Unraveling The Ancient Story Of Behala's Siddheswari Kali Temple

The sprawling region of Behala, though not part of Kolkata during its inception in the Sultanate period or even during the reign of Govindapur, has always been a prosperous cultural hub. The origin of its name "Behala" is shrouded in various legends, one popular belief being that it derives from the protagonist Behula of the ancient narrative "Manasamangal Kavya.".

One of the renowned temples in this area is the Siddheswari Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali. Situated amidst what was once known as Barisha, the temple has witnessed the transformation of its surroundings over time.

Historical records indicate that the temple was established in 1170 A.D. However, due to the ravages of time, it faced destruction, leading to its reconstruction in 1368 AD. This explains the presence of both years inscribed on the walls of the temple.

Apart from the idol of Goddess Kali in the sanctum sanctorum, the temple also houses four other deity idols: Shashti Devi, Sheetala Devi, Chandi Devi, and Manasa Devi. It used to be a focal point for worship during certain festivals, although its regular worship practices have ceased over time.

Visitors to the temple can find various offerings available for worship rituals, along with sweet shops nearby to indulge in traditional treats.

A temple member shared that the temple continues to observe three Kali Puja festivals annually: Falharini Kali Puja in the month of Jaistha, Shyama Kali Puja in Kartika, and Ratanti Kali Puja in Magh. However, adherence to these rituals may vary among devotees.

The morning worship rituals commence at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 12:30 p.m., followed by an offering of bhog (food) to the deity. The spread includes delicacies such as pulao, khichuri, rice, fish, and meat, all of which are consumed by devotees as prasad (consecrated food).

Additionally, an evening arati (a ritual of offering light to the deity) is performed daily at 8:30 PM, concluding with temple closure at 11:00 PM.

To reach the Siddheswari Kali Temple, visitors can access the Behala tram depot from any corner of Kolkata, from where they can easily find their way to the temple's entrance.

If you're looking to delve into the spiritual heritage of Kolkata, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Siddheswari Kali Temple in Behala.

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