Dakshineswar

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Kali temple at Dakshineswar

Dakshineswar is a temple town in Southeast Bengal in India. It is very near near Kolkata ans many consider it a Kolkata neighbourhood. It is a small place and all the locations of tourist interest are within walking distance from the Railway station or bus stand.

Get in[edit]

  • By train - Dakshineswar is railway station on the Sealdah (in the heart of Kolkata)- Dankuni (on the Howrah-Bardhaman chord line) sector. It is 14 km from Sealdah and 10 km from Dankuni. Most local trains specialy Dankuni Local from Sealdah station stop here and some long distance trains such as Darjeeling mail also stop at this station.
  • By road - it is connected to Kolkata. One has to travel along Barrackpore Trunk Road, a major artery in north Kolkata, and turn left for Dakshineswar just after Baranagore and before Dunlop rail over bridge. Belghoria fly-over will connect it to Jessore Road and Dum Dum airport. Vivekananda Setu across the Hooghly River at Dakshinewar connects it to, Bally, Uttarpara and Dankuni on the other bank and on to Grand Trunk Road, Delhi Road, Bombay Road and Durgapur Expressway. A new bridge named 'Nivedita Setu' has been built to ease out the load of old bridge, 'Vivekanada Setu'. There are many buses from Kolkata, as well from places across the river.

Get around[edit]

Cycle rickshaws and Auto Rickshaws are available for local transport.

See[edit]

  • Kali Temple – a Hindu temple. There are several other temples in the large complex and a ghat (steps leading to the river) on the bank of the Hooghly River. Beside it you can see the temple of "Radha Gobinda" a famous temple of Lord Krishna and Radha. You will even be able to see the twelve temples of Lord Shiva (The God of destruction).

Nature and bird lovers can visit the temple in the morning to see the beauty of of the sun rising from the lap of The great Ganges spreading all over its beautiful pleasant rays on the earth as if speading allover its kingdom. In the temple compound we will be able to see thousands of pigeons looking ahead to be fed by the bird feeders, its really a beautiful scenario which is unforgettable.

The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni between 1847 and 1855. Ramakrishna Paramahamsadev was the head and only priest of this temple from 1856 to 1886. After his death it has been taken over by the West Bengal Government. It attracts thousands of worshippers round the year.

Do[edit]

Boating in the Hooghly. (There is no jetty)You get jetty only in Dakshineswar temple ghat and Belur, you can enjoy a 20-30 minutes boating ride from Dakshineswar temple to Belur Math.

Sunset on the Hooghly river behind the Vivekananda Setu [Vivekananda Bridge] from the bank is superb. In winter you will enjoy the most with the set of dusk and chill wind blowing over your body.

Buy[edit]

  • Flowers and offerings to the goddess are available in a arcade just outside the temple.
  • Various items of home worship according to Hindu tradition.
  • Cheap home decorations and handicrafts.
  • Different kind of pickles available at a very low price.

Eat[edit]

Many devotees follow the Hindu custom of fasting before worshipping here. There are many small eateries and restaurants catering to a large clientele.

Drink[edit]

No hard drinks. You only get "Nimbu Pani" our so called Lime juice drink.

Sleep[edit]

There are some lodge for the visitors to stay fortnight or so. Charges varries from season to season but its between Rs150 - Rs300 per room per day.

Go next[edit]

  • Belur - Headquarters of Ramkrishna Mission, with its beautiful 'math' (Hindu monastery complex) is across the river. One can travel from Dakshineswar to Belur by either boat or road.
  • In Belur you have a small but beautiful museam of Ramkrishna Dev and Sarada mani along with Swami Vivekananda. The Evening "Arati" is something you should see in Belur Math. One most uncommon and attractive ritual of Belur Math is, at the time of Durga Puja, which generaly helds in the month of October, they worship a girl dressed with beautiful Benarashi sari and jeweleries which resembles as "Kumari Puja" meaning worshiping "Kumari" i.e, a unmarried and young girl who haven't reached the age of 10 years. The girl have to dress according the tradition and the Priests will worship as long as the time scheduled for the puja. Thousands of people come this day to see the pujs and only on this day taking snaps are allowed in the temple compound.
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