department of tourism

government of west bengal

Dakshineswar

View Gallery

Dakshineswar Kali temple is one of the holiest places of Eastern India. It is one of the must visit places in Kolkata. Dakshineswar is a Hindu temple located in Dakshineswar near Kolkata. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, the presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini. The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali in 1855. The temple is famous for its association with Ramakrishna, a mystic of 19th century Bengal. The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls. There are twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva (Kali's companion) along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. 'Nahavat-Khana', the chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples, is where Ramakrishna spent a considerable part of his life.
In the early 1800s, Dakshineswar was a small village along the eastern banks of River Ganga. Dense forests surrounded the area where the famous Dakshineswar temple stands today. It was 300 years back when Durgaprasad Roy Choudhury and Bhavaniprasad Roy Choudhury, members of the renowned Savarna Roy Choudhury family settled here. Yogindranath, one of the successors of this family, was an ardent devotee of Sri Ramakrishna who later was known as Swami Yogananda.
The famous Dakshineswar temple which houses Goddess Kali was founded by Rani Rashmoni following a dream she saw when she was about to embark on her pilgrimage to Benaras. A long term plan of the Rani materialized which she had longed to perform when her husband died with the unfulfilled wish of constructing a Kali temple. The idols of the Gods and the Goddess were decided to be installed on the snana-yatra day, an auspicious day for the Hindus. On 31st May 1855, more than 1 lakh Brahmins were invited from different parts of the country to grace the auspicious occasion amidst the controversy of the Rani being in no position to own a temple and to offer Brahmins to feed since she was of low birth. The Rani lived only for five years and nine months after the inauguration of the temple. She seriously fell ill in 1861. Realizing that death was approaching she decided to handover the property (which she purchased in Dinajpur (now in Bangladesh) as a legacy). For the maintenance of the temple to the temple trust she accomplished her task on 18th February, 1861 and passed away on the subsequent day.

A series of 12 identical Shiva temples are established within the premises of the Devalaya. Opposite to the Kuthi Bari these temples are close to the banks of the River Ganga. The interior of the temples is done in white and black stone and each of the temples houses Shiva lingas done in black stone. The temples face the east and are constructed in the typical Aat Chala Bengal architecture. The series of temples are divided by the Chadni (River bank), keeping the six Shiva temples to the left and the other six to the right. Prayers are offered here every day and it was here Sri Ramkrishna is said to have meditated here to reach enlightenment.

To the north east of the Temple Complex is the Vishnu Temple or the Radha Kanta's Temple. A flight of steps lead to the columned verandah and into the temple where a silver throne rests with a 21 and half inches idol of Lord Krishna and 16 inches idol of Radha. Daily puja is performed here and it is said that Sri Ramakrishna himself offered puja here. In a room next to it has the original idol of Lord Krishna which was replaced when repeatedly the leg of the idol broke. Though it was repaired since the time of Sri Ram Krishna it has ultimately to be replaced by the present idol in 1930 by the Debottar Estate.

Dense forest surrounded the area where the famous Dakshineswar temple stands today. It was 300 years back when Durgaprasad Roy Choudhury and Bhavaniprasad Roy Choudhury, members of the renowned Savarna Roy Choudhury family settled here. Yogindranath one of the successors of this family was an ardent devotee of Sri Ramakrishna who later was known as Swami Yogananda.

The famous Dakshineswar temple which houses the Goddess Kali was founded by Rani Rashmoni following a dream she saw when she was about to start on her pilgrimage to Benaras. A long term plan of the Rani materialized which she had longed to perform when her husband died with unfulfilled wish of constructing a Kali temple. The idols of the Gods and the Goddess was decided to be installed on the snana-yatra day, an auspicious days of the Hindus. 31st May 1855, more than 1 lakh Brahmins were invited from different parts of the country to grace the auspicious occasion amidst the controversy of the Rani being in no position to own a temple and to offer Brahmins to feed since she was of low birth.

The Rani lived only for five years and nine months after the inauguration of the temple. She seriously fell ill in 1861. Realizing that death was approaching she decided to handover the property she purchased in Dinajput (now in Bangladesh) as a legacy for the maintenance of the temple to the temple trust. She accomplished her task on 18th February, 1861 and passed away on the subsequent day.

Kali Temple

Dakshineswar Kali temple has an interesting story. The construction of this fabulous temple was initiated in the year 1847 and completed in 1855. The credit for the construction of Calcutta Dakshineswar Kali temple goes to the queen Rashmani of Janbazar. Located on the bank of the Ganges, north of Belur Math in Kolkata, it is dedicated to Goddess kali. It is a spacious temple covering an area of about 25 acres.

The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali in 1855. The temple is famous for its association with Ramakrishna, a mystic of 19th Century Bengal. The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls.

There are twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva-Kalis companion-along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river, a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni.'Nahavat-Khana', the chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples, is where Ramakrishna spent a considerable part of his life.

Adyapith

Close to Dakshineswar temple is Adyapith, a pilgrim centre, the temple of Adya Ma. Sree Annada Thakur being advised in a dream had built this temple of 'Adya Ma' in order to teach man the dictums of love and idealism. The construction was started in 1340 BS and the temple was inaugurated on Makar Sankranti (last day of Bengali calendar month Poush) in 1375 BS.
On this bottom is a murti of Sri Ramakrishna with word "Guru" inscrebed nearby on this middle altar is a replica of the murti of Adya Ma found by Ananda Thakur in the Eden Garden. This murti is made of 8 metals. Nearby inscribed "Knowledge and Work". Topmost of adorned by the murtis of Radha & Krishna. Known all over the world as Divine Couple. Love is written on the altar . One hour before sunrise Mangalarati starts, at 10.30 is Bhogarati, 1.5 hours after sunrise is Sitalarati.

x

How to reach

Adyapith

wbtourism

Dakshineswar is railway station on the Sealdah-Dankuni sector. It is around 14 kms from Sealdah and about 10 kms from Dankuni. Most local trains specialy Dankuni Local from Sealdah station stop here and some long distance trains such as Darjeeling mail also stop at this station. This place is well connected to Kolkata.

Panchabati

To the North of Bakul Tala is a wide open space called the Panchabati and to its south in later years under Sri Ramkrishnas guidance, 5 trees Banyan, Peepal, Neem, Amlaki and Woodapple trees were planted. Soil from the Radha Kund and Shyam Kund of Vrindavan was brought here to plant these trees. It is in Panchabati that Sri ramkrishna spent 12 years of sadhana. Under the tutelage of Sri Totapuri he took sanyas according to vedantic rites. For the purpose of sadhana, a hut was built in Panchabati which was later rebuilt into Shanti Kuthi. Close to it is a Shiv temple with a Shiv linga where puja is performed every day.

How To Reach

By Air: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose international airport which connects Dakhineswar is the nearest one.
By Train: Dakshineswar is a railway station on the Sealdah (in the heart of Kolkata) - Dankuni (on the Howrah-Bardhaman chord line) section. Most local trains (specially Dankuni Local) from Sealdah station stop here.
By Road: It is well connected to Kolkata. Vivekananda Setu across the Hooghly River at Dakshineswar connects it to Bally, Uttarpara and Dankuni on the other bank and on to Grand Trunk Road, Delhi Road, Bombay Road and Durgapur Expressway. A new bridge named 'Nivedita Setu' has been built to ease out the load of old bridge, 'Vivekanada Setu'. There are many buses from Kolkata, as well from places across the river are there to reach Dakhineswar.

Department of Tourism
Government of West Bengal

New Secretariat Building
1, K. S. Roy Road, 3rd Floor,
Kolkata - 700001,
Phone : 033-2225 4723/4724/4725/4565
E-Mail : wbtourismpublicity1@gmail.com