Kolkata, the land of joy, is best known for its diverse population and it’s never ending string of colorful festivals. Blessed with rich traditions and architectural beauty, a trip to Kolkata promises to be an unforgettable experience for the visitors. A city deeply influenced by spiritual visionaries, religious thinkers and reformers, Kolkata is the hub of many sanctum sanctorum. Noted for its majestic legacy and magnificence, the temples in Kolkata have come to be the aesthetic landmarks of the city. The Bengalis being great worshippers of Goddess Kali, you are likely to stumble upon several Kali temples in the city. However, the devotion of Bengalis is not just limited to Goddess Kali alone but also extends to other deities and spiritual visionaries like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, whose essence remains in the heart and soul of every Bengali. Explore this article to know more about the cultural heritage of Kolkata through its temples.
FamousTemples Of Kolkata
Kalighat Kali Temple
Kalighat Kali temple, situated at Kalighat near Rasbihari Avenue, is one of the oldest and most popular sanctum sanctorum of the Hindus. Legend has it that during Lord Shiva’s “Rudra Tandava”, a toe of Devi Sati fell down in this place thereby making Kalighat one of the revered Sakti Peethas in India. This 200-year-old temple, with its multicolored layers of painted trim, is one of the venerated pilgrim spots in the world. You can visit this holy temple any day between 5.00 am to 2.00 pm and between 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm.
Dakshineswar Kali temple, situated on the banks of river Hooghly near Bally Bridge, is dedicated to Maa Bhavatarini, an aspect of Goddess Kali and his disciple Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. According to the records, the foundation for this place of worship was laid down in the year 1847 but the temple was completed only by the year 1855. The credit for formation of Dakshineswar Temple goes to Rani Rasmani of Janbazar, who was an ardent disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The temple is open to devotees on all days between 6.30 am to 12.00 am and 3.30 pm to 09.00 pm.
Belur Math, located on the banks of river Hooghly, is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Spread over several acres of land, Belur Math is the home to the famous Ramakrishna temple, which was built by Swami Vivekananda in 1899. People from all over the world visit this place to enjoy the serene beauty and to achieve renunciation from the evil world. Other popular temples of Math are Swami Brahmananda's Temple, Swami Vivekananda's Temple and Mother Sarada Devi's Temple. Belur Math is open for devotes from 6.30 am to 12.00 am and 3.30 pm to 09.00 pm.
Pareshnath Jain Temple
Pareshnath Jain Temple, located in northeastern side of Kolkata, is famous for its stunning construction and mirror work. Built by an art aficionado named Ray Badridas Bahadur in 1867, this striking temple is decked up with colored stones and mirrors. This temple, apart from a lush garden, houses four different temples. Among the four temples, the main shrine is dedicated to 10th Jain Avtaar, Sri Sital Nath Ji. Other three temples are devoted to Prabhujidev, Dadaji Garu and Mahavira. Apart from these temples, the place also contains a pleasant greeting room and museum. You can visit the temple from 6.00 am to11.00 am in the morning and from 3.00 pm to7.00 pm in the evening.
Birla Temple, located on Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue, is popular for its creative architectural designs and aesthetic surroundings. Also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, this temple houses the idols of Radha, Krishna, Shiva and Durga. The marble slabs portraying the teachings of Lord Krishna further adds to the sanctity of this spiritual landmark. This marvelous white marble temple, which attracts large number of tourists every day, is indeed one of the most fascinating temples of Kolkata. The temple is open to devotees from 5 am in the morning to 3 pm in the evening and 5 pm in the evening to 12 at midnight.
Thanthania Kalibari, situated in Shyam Bazar, is one of the most popular Kali temples in Kolkata, which attracts huge number of devotees every day. Built by Sankar Ghosh in 1703, this temple worships Siddheswari Mata, one of the forms of Goddess Kali. You can visit this temple from 6.00 am to11.00 am and 300 pm to 7.00 pm.
Agni Mandir at Metcalf lane is a Parsee temple built in the year 1912. Parsees who belong to Zoroastrian religion worship the god of fire - Agni. A visit to this temple reveals the religious beliefs and rituals of Parsee community. Noted for its artisanship, this temple is famous for its eternal fire, which burns continuously. However, the area is not meant for public view. However, you can have a look at the photocopy of this eternal flame displayed on first floor. This place is open on all days between 10 am to 8 pm.