Kali Bari Temple – The Holy Shrine of the Blue Goddess

The famous Kali Bari Temple at Shimla is a popular tourist destination and a holy place for devotees from all over the country. Situated at just 1km (0.6mi) away from the Mall Road, central hub of Shimla, the temple is a tourist’s favourite and a must visit to pay homage to the edifice Devi Shyamala.

Kali Bari Temple – A Quick Glance

Built in: 1845

Famous for: Fearsome reincarnation of Goddess Kali, Shayamala

Timings: 6:00am-7:00pm

Entry Fee: Free

Duration: 1-2 hours

Best time to visit: October to May – especially during evening aarti around 7:00pm; Navratri is a great occasion

Distance from Shimla: Walking distance from Mall Road; 1 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand and 1.5 km from Shimla Railway Station.

Kali Bari Temple – An Overview

Kali Bari Temple, Shimla dates back to 1845 when it was built as a place of immense religious importance for the devotees. Being located quite close to the centre of the city (Shimla City Mall), it is flocked by devotees in large number. The temple premise is clean and well-maintained, where the devotees sit for hours to experience the heavenly vibes. Tourists and devotees also prefer chanting and meditating in the temple premises to seek mystical power and spiritual energy from Goddess Shyamala to fight every odds of life.

Kali Bari Temple - History and Architecture

The legend goes back 100 years ago. A Bengali Brahmin “Ram Charan Brahmachari” had built the original temple in the locality of Rothney Castle on Jakhoo Hill. Considered as one of the oldest temples of Shimla, Kali Bari Temple features unique Hindu-style architecture along with the unique blue coloured wooden idol of Goddess Kali in the deity form of Shyamali.

It was much later the location of the temple was shifted to a new site, the one where it is now.

In Shimla, the local residents believe that the Holy Mother is looking after the devotees who worship her with full faith and devotion. People also seek blessings from the Goddess in different other forms.

The Patron Goddess of Shimla

As per the legends and locals, it is said that Goddess Kali used to exist on Jakhoo Hill, and it used to be the initial location of the temple before being relocated by the British to the spot where it is now. Local residents call Goddess Kali by the name of Shyamala – the name that gives birth to the city’s name, Shimla.

Worshipping Shyamala at Kali Bari

Devotees visit Kali Bari Temple, Shimla to seek Shyamala’s blessings and offer her prayers on regular days as well as during religious festivities. The evening arti is a must watch for its elegance and spiritual values. The site of devotees chanting holy verses along with the priests of Kali Bari Temple is another pleasing sight to witness.

The Godddess Shyamala is worshipped in the form of a wooden image. As per the historians, the original altar at the shrine was established by the Bengali devotees and tourists in Shimla. Goddess Kali is also worshipped in the forms like Bhavani, Bhadrakali, Cchinnamasta, Chamunda, Durga, Himavati, Kumari Sati, Kamakshya, Meenakshi, Parvati, Rudrarani, Tara and Uma at the shrine.

The crowd of devotees gets swarmed up during the auspicious occasion of Navratri and Durga Puja. Diwali celebrations are also grand and the eve of Diwali is a spectacular sight to behold.

How to reach Kali Bari Temple, Shimla

Kali Bari Temple is well connected to all parts of the city via road and has some of the most mesmerizing views to offer on the way. Since it is located very close to the main complex of Shimla – the Mall Road on Kali Bari Road, tourists can walk or hire an auto rickshaw to reach the temple.

If you are taking the way from the bus stand or the railway station, you are suggested to take a local bus, or a shared taxi, or a private car service to visit the Kali Bari Temple. The option of a private cab is the most hassle-free.

For those with time is a big hurdle, you can opt to travel via air. Jubbarhatti Airport is the nearest one to reach Shimla from Chandigarh, and at the same from Delhi. From airport, you can avail multiple mode of transport to explore the Kali Bari Temple.

Tips to visit Kali Bari Temple, Shimla

  • •  The temple is nestled at a hilltop, though the climb isn’t very exhausting. However, tourists with medical and physical issues are suggested to reconsider the visit, or to take frequent halts on the way to the temple.

  • •  There is a guest house and a canteen for tourists in the temple premise for the convenience of those willing to stay nearby. Simple yet delicious Bengali food is served in the canteen during lunch and dinner time.

  • •  Photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple premises.

  • •  You must remove footwear before entering the temple.

  • •  There are many monkeys around the temple. Though not extremely harmful, but they are notorious for snatching food items and other belongings of the tourists. So, it is advisable to keep your stuffs safe and preferably inside your bags.

Kali Bari Temple is the most religious place in Shimla where both the architecture as well as the idol decoration is a thing to devour your eyes with. Goddess Kali is beautifully adorned with jewellery and colourful flowers, and is a magnificent sight as a whole. It is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Shimla, especially for the religious ones. Set amidst the beautiful backdrops of lush green forests, and snow-capped Himalayas of Shimla, Kali Bari Temple is a full package of natural beauty and spiritual essence for the ones seeking both together.

Make sure to explore the Kali Bari Temple, Shimla on the stunning hilltop to awaken your senses as a whole.

Attractions in Nearby City - Chandigarh: Rose Garden, Secretariat Building, Botanical Garden, Chandigarh University