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Dakhineshwar Tour (Temple in Kolkata)

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The Dakshineswar Temple in Kolkata is a magnificent temple situated at a distance of 12 km from the city centre alongside the Vivekananda Bridge. On the banks of the river Ganga, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The conventional Nava-ratna (nine pinnacled temples) style temple, rises over 100 feet high. It is one of the largest temples in Kolkata.

DakshineswarThe majestic Dakshineswar temple in Kolkata is a pilgrimage Mecca not only for Hindus but of other religious sects as well. The very name of the temple of Dakshineswar conjures the image of the spiritual giant Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa who attained nirvana at this holy temple on the banks of the Ganges. It is a major tourist spot along with being an East Indian pilgrimage.

The Dakshineswar temple in Kolkata is a large elongated building standing on a high platform with a flight of stairs. The three-storied south-facing temple has nine spires distributed in upper two storeys. The roof of the spires is beautifully ridged resembling Pirhas. A narrow covered verandah serves the purpose of an audience-chamber attached to the sanctum where the goddess Dakshina Kali stands on the breast of Shiva.

There is a long spacious Natmandir (Dancing hall) in front of the temple. There are other subsidiary shrines on this temple compound. The colossal kali temple is known to be one of the rare temples of Indian origin, having world-renowned fame. It is one of the pilgrimage sites in India that draws huge crowds. It is also one of the unifying places of worship in India for all religions.

History of the temple :

The construction of the temple started in 1847. Queen Rasmani, the renowned queen of Janbazar had founded the Dhakshineswar temple. She was instructed by Goddess Kali in her dream, which directed her to build a temple of Kali in Bengal. She was born to a fisherman's family and later on married a rich Bengali merchant. Built in 1855, at the cost an estimated Rs. 9 lakhs, the temple and its adjoining areas stand on 25 acres of land.

The main attraction of the temple is that the Ganga (Hooghly river) flows beside the temple. With its huge courtyard, the 12-spired temple is surrounded by 12 other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Dhakshineswar temple, in Kolkata India is one of the world famous Hindu pilgrimage sites.

It was here that the famous religious thinker Rama Krishna Paramahamsa achieved his spiritual vision and preached the unity of all religions. He was a worshipper at this temple and he used to live in the temple premises. The transformation from being the son of a poor Brahmin priest in a small town of Bengal to the spiritual master of his time had unfolded in Dakshineswar temple. His room is open to visitors of the temple.

Around the temple:

To the north of the Kali-temple is a Dalan of Radha-Krishna. To the west, twelve Siva temples of Bengal stand in rows on the Hughli River with a ‘chandni-bathing ghat, which is flanked by these Siva temples, six each on either side. On three sides of the temple compound are the rows of guestrooms and offices. There are umpteen shops on both sides of the main entrance of the Dhakshineswar temple in Kolkata. The whole ambience is peaceful and it is a spectacular sight for visitors.

Other Tourist Attractions :

The Panchavati, (meaning a congregation of five ancient trees), is a place for peaceful meditation. Here Sri Ramakrishna used to meditate and performed severe penances sitting on the 'Panchamundi (5 skulls) Ashana' - a custome which is mandatory for the 'Tantrika' form of worship

Nearby is the Belur temple that is3km from the Dakshineswar temple in Kolkata. The Belur Math is also one of the prominent pilgrimage sites in India. It includes the main monastery, several temples and the head quarters of Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math.

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