The famous Dakshinkali Temple is situated on the lap of the mountain some six miles south of Kathmandu city and two kilometers from Pharping village in the open place of a gorge. Dakshinkali, literally the Goddess Kali of the south. This is a famous pilgrimage of the goddess Durga of Kathmandu valley. The image of Dakshinkali is an image of Chamunda. The presiding deity of Dakshinkali, the eight-armed Chamunda(Kali) represents Shakti the female life force.
Its sylvan setting close by a ravine together its blessing attraction to devotees draws many people to worship the deity known to have been established by King Pratap Malla. It is also said that the image of Dakshinkali was set up there in the 10th century by Vedic followers. There are many Bronze bells and images of bronze lions in the main entrance of Dakshinkali. Most are elaborate affairs and some are intricately engraved often with an inscription running along the outer rim.
Devotees visit this holy place especially on Tuesday and Saturday. Goats, Cock, Duck are sacrifices in large numbers. Animal and bird sacrifices are customary in Nepal. At the Dakshinkali Temple, the regular sacrifice of buffaloes, goats, ducks, sheep, and cocks are conducted by local priests. In the images of goddesses near the main image of Dakshinkali which is fixed in the wall of the open-air of Dakshinkali Temple. They did not sprinkle blood in the main image of Dakshinkali. The sacrifice takes place on Saturday at the open-air shrine located at the bottom of a river gorge by the local priests on behalf of the pilgrims. On the right side of the main image, there are images of the goddess where they always sprinkled with the animal blood and the carcasses are then taken for cooked and eaten.
In the course of the way to the Dakshinkali Temple site, the valley country site unfolds itself in an infinite variety of serene views from Hattiban hill with full of various trees, while selected points along the route afford splendid views of rural dwellings set against a panoramic view of the valley and the distant Himalayas.
Dakshinkali Temple is situated in a ravine and hill forest. It is a land blessed with a matchless landscape. Always every Saturday people from all over the valley and from different areas of the country come here. Most of the women were dressed in deep red saris, a favorite color of theirs during worship. Many of the devotees carried prayers plates and containers carrying black goats (black goats are supposed to represent demons )and cocks up to the Dakshinkali Temple. One can see red blood, that was the color seeing at the sacrificial ground. Goats are being dragged by the neck towards the image site. Foreign tourists who attended there can know what was going to happen and did not have the heart to see the poor animal die in such a way. The sacrifice lifted the goat in his arm and with a sharp khukuri knife, slit its throat from which blood was splattered over the various stone image one by one taking a long time after slit its throat petty fast. They do not take more than a second to slit with a sharp knife dripping blood from a severed head attached ten percent of the sacrificed goats body.
Besides the religious point of view, Dakshinkali has been a popular picnic spot, especially during the winter season. Peoples of Kathmandu city hired a private car or minibus for their journey and made all necessary arrangements and preparation for worship and picnic for lunch and dinner in the picnic spot. The place was really worth-seeing with green hills, streams, and forests. Most of the people visit there in the winter season to enjoy basking in the sunlight.
Local Goods for Shopping in your Dakshinkali Temple
By the main road leading to the temple, is a fascinating marketplace, filled with small street stalls a selling Red powder (Avir), flowers and items for rituals and worshipping goddess, goats and cocks for sacrificing to the goddess, Khukuri (knife) and Khurpi (A small pruning knife), tea, cold drink stalls, vegetable and fruits such as pumpkin, pear, lemon, orange, hog plums(Amala) and cheese(Khuwa), whey (Mahi), syrup (Sarbat), local wine, beer etc. A walk down the bazaar with its color and energy and pilgrims milling around each stall is a definite must for every visitor.
Distance from Kathmandu to Dakshinkali Temple?
Kathmandu to Dakshankali Temple distance is approx 22 KM. You can find the local bus to Dakshankali Temple from Ratnapark which costs only Rs 40 per person one way. If you want to travel with luxury then car hire is the best option to reach this place. You can obtain a car from Rs 2500 which will take you to the temple and back to your home.