Kalighat Temple, Kolkata
Kalighat Temple is located in the Kalighat area of Kolkata. The temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. Although the temple was erected in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh, one of Akbar’s Rajput generals, its present magnanimous structure was formed only in the earlier part of the 19th century under the guidance of Sabarna Roy Chowdhury. The deity of the temple is huge and doesn’t follow the same pattern of Kali images which is prayed to in other parts of Bengal. According to legend, Goddess Sati’s right toe fell here, and is the world’s oldest continuously worshiped Kali temple.
One of the 51 Shakti Peethas, Tarapith Temple is located in Rampurhat in Birbhum district and is around 4.5 hours from Howrah by train. The temple, located near a crematory ground, has Maa Tara as the residing deity. However, every day, the actual deity, Goddess Kali breast-feeding Lord Shiva, is offered prayers at 4 am sharp, and it is the only time when it is unveiled for the public. It is believed that an eyeball of Goddess Sati fell here at Tarapith.
Dakshineswar Temple, Dakshineswar
One of the majorly worshiped temples in West Bengal, the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple is where Sri Ramakrishna used to worship his aradhya Devi Kali in the form of Jagadishwari Kalimata Thakurani. The temple is located right on the banks of the Hooghly and is adorned by 12 identical Shiva temples.
Tripurasundari Temple, Boral
The Tripurasundari Temple is located in Boral on the southern outskirts of Kolkata. Here, at the feet of this deity, you’ll find the famous and much-worshiped Pancha Devatas or the Five Lords of Hinduism – Rudra, Ishwar, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. Here Goddess Kali is worshipped in the form of Tripurasundari. She is positioned upon a lotus that has come out of the navel of Shiva.
Hangsheswari Temple, Bansberia
This 19th-century temple is situated in Bansberia in Hooghly district. Here Goddess Kali is worshipped as the incarnation, Devi Hangsheshwari. The adjoining Vasudeva Mandir (the red-coloured temple on the left in the picture below) is an example of the glorious terracotta artwork of Bengal.
Sarvamangala Temple, Garbeta
Situated in the picturesque town of Garbeta in West Medinipur district, the Sarvamangala Temple is known to be erected by Vikramaditya after the Goddess Kali was pleased with him for his Tantric sadhana over a dead body. In fact, it was with the goddess’ provision of supernatural powers to him that he was bestowed with the services of Tal and Betal. However, the most peculiar thing about this temple is its north-facing ‘dwaar’ or door.
Kankalitala Temple, Bolpur
Only 9 km from Shantiniketan is Kankalitala is Kankalitala Temple, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas where, according to legend, the kankal or the waist of Goddess Sati had fallen. The temple might seem a normal rural temple situated amidst fields from afar, but once you’re there, you cannot help but feel a bit terrified.
Kiriteswari Temple, Murshidabad
One among the 51 Shakti Peetha, Kiriteswari Temple is one of the oldest temples in the district of Murshidabad and is also known as Mukuteshwari Temple. The present temple , however, was erected only in the 19th century by Darpanarayan Roy, after the real temple was almost on the verge of destruction. According to believers, the ‘kirit’ or crown of Goddess Sati had fallen here. It is one among the handful of temples in Bengal where no deities but an auspicious black stone is worshipped.
Bhramari Devi Temple, Boda
Bhramari Devi Temple is located at Salbari village, Bodaganj, in Jalpaiguri district, on the bank of the river Teesta. It is one of the 51 Shakto Peethas whare the left leg of Goddess Sati is believed to have fallen. Maa Bhramari or Bhramari Devi is another of the manifestations of Goddess Sati.
Lead image: remotetraveler.com