India — Festivals
Festival of Kali Puja — Destroy all Evils
Kali Puja, also known as Shyama Puja or Mahanisha Puja, is a Hindu festival dedicated to the goddess Kali, and celebrated especially in West Bengal, Odisha, and Assam.
The festival falls on Amavasya Tithi (new moon day), in the month of Kartik according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Kali Puja 2017 is celebrated on October 19.
Goddess Kali symbolizes shakti (strength), seen as divine protector, and bestows moksha (liberation). Kali is often portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, the Hindu god Shiva, who lies calm and prostrate beneath her. Goddess Kali is worshiped in the late night. It is believed that she will destroy all evils in human beings and outside world.
While the Bengalis, Odias, Assamese and Maithils adore goddess Kali on this day the rest of India worships goddess Lakshmi on Diwali. Mahanisha Puja is performed by the Maithili people of Mithila region in India and Nepal.
Along with Durga Puja, Kali Puja is the biggest festival in Bengal and Assam.
Kali Puja — October 19, 2017
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu temple located in Dakshineswar near Kolkata. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly river, the presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali. The temple was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali. The temple is famous for its association with Ramakrishna, a mystic of 19th Century Bengal.
The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls. There are twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river, a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. Nahavat-Khana, the chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples, is where Ramakrishna spent a considerable part of his life.