Dakshineswar is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Kolkata. This Dakshineswar station can be reached directly from anywhere in Kolkata or by road from Howrah. The ticket counter outside Dakshineswar station is also very similar to the main temple of Dakshineswar.
You can use the beautiful clean skywalk on foot just to reach the temple of Dakshineswar directly. There are several stalls in the middle but not all have been opened yet.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu navaratna temple which is located at Dakshineswar. It is situated on the eastern bank of the famous Hooghly River, the governing deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, she is an aspect of Kali, who is a form of Adi Shakti. The renowned temple was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni, a great philanthropist and an extensive devotee of Kali. Dakshineswar Kali Temple is known for its association with Ramakrishna and Ma Sarada Devi who were the mystics of 19th Century Bengal.
How was Dakshineswar Kali Temple in the previous time?
- It is said that Rani Rasmoni founded this temple after receiving a dream order from Goddess Kali. Ramakumar was the first chief priest of the temple. In 1856-58, the young Ramakrishna Paramahamsa took charge of the worship of this famous temple.
- He later chose this temple as his place of worship.
- Dakshineswar Kalibari Chattar is home to several temples and other shrines beside the decorated Kali Mandir. The main temple is the Navaratna temple.
- It is modeled on the Navaratna temple built by Ramnath Mandal in Taliganj. In addition to the main temple, there are twelve 8 shed Shiva temples known as the “Twelfth Shiva Temple”.
- To the north of the temple is the Radhakrishna Temple known as the “Sri Sri Radhakanta Temple” and to the south is the Natmandir. Today it is considered a place of worship for the devotees.
History of Dakshineswar Kali Temple
- In 1848, the rich widow Rani Rasmoni organized a pilgrimage to Kashi in the worship of Goddess Annapurna. He left in twenty-four boats with his relatives, slaves, and supplies.
- According to legend, on the eve of the journey, the queen goddess Kali had a dream. The goddess told him,
“There is no need to go to Kashi. Worship by setting up my idol in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganges. I will worship as soon as I appear in that idol.”
- In 1855 Ramakrishna Paramahamsa came to this temple as an associate of his grandfather, the high priest Ramkumar, and after Ramkumar’s death, he succeeded his grandfather.
Who was Rani Rashmoni?
- The great lady Rani Rashmoni founded the famous Dakshineswar temple which houses the holy Goddess Kali.
- After this dream, the queen immediately bought land on the banks of the Ganges to materialized the dream and started construction of the temple. The construction of this huge temple began in 1848 and ended in 1855.
- Rani Rashmoni took over the administration of the huge estate which her beloved husband left her. She was always in conflict with the hard British laws and conditions. All the people respected and loved her for her kind judgment.
- Bathing ghats, a road from Subarnarekha River Puri, Imperial Library, and Hindu College also made under her supervision. All those things are proved her benevolent nature.
What was the history of the construction of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple?
- The twenty-acre plot of the temple was purchased from an Englishman. His name was John Hasty. This place was popularly known as Saheban Bagicha. The part of it was the tortoise-shaped Muslim cemetery. In Tantra, the place is thought suitable for Shakti worship.
- The attractive temple was built in 8 years at a cost of nine lakh rupees by the dynamic lady, Rani Rashmoni. The statue was erected in the temple in a grand procession on 31 May 1855, the day of the bathing procession.
- Earlier the worship of the temple was called Mata Bhavatarini Kalika. Ramkumar Chattopadhyay became the chief priest, his younger brother Gadadhar or Gadai (later Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) became his associate. Later, his nephew’s heart also began to help him.
- The next year Ramkumar passed away. Then Sri Ramakrishna succeeded the chief priest of the holy temple. His wife Sarada Devi used to stay in Nahabatkhana outside the temple premises. This Nahabatkhana is now the temple of Goddess Sarada.
- From this time till 18, Sri Ramakrishna stayed in this temple for about 13 years. Due to its location, this temple later became a popular pilgrimage site.
What was the architectural history of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple?
- The temple faces south. The sanctum sanctorum is located on a raised building. The building is 46 square feet wide and 100 feet high.
- In the sanctum sanctorum (Sanctum Sanctuary) the idol known as Bhavatarini is established on the chest of Shiva. These 2 statues are placed on a silver lotus.
- Near the main temple, there are 12 similar looking east-facing Shiva temples built in the style of Atchala architecture.
- These temples stand on 2 sides of a ghat of the Ganges. To the northeast of the temple premises is the Radhakanta temple.
- In this temple, a twenty-one and a half-inch Krishna and 16 inch Radha idols are installed on a silver throne. And the household deity of Rani Rasmani (Raghubir, Janardhana (Krishna), Naru-Gopal) is presently residing in Dakshineswar.
- Kali, the presiding deity of the Dakshineswara temple.
- Ramakrishna Temple, Belur Math, Dakshineswar is the head office of the Ramakrishna Mission near Kalibari.
- Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a former priest of Dakshineswar Kalibari and a prominent nineteenth-century Hindu guru
- Sarada Devi, the wife of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the consort of the Ramakrishna Mission; Inio lived with her husband in the Dakshineswara temple.
- Rani Rasamoni, the founder of Dakshineswara Temple.
- Chanak Annapurna Temple is an Annapurna temple in Titagarh modeled after Dakshineswar Kalibari.
What can you do there?
- You can enjoy boating in the Hoogly. You also can see the sunset on the Hoogly river which is behind the Vivekananda Setu.
- You can buy flowers and offerings of the goddess and those are available outside of the temple. There you can buy many items of home worship which is needed in the Hindu tradition.
- Many attractive handicrafts and home decoration items are also available there. At a very low price, you can buy different kinds of pickles.
- No hard drinks are available except “Nimbu Pani”. People call it Lime Juice Drink.
FAQ about the Dakshineswar Kali Temple:
Que: What is the Religion of the temple?
Que: Who is the Creator of the Temple?
Ans: Rani Rasamoni
Que: Which festivals are held on the Temple?
Que: In which state of India is the Temple located?
Ans: West Bengal.
Que: When did the Temple complete?
Ans: 31 May 1855; (165 years ago)
Que: When the temple is closed and open for the worshippers?
Ans: From 6:00 am to 12:30 (midday) and
-From 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, every day.
Que: When is the best time to visit there?
Ans: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Que: What is the area of the Temple?
Ans: The area is about 54.4 bighas.
Que: How much it cost to build the Temple?
Ans: Rs 42,500 only
Que: Can anybody take a camera or mobile phone inside the main Temple?
Ans: No. It is prohibited.
Que: Is there any entry fee in the Temple?
Ans: There is no entry fee.
Where to spend the night?
There is some lodge in the temple for tourists to stay. The cost of lodging varies at different times of the year. But here you can get a house for one day for 150 INR – 300 INR.
There is a lot of restaurant near Howrah Bridge. Let’s have a look below at the most liked restaurants.
There are many popular and well-known restaurant near the Dakshineswar Temple. All the restaurants almost open at 8:30 AM and closed at 11 PM. Open seven days a week.
There is a lot of hotel near the Dakshineswar Temple. Let’s have a look below in the 5 most liked hotels.
How To reach:
There are four ways to get from Kolkata to Dakshineswar Kali Temple. Those who get off at Dakshineswar station will reach the temple directly by skywalk. Those who come to Dakshineswar junction will no longer have to cross Rani Rasmoni road. The temple can be reached by direct flight.
By Road: It’s connected with Central Kolkata City. Take the Barrackpore Trunk Road in North Kolkata to the north and cross Baranagar and take the road on the left for Dakshineswar before the Dunlop Rail Over Bridge. The Belgharia flyover connects Jessore Road and Dumdum Airport with Dakshineswar. The Vivekananda Bridge built across the Hooghly River at Dakshineswar with Bail, Uttapara, and Dunkuni and the Grand Trunk Road, Delhi Road, Bombay Road, and Durgapur Expressway. A new bridge called Nivedita Bridge has been constructed next to the “Vivekananda Bridge” to ease the traffic congestion over the old bridge. Many buses ply from Kolkata to Dakshineswar. Besides, Dakshineswar goes from Kolkata by way of the Hooghly river. It will take about 30 minutes to reach there by bus.
By Rail: Dakshineswar Railway Station is located on Sealdah(in the heart of Kolkata)- Dunkuni(Howrah-Burdwan Railway). It is located 14 km from Sealdah and 10 km from Donkuni. Most local trains, especially from Sealdah station, stop at Donkuni Lok Dakshineswar station and some long-distance trains like Darjeeling Mail stop at this station. It will take about 43 minutes by train.