One of the most prominent temples in the city, Kalighat Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali, draws devotees from far and wide. The temple is one of the 51 shaktipeethas (devotional shrines where the severed body parts of Goddess Sati fell), where the toe of the goddess fell.

The sanctum sanctorum houses a unique idol of the goddess, who is shown with three eyes, four hands and a long tongue. The structure has been adorned with peacock and floral motifs tiles that give it a colonial charm. Tourists can also visit a holy tank called Kundupukar, located inside the premises. Legend has it that bathing in it will help ladies conceive a child.

The temple is believed to have been built during the time of Chandragupta II, a ruler of the Gupta empire (380-415 CE). The original structure was a small hut, while the present temple has been built by Sabarna Roy Chowdhry, a zamindar of Kolkata.

Legend has it that when Lord Shiva was dancing passionately, performing the Rudra Tandava, with the carcass of Goddess Sati on his shoulder, her dead body was sliced off and the pieces fell at various places. Each of these spots, the 51 shaktipeethas of India, acquired religious significance. It is said that a devotee saw a ray of light coming from the Bhagirathi river bed. He found a toe made of stone there as well as a sambhu lingam of Nakuleshwar Bhairav nearby. Overcome with devotion, he started praying to Goddess Kali in the middle of the nearby jungle. According to another story, a Dasanami monk, named Chowranga Giri, came here and prayed to Goddess Kali. It is said that Kolkata�s Chowringhee area is named after him.

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