Dhakeshwari Temple – Dhaka
Location: Azimpur, Dhaka
Dhakeshwari National Temple is a Hindu temple in Dhaka. The name “Dhakeshwari” means “Goddess of Dhaka”. It is the most important Hindu place of worship in Bangladesh. It is also the largest Hindu temple in Bangladesh. This temple is part of the famous Shakti Peethas in Indian Subcontinent. Here the gem of sati’s crown had fallen.
The Dhakeshwari temple was built in the 12th century by Ballal Sen, a king of the Sena dynasty, and it is said that the city was named after the Goddess. The current architectural style of the temple cannot be dated to that period because of the numerous repairs, renovations and rebuilding which have taken place over time. It is considered an essential part of Dhaka’s cultural heritage. Many researchers believe that the temple is also one of the Shakti Peethas, where the jewel from the crown of the Goddess Sati had fallen. Although there is not enough historical context to establish this as a fact, researchers have been directed to this site while trying to locate the particular Shakti Peetha. Since ages, the temple has been held in great importance. The original 800-year-old murti was taken to Kumartuli, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. During the partition of India, she was brought to Kolkata from Dhaka with millions of refugees. By 1950, the businessman Debendranath Chaudhary built the temple of Goddess in Kumortuli area and established some of the Goddess’ property for her daily services. The idol is 1.5 feet tall, has ten arms, mounted on her lion in the form of Katyani Mahishasurmardini Durga. On her two sides are Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh. A Tiwari family from Azamgarh was appointed by the royal family for daily worship of the deity. In 1946, the descendants of that family came to Calcutta and were re-appointed, where they still serve the Goddess continuously.
Current presiding deity here in Dhakeshwari Temple is the replica of original idol.