The Hindu goddess Kali has famous a temple named Kalighat Temple, in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It belongs to one of the Shakti Peetha of Devi Sati.
In the city of Kolkata, on the former route (Adi Ganga) of the Hooghly River (Bhgirathi), there existed a Ghat (landing stage) that was dedicated to Kali.
According to legend, the Kalikata devi of the Kalighat Temple is the source of the name Kolkata. Over time, the water gradually retreated from the temple.
Currently, the temple is situated alongside the Adi Ganga, a narrow canal that links to the Hooghly. The Hooghly River’s original path was along the Adi Ganga. Hence, the Adi (original) Ganga’s name.
History of Kolkata’s Kalighat Temple
The current temple complex was constructed 200 years ago, in the 19th century.
However, references to the temple may also be discovered in Mansar Bhasan’s composition from the fifteenth century and in Kavi Chandi, a work that was produced in the seventeenth century.
Lalmohon Bidyanidhis’ “Sambanda Nirnoy” makes another reference to the Kalighat Kali shrine.
According to legend, the first temple was a modest hut building that was eventually rebuilt into a legitimate temple by King Manasingha in the early 16th century.
The current building was finished in or around 1809 with funding from the Barisha family of Sabarna Roy Chowdhury.
With wonderful descriptions and verifiable evidence of the presence of Gupta Empire coins, the question of whether the temple belongs to antiquity has been answered.
After Kumargupta I, the most famous archer coins were discovered in Kalighat, providing evidence that the temple existed during the Gupta dynasty.
Kalighat is one of India’s 51 Shakti Peethas, where it is believed that during Shiva’s Rudra Tandava, Sati’s numerous body parts fell. The toes of Dakshayani or Sati’s right foot are said to have fallen in Kalighat.
Idol of Kali
The twin saints Atmaram Giri and Brahmananda Giri carved the sandstone idol of the Goddess Kali, which has four hands, a long projecting tongue, three large eyes, and other features. The idol’s tongue and eyes are fashioned of gold.
The goddess idol does not like Kali’s normal goddess idols found in other locations.
A scimitar, representing divine wisdom, and the severed head of the demon king, Shumbha, representing the human ego that is intended to be killed by divine knowledge and eliminated from our actions, are held in the hands of the goddess.
One can achieve moksha in this manner.
Temple & Places Insite Kalighat Kali Temple Kolkata
A large rectangular verandah called Natmandir was constructed next to the main temple structure. In 1835, Zamindar Kashinath Roy ordered the construction of the natmandir.
One can view the Goddess’s face in great detail when ascending to the natmandir. The building occasionally undergoes renovations.
The main temple’s Jor Bangla is the platform or verandah located directly outside the sanctum sanctorum.
In addition to the natmandir, you can also watch the rites taking place inside the Garbha Griha from this platform.
Three stone statues, Sosti, Shitala, and Mangal Chandi, each of which is thought to represent a different facet of Goddess Kali, are placed on an altar called the Sosti Tala, which is a three-foot-high rectangular platform.
In 1880, Gobinda Das Mondal built the sosti tala altar. The area is thought to be where Brahmananda Giri’s samadhi took place.
Sometimes, Monosha tala is used to refer to the location rather than Sosti tala.
The Harkath Tala
Near Natmandir, on the southern side, is where you’ll find Harkath Tala. The major purpose of this location is to perform animal sacrifices, or bali.
For performing animal sacrifices, there are two wooden bali-peeths. While the smaller one is used to sacrifice smaller animals like goats, the larger one is used to sacrifice larger animals like buffalo.
In a single motion, the animals are killed.
Shrine To Lord Krishna
Locals also refer to this temple as the Shamo-Ray temple, and it is situated inside the grounds of the main temple to the west.
In the year 1723, a settlement official from Murshidabad erected the separate Radha-Krishnan temple.
The current temple edifice was later constructed on the same site in 1843 by a zamindar by the name of Uday Narayan Mondal, and the current dolmanco was constructed.
It is required that the kitchen used to prepare Radha-Krishnan’s food be completely vegetarian and kept separate from other kitchens.
Kindupukur is a sacred tank with a surface area of 7,200 square feet that is located to the southeast and outside the main temple’s perimeter walls.
It is assumed that it used to be much larger than it is today, both in terms of size and area covered. In the past, it was known as “Kaku-Kund.”
It is said that the water in the tank is just as holy as the water in the Ganges.
Nakuleshwar Mahadev Temple
The Nakuleshwar Mahadev Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, Goddess Kali’s spouse. The police station is directly behind this shrine, which is located on the opposite road.
The street where the temple is located is called Haldar Para Street. Historical references from long ago make notice of the temple.