The Kalighat temple in Kolkata in West Bengal in India is around 200 years old and has its own intriguing history to relate. It has been mentioned in the scriptures of the 15th and the 17th century. In fact, proof of the antiquity of this temple lies in the coins of the Gupta rulers that have been found here.
It is believed that the temple was originally a hut. Sometime in the 16th century, King Manasingha built a temple here. The present temple was built under the supervision of Sabarna Roy Chowdhary family of Banisha. The construction of the temple was completed in the year 1809. Today the Haldar family claims they are the original owners.
Kalighat temple is linked to the story and legend of Sati, the wife of Shiva. She was the daughter of Daksha Prajapati who was a descendant of the God of Creation Lord Brahma. As she married Shiva against his wishes, Daksha insulted Shiva in a yagna where he called everyone except Lord Shiva. Shiva got angry but Sati attended the function, but got insulted. Ashamed, she immolated herself and Shiva, in fury, cut off Daksha’s head, picked up Sati’s remains, and danced the dance of destruction, the Tandav. As he walked with her body, Sati’s body pieces fell in 52 places, which are the Shakti Peethas today.
Kalighat is said to be the place where the toes of the right foot of Sati fell. Legend goes on to say how a devotee found a ray of light coming from the bed of River Bhagirathi and found a stone in the form of a toe. He also saw a Shiv linga and thus started the worship of Kali here.
The temple has the Nath Siddha principles as it is said to be discovered by Chowringhee Natha, the son of King Devapala of Bengal.
This temple along with its legends forms an interesting part of the history around the world.