Kalighat Kali Temple
Kalighat Kali Temple is the holy place of Hindus. It is worshipped and visited in the honour of goddess Kali. It is sited in Kolkatta which is in West Bengal. It lies on the bank of Adi Ganga. Hoogli River is at the back of the shrine. There is Radha-Krishna temple in the west of the main shrine. It is included in 51 Shakti Peethas. The holy Ghat of Kali Mata is Kalighat. A large number of devotees rushed towardsthis shrine in order to root out their domestic problems and pray for their happy and prosperous life and if their prayers are achieved then they come back in order to express their thankfulness. The toe of Mata’s right foot had been fallen at this place. Mata act as demolisher and savior in her terrible form. It is the divine power of Mata which attracts a large number of devotees.
First of all we have to reach kolkatta and that is through three modes: road, rail and air. One can reach Kolkatta by self-drive. There are many cities connected by railway network to Kolkatta. The journey through air can be carried out by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport which is at Dumdum. By reaching to the location of Kolkatta one can easily reach to the shrine of Kalighat Kali by mean of local bus, rickshaws or by hiring taxis.
Security And Some Tips
There are security guards for crowd management and for the purpose of security. The court has ordered to install CCTV cameras in order to ensure security within the temple premises. One should not carry cash and ornaments with himself and should keep his luggage at secure and safe place.
When To Visit
As there are so many crowds in the temple so to avoid it the best time to visit this temple is during wednesday or thursday. The timings of the temple are from 5.00 A.M. to 2.00 P.M and 5.00 P.M to 10.30 P.M. The duration of the visit of this temple is 1 to 2 hours.
What To See And Do
The shrine of Kalighat Kali comprises following areas:
- Sosthi Tala
There is a rectangular platform whose height is 3 feet and consists of a cactus plant. There exists three stones on the platform. One stone (from left to right) symbolizes goddesses SOSTI, second stone symbolizes goddess SITOLA and third stone symbolizes goddess MONGOL CHANDI. These goddess are the fragment of Mata Kali. The platform belongs to the Samadhi of Brahmananda Giri. Only female priests are here on duty. This place is not worshipped nor is the bhog offered here.
It is a covered platform which lies near to the main shrine. From that place devotees can have the view of face of the deity.
A large and open veranda of the principal shrine facing the deity is called as Jor-bangla.
- Harkath Tala
There is a place where animals are sacrificed (Bali) and offered to Mata and that place is called as Harkath Tala. These sacrifices takes place at two platforms in which bigger one for buffalo and the smaller one is for goats and sheep.
The south east potion of the temple occupied holy tank called Kundupukur. Its sacred bathing gives the boon of a child to devotees.
For entering into the mandir devotees has climb on to the embankment and then move down through two stairs. After entering into the shrine the deity of Mata use to be found. The deity of Mata is of chaturbhuj (four hands). These hands are made up of gold and silver. The deity is adorned with jewellery and garlands of red hibiscus flowers. The aarti use to takes place in the morning and the evening. The worship of Mata comprises Nitya Puja, Bhog Rag and Sandhya Aarti. The temple’s priest offer food to Mata and closed the doors of the sanctum so that Mata can have it and take a sleep. Later on, this food (bhog) is distributed as prasad to employees of the temple, devotees and priest. Makhane, Khajur etc are also distributed as prasad.
Where To Stay
There are some dharamshalas or budget hotels in Kolkatta which provides services at economical price. They are: Icchalal Prahlad Das Hotel, Tara Ma Hotel, Hind Guest House, Lovely Guest House and Raj Niwas etc.
Where Else To Stay
There are also hotels near this shrine to take stay along with luxury. These hotels are: Depak Hotel, Hotel Aston International, Vivada Cruises, Hotel Swagath, Neeranand Regency, Sismo Hotel, and Mangalam Hotel etc.
The festivals are celebrated here with great joy and entertainment. The festivals which are celebrated here are Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Poila Boishakh, The Bengali New Year Day and Sankranti. These festivals are the main attraction of the temple.
There are many interesting places to visit near Kalighat Kali Temple. These places are: Menoka Cinema, Taramath Temple, Tapan Theatre, Ganges Art Gallery, Bhawani Cinema, Bodhi Tree Monastery of Art, Bado Rasbadi Mandir, Rabindra Sarovar and Tipu Sultan Mosque etc.
Yatri should take a video camera with them in order to trap each and every moment of the trip. They also should take a personal diary to express their feelings and emotions at that moment of time. They also should take a tourist guide so as to have a complete knowledge of the trip. Yatri should also bring first aid in order to cure the frequent injury.
Therefore, the journey of this shrine should be carried out to worship the Mata with a true spirit.