Morning visit Flower Market and onward to Dakhineshwar Temple, Kumartuli (potters village) south of the temple & one of Mother Theresa’s many homes for the underprivileged.
Dakhineshwar Temple was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni (1793-1861). This temple is associated with one of India’s greatest religious philosophers – Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886). The main temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. It has 12 smaller temples in the courtyard dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna their consorts Shakti and Radha.
The village ‘Kumartuli’ is the home of the kumars or potters who all year round make the life size deities that are worshipped throughout the year during various festivals. Kali, the patron goddess of Calcutta, is usually seen here in her blood thirsty form, garlanded with skulls.
Afternoon visit Victoria Memorial another landmark in the city, which marks the British reign in India. A combination of Italian renaissance and Mughal architecture, the white marble architecture was the British attempt to replicate the Taj Mahal and is a monument to Queen Victoria and a museum dedicated to the Raj. Thereafter we go to Kalighat temple, the main Kali temple (Durga) in Calcutta.
Kalighat Kali temple is located in the city of Calcutta on the banks of the river Hooghly (Bhagirathi). The name Calcutta is said to have been derived from the word Kalighat. Kolkata was anglicized into Calcutta. Today the city has reverted to its original name. The temple was built in 1809 on the site of a much older temple.
Kali is regarded as one of the principal deities of Bengal. There are other temples to Kali – Sahasrabhuja Kali, Sarvamangala, Tarasundari and Simhavaahini. Kali is regarded as the destroyer or liberator and is depicted in a fearful form. Despite the terrifying form, she is considered to deliver bliss to worshippers. The Kalighat temple is considered one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava.. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Shakti or Sati fell. The temple attracts thousands of devotees throughout the year. The Kalighat temple in its present form is only about 200 years old, although it has been referred to in Mansar Bhasan in the 15th century, and in Kavi Kankan Chandi of the 17th century.