Kalighat Kali Temple Kolkata

Kalighat Kali Temple Kolkata

Against the chaos of the skyline, Kolkata stands out as one of the most immaculate cities of India that has an idyllic fusion of both ancient traditions and the new. The city dwells in different domains like dance, culture, art, literature, freedom movements, and religiosity- bestowing peace to the confused soul. In the midst of pulsating discotheques and night clubs, Kolkata retains its ethnicity rooted to the eccentric whiff of the incense sticks and thick clouds of smoke purged out during “yagya” and “havanas” from various temples and pilgrimage centers. Offering prayers, as you look for a refuge to fill yourself up with spirituality, in a city drenched in history, can be a tempting experience in itself. You will find innumerable fascinating temples strewn across the length and breadth of Kolkata; but only a handful can match up to the repute of Kalighat Temple. It is one of the 52 Shaktipeeths in India which displays sacredness and architectural brilliance under one roof. The 200-year old shrine has been attracting a spectrum of devotees over the years owing to its divinity and excellent religious importance.


Kalighat Temple, with an astonishing medley of history, and architecture never fails to attract the tourists, and especially those with interest in Indian mythology. It is the destination for immense devotion dedicated to Goddess Kali, the Mother Goddess of the city. The place remains evergreen round the year thronged with tourists and pilgrims. It’s a perfect insight into the rich heritage of the city.

History of Kalighat Kali Temple

Kalighat Temple is one of the most renowned shrines of Goddess Kali, which have been established as early as the time of Guptas and is considered as one of the 51 Shaktipeethas of “Shakti”. The temple worships Goddess Kali in her wrathful form, the destroyer of the evil and the principal female divinity of Hindu pantheon. The destination is thronged with a profusion of pilgrims every day offering their prayers and devotion. It is an important religious hub for the Hindu followers.


The Kalighat Temple has bewildering stories attached to its inception. According to the mythological texts, when Lord Shiva performed his destructive dance with Goddess Sati, who had sacrificed herself, wrapped in his arms, Sati’s 51 dismembered body parts fell off the sky on earth. It is further believed that the places where the body parts fell became the places of worship commemorating Shakti as Shakti Peethas. Kalighat Temple is one of those peethas where the right toe of Sati fell on the banks of Adi Ganga. This discovery led to the erection of Kalighat Temple by Sabarna Roy Chowdhury, a prominent Zamindar, in the 19th century.

 

The popularity of the temple found itself in the 15th-century religious text of Mansar Bhasan. More to the temple’s peculiarity- it was originally built on the banks of Hooghly River which however got shifted away from the temple with the raging flow of time.

 

Architecture of the Kalighat Kali Temple

Hundreds and thousands of devotees pay a visit to this magnificent sanctum sanctorum every year to witness its solemnity and architectural benevolence. Its architecture is classic and much to your wonder, the structural emulation of mud and thatch-roofed huts of the temple are found only in Bengal. Kalighat’s main temple is a four-sided building with a truncated dome which is capped by smaller projection caps identical to the dome. The most beautifying feature of the temple’s architecture is its roof, popularly called as a chala in Bengal, providing a typical village-like exterior.


The temple is embellished in glistening colors and each of the outer walls of the temple is decorated with a diamond chessboard pattern of alternating green and white tiles. Much to the temple’s ambience, intricate lightning system has been implemented to embrace the temple with gleaming colors throughout the nightfall.


The sanctum sanctorum enshrines the idol of Goddess Kali which is made of magnificent black stone and embellished with gold and silver. The one of Lord Shiva is dipped in shiny silver. Three beautiful yet fiery eyes, long protruding tongue made of gold which was primitively absent, four hands made of gold too, are the attention-seeking features of the idol. The scimitar held by the Goddess signifies divine knowledge and the severed asura king symbolizes the destruction of human ego.


The shrine of Kali and its design is unique from that of all the other images of Bengali. The astounding touchstone idol was created by two saints- Brahmananda Giri and Atmaram Giri.

How to Visit Kalighat Temple

Kalighat Temple is at a kilometer’s distance from the Kalighat Metro Station of Kolkata along the Rashbehari Avenue and Kalighat Road. You can access the location by availing a cab or a bus.

Kalighat Kali Temple Timings

Kalighat Temple opening time is from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on all days of the week. The temple temporarily remains closed between 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the Bhog (the food offered to the idol).

Best time to visit Kalighat Temple is between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Entry Fee

No entry fee.

Places to Visit Near Kalighat Temple

• Netaji House

Victoria Memorial

• Birla Industrial & Technological Museum

• Birla Planetarium

• St Paul’s Cathedral

• Rabindra Sarovar

• Birla Temple

• Iskcon Temple (Shri Shri Radha Govind Temple)