In the previous article we understood the significance of Shakti Peethas as places dedicated to Goddess Adi Shakti, the supreme goddess of the shakti sect and the Kamakhya temple one of the oldest Adi Shakti Peethas in Assam dedicated to tantric Goddess, Kamakhya. There are four main Adi Shakti Peethas where one of the body parts of Adi Shakti fell in each of the temples.
- The Kamakhya temple in Assam (yoni)
- Dashineshwar temple in Kolkata (face)
- Tara Tarini temple in Behrampur (chest)
- Bimala temple in Puri (feet)
In this article lets delve deeper into the second Adi Shakti Peetha the Dakshineswar temple situated near Kolkata. It is located alongside the Vivekananda Bridge. The temple admires the eastern bank of river Hooghly, dedicated to Bhavatarini an aspect of Goddess Kali, meaning ‘she who liberates her devotees from the samsara’.
The Dakshineswar Kali Temple was founded around the middle of the 19th century by Rani Rashmoni of Janbazar. It is mentioned in the Vedic sects that a night before her pilgrimage to Varanasi to worship the Mother Goddess, she had a vision of Adi Shakti, in the form of Goddess Kali where she was instructed to build this temple by the goddess herself. The puranas also mention that it was decided that the idols of the Gods and the Goddess would be installed on the auspicious day of the ‘Snana-Yatra’, it is a bathing festival celebrated on the purnima (full moon day) of the hindu month of Jyeshtha.
Dakshineswara temple is one of the largest near Kolkata and also an architectural treasure.
Built in the traditional navaratna or nine spires style of Bengal architecture, the three-storeyed south-facing temple has nine spires distributed in upper two storeys and stands on a high platform with a flight of stairs.
The garbagriha houses an idol of Goddess Kali, known as Bhavatarini standing on the chest of a lying Lord Shiv and the two idols are placed on a thousand-petal lotus made of silver. Close to the main temple are a row of 12 identical Shiva temples built facing the east in the typical Bengal architecture. The north east of the temple complex has a Vishnu temple.
Nahavat-Khana the chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples, is where Rama Krishna Paramhamsa spent a considerable part of his life and attained a spiritual vision.
Apart from Durga Puja, Tuesdays and Saturdays are believed as auspicious day for Kali worship in the temple.
HOW TO REACH DAKSHINESWAR KALI TEMPLE?
Dakshineswar is a temple town in Southeast Bengal in India. It is very near Kolkata and many consider it a Kolkata neighbourhood. It is a small place and all the locations of tourist interest are within walking distance from the railway station or bus stand.
Dakshineswar is railway station on the Sealdah (in the heart of Kolkata) -Dankuni (on the Howrah-Bardhaman chord line) sector. It is 14 km from Sealdah and 10 km from Dankuni. Most local trains specially Dankuni Local from Sealdah station stop here and some long distance trains such as Darjeeling mail also stop at this station
The temple location is very close from Kolkata and you can use your own car or hire vehicle or taxi to reach there.
There are also many buses from different parts of Kolkata and outside to the temple.
Kolkata is well connected to all the major cities within and outside India. Most of the major airlines have their flights operating from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport of Kolkata. You can take a taxi from the airport to Dakshineswar Temple.
You may like to take a boat ride to Dakshineshwar Temple from Belur Math. Dakshineshwar Temple is on the other side of Ganga river and boat takes about half an hour to reach there from Belur Math.
Belur Math, another important tourist attraction of Kolkata is located at a distance of 3 km from Dakshineswar Temple and it is a ‘must visit’ place.