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Dakshineshwar Temple, Kolkata

The Dakshineshwar Temple in Kolkata was built in the Navratna or the Nine Spires style of architecture that was very much prevalent in West Bengal. The temple complex, on the banks of the river Ganga, was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali. In 1847, Rashmoni prepared to go upon a long pilgrimage to the sacred Hindu city of Kashi to express her devotions to the Divine Mother. According to traditional accounts, the night before the pilgrimage began, she had a vision of the Divine Mother, in the form of the goddess Kali in a dream who instructed her not to go to Banaras but instead to install the Mother’s statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganga and arrange for her worship there. The garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum) houses an idol of goddess Kali, known as Bhavatarini, standing on the chest of a supine Shiva, and the two idols are placed on a thousand-petaled lotus made of silver.