Dakshinkali, located 22 km south of Kathmandu, near the village of Pharping, is one of the main temples in Nepal dedicated to the goddess Kali, the fearful form of Shiva’s consort Parvati. The word Dakshinkali is made up of Dakshin and Kali. Dakshin means south and Kali is derived from one of the Hindu goddess Kali. Therefore, it basically means the goddess Kali of the south. The main deity in the temple is a black stone, six-armed form of Kali, standing on a prostrated figure of Shiva.
Animal sacrifices, particularly of cocks and male goats, are the main way that the goddess is worshipped, and this is especially seen on Saturdays and Tuesdays, and also during the yearly Dashain festival held in September/October.
Getting to DakshinKali
It is located 22km outside Kathmandu Valley and 1 km outside the village of Pharping.
The road to DakshinKali is in a good condition but it is uphill all the way. If you plan to go on the Mountain Bike, it is really a interesting place to go and coming back fast is the fun park. Dakshinkali is about a 45-minute taxi ride from Kathmandu. You can hire a taxi and pay a little bit more to the taxi driver to wait while you explore other sites.
Public transportation to the Dakshinkali is available but it is little bit crowded. The public buses run from the Old Buspark, Ratnapark and the minibuses leave from Near Martyr’s Gate.
Scenario Around the Temple
When you get to the Parking lot of the Dakshinkali temple, it is little bit crowded. The route then leads you down a shaded stone pathway lined by local people selling flower and offerings for the Goddess, buffalo milk youghurt and Khuwa (a condensed milk sweet).
Saturdays in Dakshinkali are like cheerful temple fair, with crowds of worshippers dressed in their best clothes, tea stalls doing good business and people dragging goats and chickens for the sacrifice to the Goddess.
Temple is loacted down the flight of steps open to the sky and is decorated with the canopy of gilded snakes. The black stone image of Kali shows her squatting on a corpse, symbolizing victory over time. She holds other terrifying emblems such as skull cup, a severed head, and a sword. Along the sides are enshrined images of Ganesh, the Ashta Matrika, and a plain stone Bhairab.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY BEHIND ITS EXISTENCE?
It is said that DAKSINKALI came to an existence after goddess KALI herself appeared in the dream of a Malla king, the ruler of 14th century. Goddess kali then commanded the king to build a temple dedicating her in a very unknown strange place. As the command was about to be followed immediately, a person said that he had already sort out a stone image of the goddess kali in the same place where goddess kali commanded the king to built the temple. The image was then left open with the elements as she commanded over her head a gilded canopy was kept erect with four golden serpents. Also images of lord Ganesh , seven Asthamatrikas and a stone Bhairav near by her images.
Why is it important for Hindus?
Dakshinkali Temple is of great importance among those who need her blessing and also among the blessed ones. There is a strong believe in the ability of goddess to make wishes come true. Among thousand of visitors we can see lovers, businessman, children, students, job seekers , sick, etc. Here wishes are made in front of the goddess with sacrifice of animals particularly of cockerels and uncastrated male goats.On Tuesday and Saturday and particularly during the festival of Dashain, the court yard of temple is covered with blood of sacrifice and goddess Kali is bathed with the blood.
What else can you do in Dakshinkali ?
Dakshinkali is popular as the picnic spot for locals people. A hiking and a short trekking experience in Dakshinkali is treasured by the many tourists coming to this place.