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Tourist Guide

Kolkata-Attractions-Kalighat Temple

Kalighat Temple

Hindu Temple in Kolkata

This ancient Kali temple is Kolkata’s holiest spot for Hindus, and possibly the source of the city’s name. Today’s version is the 1809 rebuild, with floral- and peacock-motif tiles that look more Victorian than Indian. More interesting than the architecture are the jostling pilgrim queues that snake into the main hall to fling hibiscus flowers at a crowned, three-eyed Kali image with a gold-plated tongue. Behind the bell pavilion, goats are ritually beheaded (generally mornings) to honour the Tantric goddess.

Image by Pacific Press LightRocket via Getty Images

PRICE

HOURS

5am-10pm, central shrine closed 2-4pm

Location

Kolkata, India

East of the temple is a pea-green ‘holy pond’, and by the sanctuary's north perimeter, a ‘tree of fertility’. Unless you're using their services to queue-jump into the central shrine hall, a donation of ₹50 is sufficient for any impromptu temple guide. Donating ₹51 is even better – giving a sum ending in one is considered lucky and implies that you are familiar with local customs.

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