Goddess Kali has been worshipped throughout the world in many old Kali Mandirs. Ma Kali worshiped at Kalighat Kali Mandir,  Kolkata for hundreds of years. Kalighat Kali Mandir at Kolkata is a prime tourist attraction of West Bengal. Relationships with Ma Kali and devotee  thus defined. A brief history of Kalighat Kali Mandir written below.


A long time ago in Satya Yuga, Sati, wife of Lord Shiva, daughter of Daksha, immolated herself in protest of her husband Shiva’s insult by her father. Lord Shiva shocked by the incident and in anger, he kept the dead body of Sati on his shoulder and started the dance of destruction, and started moving towards East.

Watching his devastating attitude Bramha and other Gods became worried. They worried that the universe may be destroyed. They knew that the body of Sati on the shoulder of Lord Shiva would not decompose so long it remained in touch with Shiva’s body. But it was important to detach the body of Sati from that of Siva to bring Lord Siva out of such a great shock and could be avoided from the catastrophe of the universe.  They knew what to do but were not sure how to do it.

They then approached Lord Bishnu. After a long discussion, they decided that Lords Bramha, Bishnu, and Shani would utilize their power of Yoga to chop the body of Sati into pieces and threw those parts of the body to the universe to establish Shaktipeeths. They executed the plan. The destruction of the universe  averted.

Kalighat Kali Mandir 1
Kalighat Kali Mandir: Image 1

Body parts of Sati fell in fifty-one places of India and fifty-one sacred Shaktipeeths was established. The toe of the right leg of Sati or according to another opinion four fingers of the right leg fell at the bank of Adi Ganga, Kalighat. That is how the sacred pilgrimage of Kalighat came into existence. Adi Ganga was the original course of Ganga which later changed to a new route shifted towards the west.


East bank of Ganga  said to be the place where Ma Kali used to exist in different temples. Hindu merchants used to go on their voyage for trading to the sea en-route Adi Ganga, they used to take a break and offer puja to Ma Kali at Kalighat to ensure a safe voyage. The ghat they used to reach Ma Kali’s temple, known as Kalighat.

Kalighat Kali Mandir 2
Kalighat Kali Mandir: Image 2

It is not known when this shrine (Peeth) discovered after it came into existence. Adi Ganga surrounded by dense forests; it was an extended area of Sundarbans. Shaktipeeth also surrounded by impenetrable forests. One Siddha Yogi saint, named Atmaram, and his Siddha Yogi Guru Bromhanandagiri had a connection with Shankaracharya Math. They were the persons who established Kalighat Kali Mandir as Peeth as learned.

There are many contradictory stories about how Goddess Kali that we can see now, came into existence. Here Sati’s right foot fingers were fell that’s why it called ‘Dakshina Kalika’ or ‘Dakshina Kali’. The idol  not of a regular shaped clean appearance.  The three huge eyes, long projecting out tongue made of gold, and four hands, which all made of gold too.

Ma Kali here worshipped by Kali Mantra which is not a practice for other Kali temples where commonly Kali worshipped as Durga or Parbati, which are the other form of Ma Jagadamba.

This Shaktipeeth is established at a distance called Kalighat. The origin of Kolkata is considered to be Kalikot and it is from Kalikot that Kalighat has been named. Kolkata is the Apabhramsa of Kalighat. Kolkata has been the head of India since ancient times. It is an ancient metropolis, situated on the banks of the Ganges. Howrah and Sealdah are the major railway stations here. At this place, four fingers of the right foot Sati had fallen except the thumb. This Shaktipeeth is revered by the public and in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, a statue of the divine form of the mother is seated on a huge rock. The mother’s form is black. She has three eyes.

A gem crown is adorned on the forehead of the mother. Mother Kali’s four hands and teeth are 10 kg. They are of gold, there are 108 Asura Mudmalas of gold around the neck. Shiva received 60 kg at the feet of Mata Kali. The image is of silver, the crown and tongue are of gold, and on the hand are gold bangles and bracelets. Mother has a golden hive on her head. All the devotees whose wishes are fulfilled, bring and offer them. There is a huge hall in front of the main temple. Devotees sit and worship the mother. Thousands of hours are spent in the temple.

On the right side of the temple are Shree Narayan Mandir, Shiva, Bhairav, Hanuman, and Radha-Krishna temples. The temple has a total of 6 gates. Mata’s padmasana is of gold, which is missing from the rock. Every day there is an influx of devotees from morning till late at night.

Kalighat Kali Mandir 3
Kalighat Kali Mandir: Image 3

Who has crafted the Kali image and erected the temple? There are many stories about it. But the most reasonable story is that Santosh Roychoudhury, a family member of Bengal’s ancient zamindar Saborna Roychoudhury was the founder of the temple. Saborna Roychoudhury installed the image of Goddes Kali  in the temple. Saborna Roychudhury was an ancient and cultured Zamindar clan of Bengal in the period of the Sen dynasty. Their zamindari was spread from Halisahor in North to Barisha in South. They were Shakto. Santosh Roychudhury of the Saborna Roychudhury family was a liberal zamindar. He was a big devotee of Great Goddes Ma Kali. He discovered the idol and came to know the greatness of Goddess Kali.

The Story:

Once he was on a trip in his boat on Adi Ganga. At that time, he heard somebody’s voice enchanting mantra in the dense forest. He came down from the boat and saw one Bramhin worshipping a Kali idol in the forest with great devotion and that person told Santosh Roychudhury about the greatness of Ma Kali. Thus, people came to know about the greatness of Ma Kali. A permanent construction of the mandir was first erected by Raja Basanta Roy. The mandir destroyed after a short period of time, as known. Then the mandir reconstructed by Santosh Roychudhury and that construction still exists. The new mandir built in the year 1809, finally.

Kalighat Kali Mandir 5
Kalighat Kali Mandir: Image 4


Kalika Purana (Ashtashakti) has clear mention of Dakshina Kalika, Mukha khanda as major Saktipeeth situated at Kolkata, West Bengal.

Kalighat Kali Mandir 5
Kalighat Kali Mandir: Image 5

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