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Dakshinkali Temple, Kathmandu Overview

Situated at a distance of 22 kilometres from Kathmandu, the Dakshinkali Temple is located only a kilometre away from the village of Pharping. The place of worship is one of the most important temples in Nepal and is dedicated to the fierce and feared Goddess Kali. The fame of this temple lies in its rituals and traditions. Twice a week, animals are sacrificed at this religious place - uncastrated male goats and cockerels in particular – as an offering to the ferocious spouse of Lord Shiva. The temple was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni, a devotee of Kali.

The Dakshinkali Temple derives its name from a compound of the words 'Dakshin', which means 'south', and the name 'Kali', which signifies the deity that is worshipped here.  The idol of the Goddess is seen standing on top of a corpse, portraying the triumph of good over evil. Embellished with a sword in one hand, a skull cap in another, and a severed head in the third, the four-armed idol represents an image of a strong, empowered divine being who has arrived to conquer evil and emerge as victorious.

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Animal Sacrifice at Dakshinkali Temple

The devotees of the Goddess Kali are firm believers of animal sacrifice as a way to please her and have their wishes come true. Lined in front of the religious place of worship are numerous stalls which sell roosters and goats so that people can sacrifice them on the premises of the temple.

This ritual takes place once in the morning and again in the afternoon every Tuesday and Saturday. After the morning sacrifice, the temple gates are closed for a short period to purify the temple before the afternoon sacrifices begin. The sacrificial ceremony lasts just a few seconds for each animal, after which their limp bodies are processed in the temple complex by the priests who are skilled at it. After that, the owners take the meat to their homes for a meal.

This tradition has received objections from people and myriad devotees of the Goddess, who argue that the Goddess Kali can never be content with bloodshed and suffering of innocent animals. However, in contrast to this argument, many worshippers believe that butchering an animal and offering it to the Supreme Being averts the sufferings of the animals and helps them to be reincarnated as humans. Neither of the two theories are supported by factual statements and hence, the devotee act according to their beliefs.
Dakshinkali Temple Nepal
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Dakshinkali Temple Kathmandu
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Legend of Dakshinkali Temple

Dakshinakali Temple Kathmandu
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The Goddess Mahakali is an intriguing incarnation of the Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva, who is also known as Mahakala or Pashupatinath. The surreal Dakshinkali Temple is an ancient place which has a unique tale behind its establishment. It is believed that the Goddess Kali appeared in a dream of the Malla ruler who reigned over Nepal in the 14th century. The goddess supposedly ordered the king to construct a temple which would be devoted to her. The king then set out to follow her orders immediately, and the temple was built with an image of the deity carved out from stone positioned in the shrine.

Best Time To Visit Dakshinkali Temple

The Dakshinkali Temple is decked with bright lights and fragrant garlands during the Dashain Festival, which is the Nepalese version of Durga Puja, a popular Hindu festival. The festival falls in September or October every year and goes on for fifteen days. During this festival, thousands of people come to pray and light incense sticks while several other bring animals along with them as an offering to the Goddess. The temple management arranges grand feasts during these weeks. The mystical aura of the temple is enhanced by the loud chants and the resounding echoes of the musical instruments including the drums, bells, cymbals and conches. It is the best time for people to visit this holy place.

How To Reach Dakshinkali Temple

A ride to the Dakshinkali Temple takes about 45 minutes from Kathmandu. It is best to hire a taxi since the public buses can be a little overcrowded. Buses leave from Ratna Park, Old Buspark as well as Martyr's Road. The drive to the Dakshinkali Temple is through an uphill road with mesmerising, scenic views. For an exhilarating experience, people also prefer going on motorcycles.

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