In the heart of Kolkata, amidst the myriad Kali temples, one stands out—Thanthania Kali Bari on College Street.
As dusk settles on Kali Puja, Thanthania Kali Bari becomes a haven for devotees. The evening unfolds in devotion to the divine mother, with daily worship, but it's on Kali Puja day that the temple truly comes alive. Many believe that the blessings received here have altered the course of their lives.
Legend has it that in 1703, Uday Narayan Brahmachari crafted a sacred Kali idol from tantric soil, giving birth to this temple. Initially modest, with walls of clay and a thatched roof, the temple underwent a transformation in 1806. Shankar Ghosh, a wealthy individual, reconstructed it into the present-day Thanthania Kali Bari, accompanied by an octagonal temple for Lord Shiva, known as Pushpeshwar.
Each year, the idol undergoes sculpting, bearing the colours black and red. Kali Puja is celebrated with grandeur on the night of Jyeshthha Amavasya. Additionally, Adi Kali Puja occurs on Kartika Amavasya and Rotonti Kali Puja during Magh month.
Notably, during his early years in Kolkata, Sri Ramakrishna visited this area frequently. It is said that he would listen to Kali's hymns in Thanthania Kali Bari, leaving an indelible mark. The Ramakrishna Mission monks continue this tradition, attending Kali Puja with devotion.
The temple walls bear witness to Ramakrishna's words: "In Shankar's heart, Kali resides." On one side stands Mother Siddheshwari Kali, while on the other is Pushpeshwar Baba. Last Sunday, during Kali Puja, the temple was a spectacle of devotion, drawing devotees with an enchanting aura.
In the pre-dawn hours of Kali Puja, the temple resonated with the rhythmic beats of devotion, creating a sight that captivated onlookers—a testament to the enduring connection between Thanthania Kali Bari and its worshippers.