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Kalighat, Kolkata Overview

Kalighat is a sacred Ghat known for the famous Kalighat temple, which is dedicated to goddess Kali. Kalighat lies on the old course of the Hoogly River in the city of Calcutta (Kolkata). It is said that the name Calcutta has been derived from the word Kalighat. Over a period of time, the river has moved away from the Kalighat Temple and the temple is now located on the banks of a small canal called Adi Ganga that connects to the River Hoogly (the Ganges).


A famous religious attraction of Kolkata, Kalighat Kali Temple is said to be one of the 52 Shakti Peethas found in India. Kalighat is said to be the site where the toes of the right foot of Goddess Sati fell. The image of the deity was incomplete in the earlier years as only the face was made. Later as the years passed, the hands, the tongue, and jewelry were added to the idol of Maa Kali. The temple attracts a huge number of devotees especially on auspicious occasions like Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Poila Boishakh and the Bengali New Year day.


Major Attractions Of Kalighat:


Other than Kalighat Kali Temple there are many other attractions of Kalighat, Kolkata. Lets have a look at some of the places one must visit while in Kalighat-


• Harikath Tala- This spot lies adjacent to the Natmondir, at the southward corner. This place is used for sacrifice (Bali) of animals and that is why it is known as Hari Kath. The bigger one is inside the complex and meant for heavier and bigger animals like buffalo sacrifices whereas the smaller one is reserved for small animals like goats and sheep. The animals are sacrificed here with a first stroke of the knife. When compared to the professional abattoirs, there is less cruelty to animals in Harikath Tala.


• Natmondir- Natmondir is a large rectangular covered platform that has been erected adjacent to the main temple from where the face the main idol can be seen. Originally, it was built by Zamindar Kashinath Roy. It has been reconstructed or renovated often.


• Radha Krishna Temple- This temple is well-known as the Shyam-Ray Temple and is located inside the west side of the main Kali Temple. Originally, this temple was built in the year 1723 and then Uday Narayan Mondal (a Zamindar) rebuilt the temple at the same spot in the year 1843.


• Sosthi Tala- Bearing a small cactus plant, this place is a rectangular altar about three feet high. On an altar, beneath the tree, three stones are kept side by side representing the Goddesses Sosthi, Sitola, and Mongol Chandi. This sacred place is known as Sosthi Tala or Monosha Tala. This altar was built by Gobinda Das Modal. Generally, women offer their puja here. The Goddesses here are said to be the parts of Maa Kali.


• Keoratala Maha Sasan- It is one of the biggest crematorium or Burning Ghat of Kolkata. Founded in the year 1862, this place is located beside the bank of Adi Ganga within the area of Kalighat. This crematorium was renovated by Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy (former Chief Minister of West Bengal) after the Independence. Now, an electric furnace is being used here for the purpose of the burning of dead bodies. The tomb of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das in this Burning Ghat is a worth watching sightseen for the visitors. In addition to these, there are many other large and small memorials and tombs in this spot. The “Swasan Kali Puja” of this crematorium is famous.


Best Time To Visit Kalighat And Kali Temple:


This place is visited by tourists throughout the year. The best time to visit the Kalighat Kali temple is early morning from 6 AM to 7 AM. The opening timing of the temple is from 5 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 10 pm. The usual rush days of the temple are Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Bengali festivals. But early morning visit to the temple is the best.


How To Reach Here:


Located at the South Kolkata, Kalighat can be easily reachable from all parts of Kolkata.


• By Air: Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport is the nearest airport to Kalighat. The place is easily accessible from the airport by road.

• By Train: The nearest railway stations are Howrah and Sealdah. People can also catch metros for Kalighat. The nearest metro stations are Jatin Das Park (Northern Exit) and Kalighat (Southern Exit). One can reach the temple easily from these metro stations via cab or bus.

• By Road: All buses going to South Kolkata always pass through Shyam Prasad Mukherjee road that leads to the Kalighat Temple. Visitors can get down in Kalighat (Kalighat Tram Depot) bus stop and walk down the Kali Temple road to reach the temple. The temple can be reached easily by cab also.



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