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Kali Devi Mandir, Patiala
One of the consecrated place of worship for the Hindus, the Kali Devi Mandir in the city of Patiala, Punjab, is devoted to the Hindu goddess Durga – an incarnation of Kali Mata (Mother Kali). Located on the Mall Road of this city, the magnificent temple lies just in front of the Baradari Garden next to the Rajendra Tank. The Patiala Kali Mata Mandir was built by the late Maharaja Bhupinder Singh in 1936. The Maharaja brought the six-foot idol of Kali Devi and the “pawan jyoti” (sacred flame) from the East Indian city of Calcutta. The temple is an architectural wonder from the great days gone by when the city was ruled by the great Patiala Maharajas, who were great promoters of art and culture.
Kali Puja is celebrated with a lot of gusto and fanfare in Bengal after Durga Puja during the time of Diwali. It is believed that Maharaja Krishnan Chandra of Nawadweep was the first to celebrate Kali Puja in his territory. Everyone was ordered to celebrate Kali Puja and thus 10,000 images of Kali were worshipped. Ratanti Kali Puja was celebrated in ancient times before the present Kali Puja. It is believed that the present form of Kali is due to a dream by a distinguished scholar of Indian charms and black magic (‘Tantra’) and the author of Tantric Saar, Krishnananda Agambagish. He was also a contemporary of Lord Chaitanya. In his dream, he was ordered to make her image after the first figure he saw in the morning. At dawn, Krishnananda saw a dark complexioned maid with her left hand protruding with her right making cow dung cakes. Her body was glowing with white dots. The vermillion spread over her forehead while she was wiping the sweat from it. The hair was untidy as well. When she came face to face with an elderly Krishnananda, she bit her tongue in shame. This posture of the housemaid was later utilized to envisage the idol of Goddess Kali. Thus, the image of Kali was formed.
The six-foot idol of Kali Devi is black in color and seen in standing position inside the gold plated sanctum. Being the ferocious form of Goddess Durga, Kali Devi is seen with blood shot eyes, open mouth and a drooping tongue, with a bent sword and a human head in her hand.
Built entirely in white marble, the Patiala Kali Mata mandir is also known for its beautiful architecture. The walls of the temple have beautiful murals and frescoes depicting the stories from Hindu epics and mythological stories.
The temple inspires the devotees to rigorously adhere to all the great age old customs of Hinduism. The sacred sanctorum of the Kali Devi Temple bears witness to the rich Hindu architecture and art of the ancient times. The walls of the temple have beautiful sceneries and mural paintings from the great Hindu epics and mythology that add to its beauty; so much so that it has been declared a national monument. The attractive and colorful paintings on the walls draw devotees from far off places that throng the holy shrine in search of eternal happiness. Interestingly, an older temple to a Hindu deity Raj Rajeshwari also stands in the middle of the temple complex.
Patiala Kali Mata Mandir By Road
Patiala is one of the famous cities of Punjab, also known as City of Gardens. It is just 25 km away from the National Highway NH-1 (Delhi-Amritsar) at Rajpura Railway Junction. 250 km away from Delhi, 65 km from Chandigarh and 60 km from Ambala Cantt, Patiala is nestled amidst major cities.
Patiala Kali Mata Mandir By Rail
Patiala is well connected by train. One can take New Delhi-Bhatinda Inter City Express/Dadar Express or the Shatabdi Express to Ambala, and then hire a taxi to get to Patiala. February usually attracts more tourists, and is very pleasant in Patiala.
Patiala Kali Mata Mandir By Air
Nearest airport is Chandigarh. You can drive to Patiala from Chandigarh, via Zirakpur (on NH-22), and Rajpura.
Kali Devi Mandir, Patiala
The Temple is open from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Daily rituals dedicated to Goddess Kali are performed. The best time to visit with the whole family is during Navarathra celebrations when the temple is decked up with decorative lights and flower garlands.