We had planned to start of our trip by taking the blessings of Goddess Kali. A visit to the world famous Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata was at the top of our agenda. Located on the banks of the Hooghly River, this temple was established by Rani Rashmoni in 1855. Ramakrishna Paramhansa was mainly responsible for the fame that this temple has received. We set out from our hotel, Chrome Hotel, after resting for an hour. We reached Dakshineswar in at 4.30 pm. The view of the sunset across the river Hooghly was a fascinating sight. The temple compound was brimming with people. We quickly took our place in the long queue for the main temple.
As we stood in the queue we looked around to have a glimpse of the entire compound, which was rather huge. The main temple where Goddess Bhavatarini is worshipped has nine spires at its top. Goddess Bhavatarini is another aspect of Goddess Kali. We were standing in the courtyard of the temple, which was surrounded on all sides by twelve shrines of Lord Shiva, the companion of Goddess Kali. The sheer number of devotees present showed their faith in the Goddess. This is an integral part of our Hindu culture in which people are God fearing and devoted. We explained to the kids of the significance of the Goddess in the Hindu mythology.
On reaching the entrance of the main shrine after almost an hour in the queue, we were mesmerised by the beauty of the Goddess. She looked stunning in the red sari and gold jewellery that she was wearing. The few fleeting moments that we were allowed to stand in front of her would remain etched in my memory for a long time. We then walked towards the ghat of river Hooghly. The river looked majestic in the light reflected from the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. The town on the other side was dotted with a lot of lights. A few boats were plying across the river. We sprinkled the holy water of the river on ourselves. It was time to return to our hotel as it was a long day and we had a long list of places to visit the next day.