New Year Festivities
Dakshineswar Kali temple is said to have been built by the lady philanthropist Rani Rashmoni after the goddess Kali came to her in a dream. Its nine spires, in traditional Bengali style, stand over 31 metres high and cast an impressive silhouette along the eastern banks of the Hooghly River. Within the inner sanctum, an idol of the Goddess Kali standing on the chest of Shiva rests upon a solid silver, thousand petalled lotus flower. There is also a temple to Radha-Krishna: the forms of masculine and feminine godliness. Along the riverfront, there are twelve shrines to Shiva as well as a bathing ghat. The temple was completed in 1855 and in 1856 Ramakrishna was appointed head priest. As his reputation as a mystic grew, so did the fame of the temple. To this day, large numbers come on pilgrimage to Dakshineswar Kali.