One of the four Metro cities of the country, Kolkata, has a charm of its own. The cultural capital of India is famous for its art, heritage, and traditions. Kolkata is rich with vibrant colors, cultural values, and temples. The temples of the city hold a strong history and significance, and here are some of the famous temples of Kolkata to explore the ethnicity of the city, and to feel close to god.
Kalighat Kali Temple
Located at the banks of a small canal Adi Ganga, this temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas (significant shrines in Shaktism), and the goddess of strength, Kali is worshipped here. As the name goes, the ghat in Kalighat stands for the stairs connecting the waterbody to the temple. Fun fact: If the folk stories are to be believed the name Calcutta has been derived from the word Kalighat.
Where: Anami Sangha, Kalighat
One of the most beautiful temples in Kolkata, this one is for sure to make it to your Instagram feed. The construction of the temple started in 1970, and it took more than 25 years to build the marvel. And if you are a worshipper of Radha Krishna, this is the temple for you to pay a visit. The temple has very strict timing and is open from 5.30 A.M. to 11 A.M. and from 4 .30 P.M. to 9 P.M. The place is packed with devotees during Janmasthami, and it is one of the best times to visit this temple.
Chinese Kali Mandir
Tiretta Bazaar in Kolkata is home to a bustling community of the Chinese Indian population, and being so close to the Bengali culture, the Chinese Indians are heavily influenced by it. And it’s the Kali Baari (temple) at Tiretta that brings both cultures together. You won’t find the typical bhog here but to your amusement, you can enjoy some Chinese noodles as prasad.
Where: Matheswartala Road, Tangra
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
One of the most celebrated temples in Kolkata, this is a must-visit place when you are touring the city. The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni. The construction of the temple took around 8 years to complete the temple and was inaugurated in 1855 and now is more than 150 years old.
This famous temple is constructed in a traditional ‘Nava-Ratna’-styled Bengali architecture, and this three-storeyed temple faces the Hooghly river connected with a fleet of stairs. Dakshineswar Kali Temple complex houses 12 mandirs anointed to Lord Shiva, a Radha-Krishna Temple, Rani Rashmoni’s shrine, along with the Kali Temple. The temple is also popular because of its association with a mystic Ramakrishna Paramhansa, who was also a priest at the temple. As the story goes, it is a popular belief that Ramakrishna has actually seen the goddess Kali. Well, you believe it or not, this temple is still a holy place to pay a visit. A lot of devotees also take a dip in the Ganga.
Mass devotees of West Bengal are worshippers of goddess Kali, and there are numerous temples where you can pay tribute to the almighty. Lake Kalibiri is located in Southern Ave, and the goddess in this temple is depicted as Karunamoyee, and hence is also known as Sree Sree 108 Karunamoyee Kalimata Mandir.
Build on the banks of Hooghly river, this temple is exactly opposite to the Dakshineshwar temple. Belur Muth is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission and is founded by Swami Vivekananda, one of the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. One of the best examples of religious harmony, this temple practices non-sectarianism, and people from various religious faith and even the atheists, come here to experience serenity and peace.
Where: Belur, Howrah
Calcutta Jain Temple
Also known as Parshwanath Temple, this is one of the main tourist attractions in Kolkata. This temple is dedicated to the23rd Jain Tirthankar, Parshwanath, and the temple also houses the deity of Lord Shitalnathji. Inaugurated in 1867, the lamp inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple has been burning ever since. Even if you’re not a devotee, the temple gateway is so pretty that you’ll automatically be drawn to it.
Where: Heysham Road