Sri Swami Sivananda

Radha-Shyam Temple is one of the famous terracotta temples at Bishnupur in Bankura District of West Bengal. The temple was built by King Chaitanya Singha in 1758 and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple architecture consists of a square building with a curved roof and is crowned by a single tower. Located about 150 km northwest of Kolkata, Bishnupur is a city with a glorious past. The rich architecture of terracotta carved temples here is a striking legacy from the past. Bishnupur has over thirty brick and stone temples, dating from 17th to 18th centuries, dedicated to Radha and Lord Krishna.

Apart from temples, there are eight large tanks, locally known as bandhs, worth visiting. Lalbandh, Krishnabandh, and Pokabandh were built by the Malla kings. The Dhrupad school of Indian classical music was established here during 16th / 17th century.

Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu is said to have born to Devaki and Vasudeva in imprisonment, on the midnight of the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Shravan. The objective of the birth was to kill Kamsa, the cruel ruler of Mathura and Devaki’s brother. To protect the baby from the king, Krishna was taken into the cowherd family of Yashodha and Nandagopan, where he grew up with his brother Balarama as the legendary naughty boy.

Krishna’s youth, like his childhood, is immensely popular with devotees, and is spiritually significant. The Rasalila, or the dance of love, that he enjoyed with the gopikas, or cowherds, has been subject to much literary and philosophical interpretation. The Mahabharata describes the War of Kurukshetra in which Lord Krishna favored the Pandavas against the evil that their cousins Kauravas embodied. Krishna drove Arjuna’s chariot in the war, and delivered the philosophical text Bhagavad Gita to the diffident Arjuna in the battlefield.

Krishna is usually represented as playing the flute, the music of love. He is dark (blue) in color, and wears yellow silk and flower garlands. The birthday of the lord, known as Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jayanti, is celebrated all over the country.

How to reach:
Kolkata is very well connected to the major Indian cities by air, rail and road.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Kalighat Kali Temple, West Bengal, India

Deity: Goddess Kali
Location: Kolkata, West Bengal
Built by: Sabarna Roy Chowdhury
Built in: 1847
Significance: One of the 52 Shakti Peethams

Kalighat Temple is a Mahapith which is well known to the world. This is the temple where offering Puja means a connection with the divine power. Millions of people come here to fulfill their desire. If you are facing any problem on the way of your life, just spend only one minute and send Puja to Kaalighat temple. See whether your desires get fulfilled or not…

The Kalighat Temple in Kolkata of goddess Kali is 20 kilometers north of Kolkata city, situated on the banks of river Hoogly. It was established in 1847. Kalighat temple is about 200 years old. Kalighat is a significant religious place for the Hindus in eastern India.

Kali is regarded as one of the principal deities of Bengal. There are other temples to Kali – Sahasrabhuja Kali, Sarvamangala, Tarasundari and Simhavaahini. Kali is regarded as the destroyer or liberator and is depicted in a fearful form. Despite the terrifying form, she is considered to deliver bliss to worshippers.

Kalighat is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Shakti or Sati fell.

The image of the deity is incomplete. Only the face of the deity was made first. The hands made of gold and silver, the tongue, the Shiva statue and all the jewellery were added over the years.

Legend:
It has that a devotee discovered a luminary ray of light coming from the Bhagirathi river bed, and upon investigating its source came upon a piece of stone carved in the form of a human toe. He also found a Syayambhu Lingam of Nakuleshwar Bhairav nearby, and started worshipping Kaali in the midst of a thick jungle. This shrine grew to its present form over a period of time. This family is also said to have built the Chitreswari Kaali temple at Chitpur. It is believed that there was a pathway through the jungle between Chitpur and Kalighat, and this pathway is said to have become the Chitpur road of Calcutta.

Kalighat is also associated with the worship offered to Kaali by a Dasanami Monk by name Chowranga Giri, and the Chowringee area of Calcutta is said to have been named after him.

The Dakshineswar Kaali temple across from the river, near Belur Math, bears an image of Kaali worshipped by the spiritual leader Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, guru of Swami Vivekananda.

Festival:
On snanyatra day, while giving Mother the ceremonial bath, the priests tie their eyes with cloth coverings. On auspicious occasions like Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Poila Boishakh, the Bengali New Year day and sankranti large number of devotees throng the place with offerings.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Kalighat Kali Temple by taking local Buses, Rickshaws or by hiring Taxis from Kolkata. The nearest Metro station is the Kalighat Metro Station.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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