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Dakshineswar Temple

Fact File
» Timing - 5.30 A.M. To 10.30 A.M. and 4.30 P.M to 7.30 P.M.
» Cost - Rs. 9.00 Lacs

Dakshineswar Kali Temple is situated alongside the Vivekananda Bridge north of Kolkata, about 20 km. from BBD Bagh.

About Dakshineswar Temple
The construction of the temple started in 1847. Queen Rasmani the renowned queen of Janbazar, had founded this temple. It is believed that she was instructed by Goddess Kali in her dream to construct this temple.

The construction work was completed in 1855. It cost an estimated Rs. 9 lakhs of which, Rs. 2 lakhs was spent on the day of inauguration. The temple and its adjoining areas stand on 25 acres of land. Queen Rasmani purchased the required land from some Mr. Hasti.

Dakshineswar temple is dedicated to goddess Kali. The temple, in conventional Nava-ratna style, measures 46 feet square and rises over 100 feet high. It is one of the largest temples of Kolkata.

The main attraction of the temple is that the Ganga (Hooghly river) flows beside the temple. The 12- spired temple with its enormous courtyard is surrounded by 12 other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a world famous place of pilgrimage and it was here that the famous religious thinker Rama Krishna Paramahamsa achieved his spiritual vision and preached the unity of all religions. He was an worshipper at this temple and he used to live in the temple premises. His room is open to the visitor.

The temple is a large elongated building standing on a high platform with a flight of stairs. The three-storeyed south-facing temple has nine spires distributed in upper two storeys. The roof of the spires is beautifully ridged resembling Pirhas. A narrow covered verandah serves the purpose of an audience-chamber attached to the sanctum where the goddess Dakshina Kali stands on the breast of Shiva. There is a long spacious Natmandir (Dancing hall) in front of the temple. There are other subsidiary shrines on this temple compound.

The colossal kali temple is known to be one of the rare temples of Indian origin, having world renowned fame.

Around 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.

There are umpteen shops on both sides of the main entrance of the temple. The whole ambience with the arboreta is absolutely ethereal.

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.

Nearby Attraction
Belur Math
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.

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