Kalighat Kali Temple

  • 4.4

    Location: Anami Sangha, Kalighat, Kolkata, West Bengal 700026, India

    Estimated Visiting Time: 1 to 2 hours

    Kalighat is one of the pilgrimage sites of Kolkata and one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. Thousands of pilgrims congregate here every day. The greatness of Kalithakur of Kalighat is well known. This Kalimandir is the Sakti Peeth. That is one seat of 51 Peeth. According to mythology, the little toe of the right foot fell among the 51 body parts of Sati here.

    The oldest Kali Mandir in Calcutta is the Kali Mandir at Kalighat. It is heard that in this temple not only the king’s landlord or the pious soul but also the English masters have worshiped. A gentleman once vowed to win a lawsuit. After winning the case, he came to this temple and offered a puja of three thousand rupees at that time. Even after the conquest of Punjab and Burma, worship was offered in this temple by the East India Company in the sixteenth Upachar.

    Again, not only the English. Ward writes that about five hundred Muslims used to worship here every month.

    Due to the greatness of this temple, many people have done a lot of meditation in this temple. King Navakrishna donated a gold headband in 1775. He also donated lakhs of rupees. 

    Gokul Chandra Ghoshal of Khidirpur made four hands of Kali’s mother silver. That hand was later turned into gold by Kalicharan Mallick. Indrachandra Singh, the king of Paikpara, rolled the golden tongue of the goddess mother. The Maharaja of Patiala also donated gold headscarves. The goddess’s head was donated by Jang Bahadur, the commander of Nepal.

    Not just to decorate the goddess. The whole temple and the temple precinct are built on human donations, reverence, and devotion. Huzurimal was a Punjabi soldier. To keep his last wish, the East India Company built the Adiganga ghat adjacent to the temple. 

    The temple was renovated at the initiative of Santosh Roy Chowdhury, the zamindar of Barisha. Raja Kashinath Roy, the zamindar of Andul, built the Natmandir of Kalighat temple.


    This is a famous temple not only in West Bengal but also in India. Pilgrimages from different places come here to visit the temple. The holiness and peaceful environment of the place is the main attraction to them. It is an ancient temple in the country.  Moreover very close to the temple are the guest houses of the Bharat Sebashram Sangha and the Tourism Department of the Government of West Bengal which can also be booked online.

    There are also many shops and stalls selling puja items. There are crowds of pilgrims and a few more small temples. And right next to the Mother Temple is the Church of Mother Teresa.  

    Throughout the year, devotees from different parts of the country flock here for worship. This crowd is a sight to behold on the day of the festival. 

    The number of pilgrims to this Kalighat temple, the main pilgrimage center of Kolkata, is one of the most powerful shrines in India. The number of pilgrims is increasing every year.


    Devi Kali Ideal

    It is said that when Shiva‘s wife Sati committed suicide Vishnu cut Sati’s lifeless body into 51 pieces with Sudarshan Chakra. Among those 51 pieces, the toe of the right foot fell at this Kalighat near Calcutta. So it is also one of the 51 holy places of Shiva and Tantrics

    The Kali Ghat Temple on the banks of the Hooghly River is about 200 years old. Here Goddess Kalika is worshiped in a grand procession. Various information about the establishment of this temple can be heard in public. 

    It is said that a villager at that time was attracted to the miraculous light coming from the river Bhagirathi while doing worship on the banks of the river. 

    As he approached, he found a stone the size of a finger. He picked it up and started worshiping. Another popular story is that Santosh Roy Chowdhury of the Savarna Chowdhury family was fascinated by a miraculous light while traveling on the Hooghly River one day and found a finger-shaped stone in the same way. 

    He picked it up and set up a small temple. Some researchers think that the name Calcutta originates from the word Kali Kshetra or Kalighat. It is said that two monks named Brahmadanda Giri and Atmaram Brahmachari gave the form of a goddess on a rock.  

    The present temple was built on the banks of the Adi Ganga in 1809 at the initiative of Shivdas Roychowdhury, a Savarna zamindar of Barisha, his son Ramlal and his nephew Laxmikant. Later some of the terracotta works of the temple were damaged and Santosh Roy Chowdhury repaired them. The present temple is 90 feet high.  

    It took eight years to build and cost thirty thousand rupees. The total area of the land adjacent to the temple is one Bigha 11 Kuta 3 chatak. The size of the main temple built in the style of Bengali architecture is 6 kata. The temple is divided into 7 parts. These are Shashtitala, Natmandir, Jor Bangla, Har Kathtala, Radhakrishna Mandir, and Kunda Pukur. The Kastipathar Kalimurti of Kalighat Kali Mandir is built with a fancy technique. The tongue, teeth, crown, hands, and head of the idol are made of gold. The stone limb of Sati is kept inside an ark in the temple. It is not brought out in front of anyone. The idol that is currently worshiped is made of Kasti stone and is made of gold and silver. 

    In 2016, after almost forty years, Devi’s locket was changed. The current locket is about 2 kg 191 g silver wrapped with 558 g gold. The goddess’s rabbit has been replaced by a 2 kg gold rabbit. Earlier it was heard that sacrifices were regularly offered at the feet of the mother in this temple. At present this sacrifice is offered on special days.

    The goddess is bathed on a certain day every year, which is known as the bathing journey. Near Kalighat temple is the temple of Bhairab Nakuleshwar Shiva. The present Nakuleshwar temple was built in 1854 by a Punjabi businessman named Tarasingh. On the occasion of Shivaratri and Nilasasthi, a large number of devotees gather at this temple 

    The temple was built in 1843 by Udaynarayan Mandal, a zamindar of Bawali. Ramnabami Dolayatra is held here. The Keoratala mahasmashan was built near the temple in 182 for cremation. The last rites of many eminent people of Bengal have been performed in this crematorium. The cremation of Kali here is famous all over India. The Kalighat temple is very awake.  

    Hundreds of devotees come here every day. It is said that none of the visitors to this temple return empty-handed. Mother Kali fulfills everyone’s wishes. Many people come from different parts of the country to see and worship the Mother Temple throughout the year. Every year on the first day of Boishakh, Durga puja, Dipanvita, and Kali puja, many people come to worship at the temple. In Dipanvita, there are rules for offering fruits and sweets.  

    Dipannita Lakshmi Puja consumes 5 kg of rice, 5 kg of rice khichuri, 5 kg of rice ghee, five kinds of fried vegetables, and other vegetables. At this time royal feasts, messages, and other offerings are made to the goddess. The Kalighat temple is also one of the places of interest in the metropolis of Calcutta.

    Inside/Outside Views

    Kalighat Kali Mondir front view

    The mandir of Devi Kali is the main mandir. But there are some more mandirs and some other places inside the kali ghat temple area. Which ate-

    • Natmandir – Natmandir is a huge rectangular verandah
    • Jor Bangla – This is the platform or verandah of the main temple right outside the sanctum sanctorum.
    • Sosthi Tala –  The Three feet high rectangular platform Sosthi Tala forms an altar for three stone structures that are represented and worshipped as three Goddesses namely, Sosti, Shitala, and Mangal Chandi.
    • Harkath Tala – This spot is mainly used to carry out the Bali or animal sacrifices which are located adjacent to Natmandir.
    • Radha-Krishna Temple 
    • Kundupukur
    • Nakuleshwar Mahadev Temple

    Opening Hours

    Ordinary people can enter the temple every morning after the opening of the temple at four o’clock in the morning and the worship of the mother. The temple is closed on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 10:30 pm and Tuesdays and Sundays at 11:00 pm, and Saturdays at 11:30 pm. Every evening of the week Aarti is held from 6:30 to 7:00. However, there are some changes in the schedule on special festival days. There are long lines in the temple almost all day long to visit the holy mother. However, the ideal time to visit the Kalighat temple is not in the morning but in the afternoon. You do not need to pay any price to enter the temple premises, especially between three and five.

    Entry & Others Fees

    There is no entry fee in Kalighat.

    Near Hotels

    There is a lot of hotel near the Kalighat Temple. Let’s have a look below at the 5 most liked hotels. 

    How to Reach

    By air: The nearest airport to this temple is the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport. It is about 25 km away from the temple. You will find local transport at the airport which can take you to the temple.

    By train: The nearest railway station to Kalighat Temple is the Howrah Junction. From there you can hire a taxi or a cab or take a minibus to reach the place.

    By road: One can easily reach the temple by road. You can take any bus which goes towards south Kolkata to reach your destination or hire a taxi or a cab.

    By metro: One of the easiest ways to reach Kalighat temple is by metro. The nearest metro station to Kalighat Kali Temple is Kalighat station from the south exit and Jatin Das Park metro from the northern exit

    Tips for Travellers

    • Cameras are not allowed inside the temple.
    • Maintain the cleanliness of the place.
    • Do not go inside the temple with your shoes on.
    • You need to take care of your belongings.


    Que-01: Is this place safe to visit?

    Ans: It is a safe place for tourists. The nearest police station information is as follows:

    Location: 53, Halder Para Rd, Kalighat, Kolkata, West Bengal 700026, India
    Phone no: +91 33 2454 0177

    Que-02: Is photography allowed in this place?

    Ans: No, photography is not allowed in Kalighat temple.

    Short and unique Information: 

    How old is Kalighat? What is the difference between this temple and other temples in Bengal? Or where is the uniqueness of Kalighat Kalimurti?
    •  These questions may arise in your mind. As a Bengali, it is natural for you to be interested in Bengali archeology. From that point of view, Kalighat is no less interesting. Let’s see some important information about this place of pilgrimage. 
    • The present temple at Kalighat is not more than two hundred years old. The temple was built by Kaliprasad Dutt of the Hatkhola Dutt family and Santosh Roychowdhury of Barna’s Savarna Roychowdhury family. 
    • Kalighat Tirtha is mentioned in 15th-century Manasa Bhasan songs. It is also mentioned in the 16th century Kavikankan Chandi. However, researchers believe that the age of this pilgrimage is more. Originally it was a leaf hut. In the 16th century, King Mansingh first built a pucca temple.
    • Kalighat is considered to be one of the ekannapiths of Sati. From that point of view, its antiquity is more.
    • There is no similarity between the mother idol of Kalighat and any other idol. This statue is unique.
    • The shrines known as Ekanna Peetha are considered by many to be Vajrayana Buddhist shrines. And in every pilgrimage, one or another stone is worshiped as a goddess. Seen from there, Kali Maa of Kalighat is also like a rock. The present form of the mother figure was donated by two monks named Brahmananda Giri and Atmaram Giri.
    • Many believe that the ancient Nath religion had a special place in the Calcutta region. The name ‘Chowrangi’ is associated with the legend of Nath. 
    • Many researchers speculate that the Naths had a close relationship with Kaligha.
    • Nakuleshwar Mahadev is the Bhairab of Kali in Kalighat. His temple is near Kali Mandir. Earlier this place was covered with deep forest.
    • Adjacent to the Kalighat temple is a 10 Katha pond. It is said that the genitals were discovered in this pond.The name of this pond is ‘Kund Pukur’ or ‘Kundu Pukur’. Its water is considered as sacred as Ganges water.
    • During the English period, Kalighat gained another prestige. One of the major reasons is that the white employees of the East India Company used to come to this temple regularly and also offer worship out of a kind of faith. The arrival of Europeans in Hindu temples was not so cheap at that time. But in Kalighat it became regular.

    Que-03: What is the name of the Devi of Kalighat Temple?

    Ans: The name of the Devi of Kalighat temple is Kali.

    Que-04: Where is the Temple located? 

    Ans: The Temple is located in South Kolkata. 

    Que-05: When did the Temple complete? 

    Ans: In 1809. 

    Que-06: Which are the nearest Metro Stations from the Temple? 

    Ans: Jatin Das Park (Northern Exit) and Khalighat (Southern Exit). 


    We wish we all the very best on your Journey.

    Happy Travelling!!!

    We wish you all the best for your journey. Happy Travel!!!

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