Kolkata, April 16, 2017: Many believe that the name Kalikata (ancient name of Kolkata) was derived from Goddess Kali herself. Bengal is the sthal (place) of Mother Goddesses, different incarnations of Parvati-Maa Kali being the foremost of them all.
Here is the list of the most famous Kali Temples in Bengal-
1. Kalighat Temple, Kolkata
The Kalighat Temple, where Sati’s right toe fell here, is the world’s oldest continuously worshiped Maa Kali Temple and is located in the heart of the city in Kalighat. Although the temple was built before the 15 th century, its present magnanimous structure was formed only in the earlier part of the 19 th century by King Manasingha. The deity of the temple is huge and doesn’t follow the same pattern of Kali images which is prayed to at other parts of Bengal.
2. Tarapith Temple, Rampurhat
One of the 51 Shakti Peethas, where an eye ball of Sati fell, Tarapith Temple which has Maa Tara as the deity, is located in Rampurhat, Birbhum district, just before a crematory ground and is around 4.5 hours from Howrah by train. However, every day, the “actual” deity, Goddess Kali breast-feeding Lord Shiva, is offered prayers to at 4 am sharp, and it is the only time when it is unveiled for the public.
3. Dakshineshwar Temple, Kolkata
The Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, one of the majorly worshiped temples in Kolkata is where Sri Ramakrishna used to worship his aradhya Devi Kali in the form of Jagadishwari Kalimata Thakurani, is located right on the banks of the enormous Hooghly and is adorned by 12 identical Shiva temples.
4. Tripura Sundari Temple, Boral
Not much is known about the Tripura Sundari Temple which is located well within Kolkata, Here, at the feet of this deity Ma Kali, in the form of Tripura Sundari positioned upon a Lotus that has come out of the navel of Shiva, there are the famous and much worshiped Pancha devatas or the Five Lords of Hinduism-Rudra, Ishwar, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar.
5. Hangsheshwari Temple, Bansberia
Maa Kali, in the incarnation of Devi Hangsheshwari is prayed to in this 19th century temple situated at a distance of 1.5 hours from Kolkata. The crowns of the temples resemble one of the Walt Disney castles straight out of Disney Land while the adjoining Vasudeva Mandir is an exemplification of the glorious terracotta artworks.
6. Sarva Mangala Temple, Garbeta
Built by Vikramaditya after the Goddess was pleased with him for his Tantric Sadhana over a dead body, the Sarva Mangala temple is situated in the picturesque town of Garbeta. According to legends, the Devi bestowed upon him the services of Tal and Betal. The most peculiar thing with this temple is its north-facing “dwaar” or door.
7. Kanak Durga Temple, Paschim Medinipur
The temple of Kanak Durga, one of the oldest in the area, is situated in the district of West Midnapore, near Chikligarh, amidst dense forests and according to legends it’s a place where humans were sacrificed instead of animals or vegetables.
8. Kankalitala Temple, Bolpur
One of the 51 Shakti peethas where, the Kankal or the waist of Goddess Sati had fallen, this temple is 9 kilometers away from Shantiniketan.
9. Kiriteswari Temple, Murshidabad
Kiriteswari Temple is one of the oldest temples in the district of Murshidabad and one among the 51 Peetha sthaanas, as the “crown” or the kirit of Sati had fallen here, it is also known by the name Mukuteshwari temple. The present temple, was erected only in the 19 thcentury by Darpanarayan, after the real temple was almost on the verge of destruction. It is one among the handful of temples in Bengal where no deities but an auspicious black stone is worshipped.