Kalighat Kali Temple
This is a most sacred Hindu temple in West Bengal, India. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. This temple is famed as one of the 51 ‘Shakti Peethas’. Basically, Kalighat was a Ghat -landing stage committed to Kali on the old banks of the Hooghly River (Bh?girathi) in Calcutta. Calcutta is said to have been derived from the word Kalighat. However, the river has moved away from the temple at some point of time. The temple is now on the banks of a small canal called – ‘Adi Ganga’ which connects to the Hoogly River. The Adi Ganga is famous as the original course of the river Hoogly. Hence it got the name Adi (original) Ganga.
Kolkata is famous world-wide, as the home of festivities and celebrations and is also well known as the land of fervent devotion. Goddess Durga/Kali is worshiped as the Mother Goddess in this holy city. Kolkata has an umpteen number of temples and these temples are devoted to Goddess Kali. Goddess Kali is the most prominent and popular being in Kalighat Temple. It is a belief that the city of Kolkata has got its name from this temple, which was changed after some time as Calcutta. Kalighat is one of the 52 Shakti peeths of the Hindus and is highly revered and most sacred religious site across Kolkata. The temple premise and the structure of the Kalighat Temple was constructed under the benefaction of the famous family of Sabarna Roy Choudhury of Barisha. The idol of the Goddess Kali is fixed inside the temple, which is built by black stones. This exquisite deity is admired with pgoldornaments. The most notable part of the deity is the gold tongue that protrudes out. Inthe Bengali months of Bhadra, Paush and Chaitra, the temple gets inundated withdevotees.
Kalighat is considered the Shakti Peetha of India, as per the hindu legends, the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen in these 51 Shkati Peetha, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava. Kalighat displays the spot where the toes of the right foot of Dakshayani or Sati was found.
Kalighat is linked with the worship proffered to Kali by a Monk whose name was Chowranga Giri, and therefore Chowringee area of Calcutta is said to have been named after him.
The Kalighat temple is approx 200 years old, although it has been referred to in Mansar Bhasan composed in the 15th century, and in Kavi Kankan Chandi of the 17th century. Mention of the Kali temple is also found in Lalmohon Bidyanidhis Sambanda,Nirnoy. There are only two types of coins of Chandragupta II, who incorporated Vanga in the Gupta Empire, are known from Bengal. His Archer type coins, which became the most popular type of coinage with the Gupta rulers after Kumara Gupta I, have been found in Kalighat. This is the evidence of the ancient past of the place.