Dakshineswar is present on the banks of holy river Ganges. Rani Rasmani built the temple for Dakshineswari kali here in 1855. When she was preparing to go to Varanasi, Kali maa appeared in Rasmani's dream and asked her to build a temple, so that she can get all benefits of Kasi darshan. Rasmani canceled Varanasi trip and searched a place for Kali temple. Finally they purchased this place, which is a Kurma peetha, ie, a place having elevation in the center. Generally Kurma peethams are best suited for Shakti puja. After building the Kali temple, Pandit Ramkumar was appointed as the priest. After that, his brother Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (then called Gadadhar) was appointed as the priest of Radha krisna temple, gradually shifted to Kali maa temple.
Places to see in Dakshineswar: Dakshineswar temple is a very big and beautiful temple with a large campus. After entry through main gate we will see a very big campus. It is the outer campus of main temple. In this campus Ramakrishna Paramahamsa room, Nahabat, Panchvati, Ganga ghat are important places to see.
RamaKrishna Paramahamsa room is a north facing room with corridors on North side, west side, and east side. On east side the holy Ganges is passing. west side corridor connects room with inner campus of Dakshineswar temple. North side corridor is present in front of the room. In the room a wooden cot is present which was used by Sri Ramakarishna. On the walls of room many photos of holy persons (Totapuri etc.) are hanging. This is the place of his great teachings to his disciples like Swami Vivekananda.
Nahabat: It is present in front of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's room. It is a two stair building with very small rooms. In the ground-floor room, maa Sarada lived for several years and did her sadhana. It shows her adjustment character. At present, Beautiful Sarada maa idol made up of marble stone is present here.
Santhi Kutir: It is present back side of Nahabat. It is the place where Sri Ramakrishna paramahamsa got Nirvikalpa samadhi in the guidance of Totapuri and stayed upto six months in that stage. Now a small hut is present there, with a shiva linga in the kutir.
Panchavati: It is present back to Santhi Kutir. Here Ramakrishna did sadhana, dhyana, and practised tantras in the guidance of Bhairavi Brahmani. Here he established a Pancha munda peeta, upon which he practiced Tantras. Now five small trees are there in the resemblance of Panchavati. It is present on the bank of Holy Ganges river.
In the outer campus a shopping complex, beautiful park with a pond are also present.
After seeing these in outer campus we will enter inner campus of dakshineswar Kali temple. This is also a very big campus surrounded by a big wall and looks like a fort. In the center of campus RadhaKrishna temple, Dakshineswar Kali temple, a very big hall in front of Kali temple and Twelve Shiva temples are present.
RadhaKrishna temple: After entry into inner campus first we will see RadhaKrishna temple. The temple is facing east side. Ramakrishna first appointed as priest in this temple. There are two idols in the temple. The main one was new one as the first installed idol was broken. The second one was broken one, but excellently repaired by Sri Ramakrishna.
Dakshineswar Kali temple: Dakshineswar kali temple is facing south side. The temple is very big one with steps in four sides. Generally devotees enter temple from south gate looking towards north. Generally Maa kali was decorated with Hibiscus flowers garland. Here Ramakrishna Paramahamsa looked Maa kali, talked with her and played with her like her son.
Natya mandap: Immediately before Kali maa temple there is big hall, which is used for bhajans and dances. After darshan of Kali maa, we can sit here for some time.
12 Shiva temples: In the east side of temple campus, there is a row of 12 shiva temples. Way to Ganga ghat is present in the middle of Shiva temples. Six shiva temples in the right side and another six shiva temples in the left side. The 12 temples from north to south are:
1) Nirajeswar 2) Nageswar 3) Nakuleswar 4) Jatileswar 5) Ratneswar 6) Jogeswar 7) Nareswar 8) Nandeeswar 9) Naadeswar 10) Jagadeeswar 11) Jaleswar 12) Yajneswar.
These are the important temples to see in Dakshineswar Kali temple.