Kolkata’s Kalighat temple may soon get a golden crown and join the league of other famous temples located across India known to have spectacular gold crowns. Installation of a golden crown will be part of a special facelift project designed for Kalighat temple by a corporate giant. According to sources in Kalighat temple committee, the preliminary rounds of talks between the committee and the corporate entity have already been held trying to give a concrete shape to the facelift project.
Sources in the temple committee on Saturday confirmed that the committee was approached by the corporate brass to accept a proposal from them to do a facelift of the famous temple — one of the key features of which will be offering a golden crown. This apart, the corporate firm also wants to engage itself in renovating some parts of the sanctum sanctorum. “We have held preliminary talks with the corporate firm which has approached us with their facelift plan which includes installation of a golden crown and renovation of the sanctum sanctorum. We have asked them to submit a detailed plan to the committee so that the members can take up the matter and give their approval in writing,” Subhasish Chakraborty, the president of Kalighat temple committee and a Trinamool MP, told TOI.
According to a source, the temple committee in 2019 had taken up a renovation of the sanctum sanctorum. “We brought special marble tiles from Rajasthan to replace the old tiles as part of the renovation of the sanctum sanctorum floor,” the source said.
According to a source in the corporate giant, the facelift project for Kalighat temple would be the firm’s maiden effort for the city which is known as Kalishetra (Abode of goddess Kali) to the rest of the country. The renovation may include facilities for the pilgrims also, the source said.
Kalighat is regarded as one of the 51 Sati Peeths in India where the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in course of Shiva’s “Rudra tandava”. Kalighat represents the site where four fingers of Sati’s right foot fell.
Kalighat temple in its present form is about 200 years old, although the place (Kalighat) has been referred to in different religious texts in the 15th century. The present structure of the temple was completed under Sabarna Roychowdhury family’s (Barisha) patronage in 1809.
It is a classic example of Bengal architecture which is a structural emulation of the mud and thatch-roofed huts of villages. Kalighat’s main temple is a four-sided building with a truncated dome. A smaller identically-shaped projection caps this domed structure. Each sloping side of the roof is referred to as a chala. Therefore, the Kalighat Mandir is designated as chala temple. The two roofs bear a total of eight separate faces. This stacked, hut-like design is common for Bengali temples.
The tradition of offering golden crowns to different famous temples is not new in India. Some of the renowned temples which have golden crowns include Tirupati temple, Padmanava temple (Kerala), Shirdi Sai, Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam (Vijaywada) among others. Telengana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in 2016 had presented a golden crown worth Rs 3.7 crore to goddess Bhadrakali in Warangal.