Dakshineswar and Ramakrishna Temple

Travel Day 891 – Kolkata, INDIA

After arriving late in the hostel for the past couple of days, meaning after 10pm, we felt that sightseeing could probably be done more easily while staying in the center of the city and so we decided to make a move and find a new place in the backpacker area near Sudder Street…

Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata, India

Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata, India

Since this day was all of a sudden bound to be our last day in the northern area of Kolkata, the logical decision was to use it to see all the sights in this area first, before we would move further south tomorrow. The two main sights we wanted to see were the Dakshineswar Temple, a little bit further up where the bridge over the Hooghly River was located, and the Ramakrishna Temple on the opposite side of the river…

Getting to Dakshineswar was actually really easy since local buses went there almost directly from BT road. We only had to walk the remaining distance from the bus stop to the temple entrance along the usual street vendors. Actually after a short while we realized that all the vendors were only selling local items and nobody even tried to approach us, which made us realize that the Dakshineswar Temple was much rather a local than a tourist destination…

Ghats and Dakshineswar Temple in Kolkata, India

Ghats and Dakshineswar Temple in Kolkata, India

Once we entered the extensive temple complex, we actually had the chance to find out how correct our assumption was. We were literally the only foreigners around and so it felt even more authentic to be walking through the temple complex with its central Kali temple dating from 1847. It was also here where Ramakrishna started his spiritual career and it was a great introduction to see this beautiful temple first before heading to the one dedicated to Ramakrishna himself…

After some insightful conversations with a few local people about spirituality and the temple itself, we then left on one of the many small wooden ferry boats to cross the Hooghly and reach the Ramakrishna Temple. As it turned out, this was also a very nice place, but it was lacking a bit of the authenticity and the original vibe of the Dakshineswar Temple. All the buildings were rather new, many signs were put up of what was all not allowed here and the whole campus was simply flooded with people…

Ramakrishna Math Temple at Belur Math in Kolkata, India

Ramakrishna Math Temple at Belur Math in Kolkata, India

While I personally thought the visit at the temple was not really worth the while, at least the manicured gardens were. Within seconds all the local people had opened up camp and were having pick-nicks and chats right by the Ganga. Considering that Kolkata was a rather dirty and dusty city without any real city parks, for the purpose of hanging out in the grass and watching the boats go by this was at least an amazingly great place and for that reason we really enjoyed it…

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