Dakshineshwar Temple, Kolkata
For me….. Dakshineshwar Temple is one the most beautiful temple in the world. Not because it is a vital part of my childhood but also because it is for me the beginnings of my belief in the Almighty. My childhood memories of going to meet my family and grandparents at my native place in Kolkata has always included a trip to the temple.
My family is a strong believer of Kali to whom the temple is dedicated. In fact she is our family Goddess and this temple is the epitome of the belief. Going to the temple is actually homecoming for me. All my holidays in Kolkata or for that matter even all trips to the city of Kolkata have never been complete without a visit to Ma.
Dakshineshwar temple is dedicated to Ma Bhavatarini. It was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni the then Zamindar of Dakshineshwar. The temple is built in the nav-ratna architecture, a Bengal form of architecture. You can see many forms of this architecture in the terracotta temples in Bishnupur and Bankura districts of West Bengal.
In Hinduism any Kali or Devi temple cannot be complete without a Shiva temple. Dakshineshwar too is flanked by the 12 Jyotirlinga Shiva Temples and the best part is….. it opens up to the Ganga (or the river Ganges). There is something really peaceful about the Ganga. I am not wildly spiritual but the mere dipping of feet in the Ganga calms you. The bathing ghat at Dakshineshwar is where numerous people take a dip at the Ganga before offering their prayers at the Kali temple.
You cant really talk of Dakshineshwar and Ma Kali without mentioning Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Swami Vivekananda. They are almost synonymous. Dakshineshwar was the grounds which helped to Gadai (Ramakrishna) reach heights of spirituality.
For me this temple is most peaceful, most cleanest and the most spiritual of all temples. Too many superlatives ehh :D……… but its just the way I feel.
|The main temple built in 1855|
|These are 6 of the total 12 Shiva Jyotirlinga temples.|
|People taking a dip in the Ganga ghat…… across the Ganga is Belur.|