Before we start talking about Dakhineswar Kali Temple, let us try to find the answer to a few pertinent questions. Who is Dakhineswar? What is the real name of the place Dakhineswar? Why was the temple built here? What is the origin of the building of twelve Shiva temples, and what is the origin of the idea of building the nabaratna category Dakhineswar Kali Temple of Ma Kali? Who found the confluence of three spiritual philosophies Shiva-Shakta-Vaishnav? How it is a Mahatirtha?
If we can explain these questions, the importance of Dakhineswar Kali Temple could be realized.
Approximately three hundred years before, Deulipota was a place on the eastern bank of the Ganga River at the end of the plot of the land where Dakhineswar Kali Temple is now situated. The family of the King of the place King Ban had their palace there at Deulipota. King Ban established a Shivalinga (Shiva Temple) in a village within his kingdom named Shonitpur and renamed the village Dakhineswar. Lord Shiva thus became Dakhineswar.
After the death of Ban King, the temple was destroyed and the forest encroached on the area. No human inhabitant was there except a few huts of fishermen. Durgaprosad Roychoudhury and Bhabaniprosad Roychoudhury, from the family of Saborna Roychoudhury, came here. They cleaned the area. Durgaprosad Roychoudhury and Bhabaniprosad Roychoudhury arranged human settlement here. They brought a few families of Brahmins and helped them to settle here.
A large area of the eastern side of the Ganga River belonged to the British. The area was in the control of an Englishman named John Hastie. The southern part of the land was like the back of a tortoise. According to the rule of tantra, a cemetery on this type of land is the best place to establish a place for shakti and pursuit.
On the southern side of the land, there was a Kuthibari. The residence of John Hastie. The circular platform (bedi) where Sri Ramkrishna pursued is here. It is known from the history that Nilkar Saheb (refers to the notorious indigo Agri policy by the British) used to stay at the Kuthibari some two hundred years back.
- After the death of her husband Rajchandra Das on 9th June 1836, Rani Rashmoni started practicing the sacred life of Brahmacharini. She decided on a pilgrimage. Rani Rashmoni wanted to start her tour with Kashi. She wanted to worship Baba Mahadev and Ma Annapurna. Rani Rashmoni had a plot at Kashi. She may have any plan on that plot. Rani Rashmoni along with a big team of relatives and relations, helping hands started a voyage for Kashi on twenty-five numbers of Bajra (Big Boat).
- Rani was very much disturbed by the sufferings of poor people who were starving due to famine. At night. her Bajra was stopped at Dakhineswar. Ma Annapurna came in her dream and said that she need not have to go to Kashi. Ma Annapurna said that let her build a temple here at the bank of the river and Ma Annapurna will take her daily offering and worshipping here.
- In the morning, she discussed with her men the order she had received in her dream from Ma Annapurna. Rani Rashmoni canceled the pilgrimage. She ordered to distribute the provisions she had in the Bajra to the poor starving people. She decided to build a temple as wished by Ma Annapurna.
- Her effort to purchase a plot of land on the western side of the river at Uttarpara, Bali, etc., was not successful because Hindu Brahmins did not allow Rani Rashmoni to build a temple as she was from a lower cast. Finally, she got the most suitable land at Dakhineswar. Dakhineswar had a Muslim place of pursuit, a cemetery of Muslims, a cemetery of Hindus, and a Christians Kuthibari.
- On 6th September 1847, Rani Rashmoni purchased the land with an amount of Rs. 42,500.00. She also acquired some adjacent land and the area became 60 bighas. The total expenses for land were Rs.55,000.00. Later, some area handed over for building Vivekananda Setu and now the area is more or less 58 bighas.
- The actual construction of the temple began in 1847. Rani Rashmoni had to face resistance from a few Zamindars. They could not accept a woman of a farmer’s family background of the lower cast to build the temple. They moved to court to stop the construction, not once but sixteen times. But defeated every time.
It is not known who the artists of the temple. Macintosh Burn appointed the architect for designing the temple. The unique architect visibly influenced by the following temples.
In the temple, installed Sri Jagadishwari Ma, the mother of the universe under the priesthood of Sri Rama Kumar Chattopadhyay. Gadadhar was Rama Kumar’s younger brother. Gadadhar used to come with his elder brother to the temple. In course of time, Gadadhar that is Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Dev became the main priest of the temple. Ramakrishna gave the name of Ma Kali as Ma Bhabatarini.
After studying deeply, the life and philosophy of Sri Ramakrishna Dev, the people of the twenty-first century concluded that Ramakrishna is none other than God himself. The footprint of God Sri Ramakrishna in the temple made the place a world pilgrimage.
Temples of Shiva
A collection of 12 same Shiva temples installed on the premises of the Devalaya. Opposite the Kuthi Bari, those temples are near the banks of the River Ganga. The indoors of the temples accomplished in white and black stone and in every of the temple’s homes Shiva lingas made of black stone. The temples face the east and built withinside the typical ‘Aat Chala’ Bengal architecture. The collection of temples divided via way of means of the Chadni (Riverbank), retaining the six Shiva temples to the left and the alternative six to the right. Prayers provided each day and it became the place where Sri Sri Ramakrishna stated to have attain enlightenment.
To the northeast of the Temple, Complex is the Vishnu Temple or the Radha Kanta’s Temple. A flight of steps results in the columned verandah and into the temple wherein a silver throne rests with a 21 and 1/2 inches idol of Lord Krishna and sixteen inches idol of Radha. Daily puja achieved and Sri Ramakrishna himself offered puja right here.
Mandir remains opened
Morning: 6:30 am to 12.30 pm
Evening: 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm
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