Siddheswari Kali Mandir Bagbazar (The Black Pagoda as it was called ) is a Navaratna Kali temple located on Rabindra Sarani (Chitpur Road) just north of Kumartuli. Built-in 1730-31, the tallest minaret of the temple rises to a height of about 165 feet above the original Shaheed Minar (157 feet). It was the tallest building in Kolkata in the 18th century.
History of Siddheswari Kali Mandir Bagbazar
Once upon a time, it was a deep forest there. Sutanuti village (the village turned into Calcutta/Kolkata) is filled with forests of cane and hogla leaves. No noise. Total silence. The sacred Bhagirathi River flows very close to it.
Once upon a time, a hermit named Kalivar, who was doing penance in a cave in the Himalayas, received a revelation from the goddess Kalika. After leaving the Himalayas, he set up his meditation seat in the Sutanuti cane and Hogla forest. Goddess was happy in penance. She asked the monk to install the idol at the place indicated by her. The monk completed the work on time. Later, transferring the burden of daily worship to the hands of a Kapalik, he went on his pre-ordained path. Even during the East India Company period, sacrifices were offered in front of the goddess Kalika founded by the monk Kalibar.
This story and folklore are related to the Goddess Siddheshwari Kali of Bagbazar. The date of the first establishment is still in the dark. Goddess Siddheshwari established at 512 Rabindra Sarani near Kumortuli.
Siddheswari Kali Mandir Bagbazar
This is not a rumor anymore. About the year 1686/87. At that time, Holwell was the Governor of Bengal. Gobindram Mitra came to Sutanuti in search of fortune from today’s Barrakpur and Chanak of the past. He settled in Kumortuli. The wheel of fortune turned. Black Zamindar Mitra Mashai became the assistant of Saheb Zamindar through his hard work and efficiency. From 1720-1753, he earned immense wealth and money from that post.
He built the temple of Bagbazar in 1730/32. The idol of the goddess installed in the temple is Mrinmayi. Big eyes, about normal human height. To the left foot of the goddess is a full Digambar white Mahadev’s head. The unadorned goddess is not naked, but the goddess is gorgeous. Currently, there are two Khara (weapons). One is modern and one is ancient. No one knows how old it is. One is overwhelmed to see the worn-out Khara.
Stories about Siddheswari Kali Mandir Bagbazar
Once about this temple, Thakur Sri Ramakrishna used to say, ‘Oh, this mother fulfills the wishes of all. He can fulfill whatever you desire.’
Upendranath Mukhopadhyay was the founder of Basumati Sahitya Mandir, he graced by Sri Ramakrishna. Thakur Ramakrishna said to him one day, ‘Vow to Siddheshwari, your one door may become a hundred doors.’
Keshav Chandra Sen of the Brahmo Samaj once fell very ill. After learning about this, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansdev vowed to Siddheshwari in Bagbazar to get rid of the disease.
Theater king Girishchandra Ghosh was also used to coming to Siddheshwari mother. He used to dedicate every drama of his life to the feet of the goddess. Siddheshwari Kali of Bagbazar fondly called ‘House Wife of North Kolkata’.
Before the name of Devi temple was Navratna temple. It is said that its peak was much higher than the Ochterlony Monument. It collapsed in the 1840 earthquake. At that time the British shahibs called the temple Black Pagoda, some gave it the name ‘Mitra’s Pagoda’.
Mention in Newspapers
In the year 1226 -27, about Agrahayana Siddheshwari Devi, remarkable news appeared in the then ‘Samachar Darpan’ newspaper –
An idol of Siddheshwari is sitting on the street of Kolkata Bagbazar. Many fortunate people worship him and Brahmin scholars recite twenty and thirty chants and hymns every day. Rich people give him many ornaments consisting of gold and silver and many people make many vows and sacrifices to her.
Recently last week during Fullmoon night, it is estimated that a thief broke the window of her house and stole gold ornaments estimated to be five and seven thousand rupees. Later, after reporting to the police station, Barkandajers found some of the ornaments in the house of a prostitute while searching and arrested the prostitute. It was heard in front of that harlot that a man had stolen blacksmith caste; He has access to that brothel but he has run away, he has not been caught.
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