Dakshineshwar Kali temple
In the year 1847, the wealthy widow Rani Rasmani prepared to make a pilgrimage to the sacred city of Banaras to express her devotions to the Divine Mother.
In those days there were no railway lines between Calcutta and Banaras and it was more comfortable for rich persons to make the journey by boat rather than by road. The convoy of Rani Rasmani consisted of twenty-four boats carrying relatives, servants, and supplies. But the night before the pilgrimage began, the Divine Mother, in the form of the goddess Kali, intervened. Appearing to the Rani in a dream, she said, "There is not need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganges River and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place." Profoundly affected by the dream, the Rani immediately looked for and purchased land, and promptly began construction of the temple. The large temple complex, built between 1847 and 1855, had as its centerpiece a shrine of the goddess Kali, and there were also temples dedicated to the deities Shiva and Radha-Krishna. A scholarly, elderly sage was chosen as the head priest and the temple was consecrated in 1855. Within the year the priest died and his responsibilities passed to his younger brother, Ramakrishna, who over the next thirty years would bring great fame to the Dakshineswar temple.
Hot Spot for tourists:
The Panchavati, a congregation of five ancient trees, is a spot for peaceful meditation. Here Sri Ramakrishna used to meditate and performed severe penances sitting on the 'Panchamundi (5 skulls) Ashana' - a custome which is mandatory for the 'Tantrika' form of worship.
How to reach:
The temple is accessed via road (easily can reached from the Kolkata city as well as from the city Howrah) or river. For a special treat, one can rent a boat and arrive at the temple's bathing ghat. It is here Sri Sarada Devi, Sri Ramakrishna's wife used to bathe. A parking facility is within the temple compound which charges a nominal fee.
The Barrackur Road is the major link road to the region. One can get Inter state and many private buses to this temple. The railways in one more option open to reach the place.