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Lonely Planet review for Kali Temple
Kalighat’s ancient Kali Temple is Kolkata’s holiest spot for Hindus and possibly the source of its name. Today’s version, a 1809 rebuild, has floral- and peacock-motif tiles that look more Victorian than Hindu. The double-stage roof is painted silver-grey with rainbow highlights. More interesting than the architecture are the jostling pilgrim queues that snake into the main hall to fling hibiscus flowers at a crowned, three-eyed Kali image. Priests loitering around the temple might whisk you to the front of the queue for an obligatory ‘donation’ (significant money). Behind the bell pavilion but still within the mandir complex, goats are ritually beheaded to honour the ever-demanding goddess, or, as locals describe it, to buy ‘God power’.