Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kali ghat temple, Kolkata

Kali ghat temple is listed as a popular tourist destination in Kolkata. We went there to check out the temple, but only to be repelled by numerous touts. 

On Saturday early morning, at around 9AM, we got off at Jatin Das park metro and walked to Kali Ghat temple. However, as we approached the temple, we were surrounded by lots of touts who said “There is huge crowd inside, come with us, we will take you directly inside for just 100 rupees”. We said we’re not interested but they won’t listen. I said I don’t plan to take any Darshan, just take a look from outside and go back and he was like “What will happen to your dharam (religion) if you come all the way and return without taking Darshan”. As soon as we got rid of one tout and walked a few feet, another one started torturing us. As we went close, every shopkeeper would insist we leave the footwear right infront of his shop and go inside…  Some of these touts even flashed some ID card saying they are temple staff authorized to take devotees inside via special entrance.

There was some crowd and the line extended on to the main road. I didn’t fancy taking any Darshan, took some photos from outside and moved on.

There was another small red coloured temple nearby, with a shiva idol (photo below)
We did some shopping and went to a restaurant that claimed to serve south indian veg food. Ordered few items- not that great. Idli, chutney and sambar was supercold. Dosa was OK. 
All in all, there is nothing unique or great about Kali ghat temple. The touts cause a very annoying experience. Some items like bangles etc can be bought from shops near Kali ghat temple. Unless you’ve extra time or very keen to take a look at Kali goddess, I would suggest skip this place

Birla Mandir was about 3 kms from here. We reached Birla Mandir next with some walking and using a bus.