Kalighat Kali Temple is a renowned shrine that observes hundreds and thousands of devotes every year. Located at Kalighat in Kolkata, the temple can be easily reached by the means of local transport from the city. In the southern part of Kolkata, Kalighat is a small locality that is well-known for its Kali temple. Kalighat Kali Temple is considered as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Shakti.
Goddess Kali is regarded as the most complex goddess of the Hindu
pantheon. Usually depicted in a fearful form, Kali is the destroyer as
well as the liberator. Goddess Kali, in her wrathful form, is worshipped
by thousand of devotees, who come all the way from distant parts of
India and the World. The temple attracts a major portion of visitors to
Kalighat Temple is an important religious place for the followers of
Hinduism. As per the legends, the different body parts of Sati fell on
the earth at the time of self-sacrifice. It is believed that the right
toe of Sati fell here and subsequently; the temple was erected to
commemorate the Goddess. Goddess Kalika is the presiding deity in the
Another legend says that once a devotee saw a bright ray of light
impending from Bhagirathi River. He located the light and discovered a
piece of stone in the form of a human toe. In its vicinity, he also
found a 'Svayambhu Lingam' of Nakuleshwar Bhairav. He placed the images
in a small temple and started worshipping them in the forest.
The popularity of the temple grew with the times and it got the
recognition of Kalighat Kali Temple. The present structure of Kali
Temple was constructed about 200 years ago. In 1809, Kalighat Kali
Temple was built by Sabarna Roy Chowdhury of Barisha. Kalighat Temple
has been often referred in the texts like Mansar Bhasan of 15th century.
The original temple was built by Raja Basanta Roy, who was the uncle of
Pratapaditya and the King of Jessore (Bangladesh). The original temple
was sited on the banks of Hooghly; however the river has shifted away
from the temple with the period of time. In the past days, traders used
to take stop at Kalighat to pay their obeisance to Goddess Kali.
Situated on the banks of Adi Ganga, the temple has a sanctum sanctorum
in the company of a huge hall by the name of Nat Mandir. In the
north-east of this sanctum, there is a Shiva Temple. There is one more
shrine dedicated to Radha Krishna. The main attraction of this temple
lies in the image of Goddess Kali that bears a long protruded tongue
made out of gold.
The main shrine comprises the image of Goddess Kali. The image of the
deity appears incomplete. On the initial level, the face of the goddess
was made and further tongue and hands made of gold and silver were added
to the image. On the day of 'Snan Yatra' (Bathing Ceremony), the priests
cover their eyes with cloth strips, while giving the ceremonial bath to
the Goddess. Festivals like Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Poila Boishakh, the
Bengali New Year day and Sankranti witness huge number of devotees at
the temple with offerings.