The beautiful pictures you see here; are of the famous and awesome Temple of Goddess Kali at Dakshineswar, Kolkata. I have offered obeisance at Dakshineswar fewer times compared to my visits to Goddess Kali Temple at Kalighat, despite my desire to go to Dakshineswar more often. This was mainly due to my stay in South Kolkata, closer to Kalighat during my several official visits to Kolkata. During this particular visit along with my wife I took pictures of this beautiful Temple, though photography is banned, because I saw many others clicking pictures freely.
Dakshineswar Temple Complex is constructed by Rani Rashmoni between 1847 and 1855. It is built on a 20-acre plot by the side of Hooghly River. The Temple is built in the traditional Nava Ratna architecture of Bengal, which is Nine-Spires style. It is a three-storied, south-facing Temple standing on a high platform, with a flight of stairs on all four sides leading to the Temple entrances. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idol of Goddess Kali also known as Bhavatharini. You can see an image of the idol immediately below this article. The main Temple is 14 X 14 Mtrs. square and is 30 Mtrs. high. Close to the main Temple is a row of twelve identical Temples of Lord Shiva. There is also a Radha-Krishna Temple here. I hope the attached photographs will give you a fairly good idea of this huge and beautiful Temple Complex.
The idol of Goddess Kali was consecrated on 31st May 1855, with rituals being led by the head priest Sri Ramkumar Chattopadhyay. Soon his brother Sri Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (later known as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) joined him. A year later Sri Ramkumar Chattopadhyay died and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa along with his wife Sarada Devi were made in-charge of the Temple. They lived in the Temple Complex, where a shrine has now come up for Sarada Devi. Sri Ramakrishna remained in-charge of the Temple for 30 years, until his death in 1886. He was responsible for bringing fame and pilgrims to the Temple. And his religious school of thought led to the formation of the famous and worldwide present Ramakrishna Mission, first established by his chief disciple Sri Swami Vivekananda.
The Temple is now under the control of a Board of Trustees. It is a must visit, pious and historical place in Kolkata.