Sunday, February 7, 2016

Kalighat Kali Temple at Kolkata, India

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Kalighat Kali Temple at Kolkata, India : Click here for source of image

Kalighat Kali Temple at Kolkata, India : Click here for source of image

Kalighat Kali Temple at Kolkata, India : Click here for source of image

Kalighat Kali Temple at Kolkata, India : Click here for source of image

Kalighat Kali Temple is a Hindu temple in West Bengal, India dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of destruction Mother Kali. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India. Peethas are divine seats of Mother Kali.

Kalighat was a Ghat sacred to Mother Kali on the old course of the River Hooghly (the Ganges) in the city of Calcutta. The name Calcutta is said to have been derived from the word Kalighat. The River Hooghly over a period of time has moved away from the temple. The temple is now on the banks of a small canal called Adi Ganga which connects to the River Hooghly. Adi Ganga was the original course of the River Hoogly (the Ganges). Hence the name Adi (original) Ganga.


The temple is visited by pilgrims from all over India irrespective of sectarian differences. Thousands of pilgrims who flock daily to  Kalighat temple treat Mother Kali very much like a human mother, bringing to her their distressing domestic problems and prayer requests for prosperity, and returning to the Mother once again when their prayers are fulfilled for expressing their heartfelt gratitude. 

Kalighat Temple

The Kalighat temple in its present form is only about 200 years old, although it has been referred to in Mansar Bhasan composed in the 15th century, and in Kavi Kankan Chandi of the 17th century.

The Kali idol inside Kalighat temple is different from the idols present across India. The idol was created by Brahmanda Giri and Atmaram Giri. The idol of Kali has three huge eyes, long protruding tongue and four hands holding a sword and severed heads of demons. The other two hands are in blessing Mudra which says that she will always look after her devotees and guide them eternally after their complete surrender to her.

Kalighat Kali Temple in Kolkata is regarded as the holiest Peetha ( Seat of Mother Kali ) of all the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where the various parts of Sati's body are said to have fallen, in the course of Hindu God Shiva's Rudra Tandava ( Cosmic Dance ). Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Shakti or Sati fell.

The original temple was built by Raja Basanta Roy on the banks of River Hooghly; however the river has shifted away from the temple with the passage of time. In the olden days, traders used to halt their journey at Kalighat to pay their obeisance to Goddess Kali.

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