Dakshineshwar - situated in the city of joy is one of the infamous holy places in Kolkata entirely dedicated to the goddess Kali. This is among the largest temples in Kolkata along with an architectural treasure. Built in a conventional Navaratna approach, it has a height of over 100 feet. With the massive courtyard, the 12-spired temple is lined by 12 other temples which are devoted to Lord Shiva.
This sacred place is founded by the known Rani Rashmoni in 1855. 31st May 1855 was Jagannath Deva Snanyatra which is celebrated as a holy tithi was chosen for the inauguration of this temple. At present days, Dakshineshwar is among the top few visitors destination in Kolkata and is widely known among the pilgrims of the world. At this known destination, Rama Krishna Paramhansa who was a religious thinker acquired the spiritual vision and promoted the union of different religions.
Visitors from different part of the world visit this place to feel the divine serenity and become a part of the sacred arti that take place on the evening. Being located at north a distance of just 20km from central Kolkata, it becomes easy for people to visit this blessed destination. From here, visitors can get a view of the Vivekananda Bridge.
During the early 1800s, Dakshineshwar was just a normal village, like any other along side of the eastern bank of River Ganga. The entire area was surrounded by dense forest. Rani Rashmoni who belonged to the Kaivarta caste and was popular for the philanthropic activities on her pilgrimage had a dream. In her dreams, she was instructed by Goddess Kali to construct a Kali temple.
Being a dynamic woman and after watching such a dream, she was entire moved and she immediately instructed to look for a great site to start constructing the Kali Temple. After a long search made by her people, finally, they found a 20-acre land which is now famous as Dakshineshwar. In 1847AD, on her instruction, building of Dakshineshwar Temple was initiated signifying union of all faiths.
The idols of the Goddess and Gods were decided to install on a great and holy day of snana-yatra. The entire temple is dedicated to the powerful Sri Sri Jagadishwari Kalimata Thakurani. The compassionate woman instructed that pilgrims from different castes and religions will be allowed to enter and offer prayer. Post the construction and inauguration, Rani Rashmoni lived for five years nine months and passed away on February 1861. The amazing architecture, serene ambiance, peace of River Ganga and the power of the almighty can be felt when you visit this sacred temple.
- One of the known religious reformers Sri Ramakrishna Paranhans is related with this infamous Dakshineshwar Temple. He's visited this sacred place with his brother to perform holy rituals. As per the legends, Dakshineshwar was the temple where he got his divine enlightenment. At this very place, he got the vision and acquired a glance of the Goddess Kali.
- This temple was constructed under the patronage of the famous Rani Rashmoni after getting a divine dream of Goddess Kali.
- This temple comprises twelve similar shrines of Lord Shiva surrounding the premises. Each temple has the black stone that is known was Shiv Lingas.
- Here you can find the significant Panchavati Garden where you will observe the worshippers of five historic trees known as a place for meditation.
- Belur Math located at a distance of just 3km from the holy place is another tourist attraction.
The serenity and elegance of Dakshineshwar attract people from the corners. The power combined with the tranquility of this temple makes it a must-visit location in Kolkata.
By Train: Dakshineswar railway station is situated on the Sealdah - Dankuni (on the Howrah-Bardhaman chord line) rail route. It is almost mid-point on this route, about 14 km from Sealdah and 10 km from Dankuni railway station. A total 22 pair of Dankuni (20) and Barai Para (2) local/EMU train runs every day in this route and there is a stoppage in Dakshineswar. Some long-distance express trains like Kanchanjunga Express, Uttar Banga Express, Kanchan Kanya Express also stop at this station.
By Road: Dakshineswar is well connected to Kolkata city and Barrackpore Trunk Road is the major link road in this region. You can reach at Dakshineswar by various government and private buses from the different part of Kolkata and Howrah city. You can also hire an Ola or Uber or yellow taxi or white no-refusal taxi or any other cabs to reach the Dakshineswar Kali temple.
By Air: Kolkata Airport (CCU) at Dumdum is the nearby airport to Dakshineswar, about 12 km driving distance.
So, just visit Dakshineshwar and become a part of the sacred world of serenity and divine power.