The Goddess of the South: Dakshinkali

26, Nov 2020 |

Mostly crowded on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the temple has numerous pilgrims coming to make their sacrifices with their own beliefs. 


The Goddess of the South, "Dakshin Kali" is a mystical site where you witness people's wishes, offerings to the goddess, incense smokes, and bloodshed as the way of worshipping the Goddess Kali. Situated in the cleft, at the convergence of two sacred rivers, Dakshinkali is one of the revered temples of Goddess Kali – the consort of Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath. The old temple is where culture, history, and spiritual beliefs reside ever since the construction of the temple. 

Mostly crowded on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the temple has numerous pilgrims coming to make their sacrifices with their own beliefs. 


Goddess Kali is known as the most bloodthirsty reincarnation of Parbati. As the goddess of time, death, and destruction, the temple is most worshipped for the strong belief in good over evil. To satisfy the bloodthirst, every twice a week, i.e. on Tuesday and more particularly on Saturday, devotees sacrifice animals, mostly cockerels and uncastrated male goats, with a belief that their wishes will come true. In Dashain, the temple attracts many pilgrims and devotees from many parts of the country. During these occasions, there are even more sacrifices made to worship Goddess Kali at the big festival dedicated to her. 

The is quite a contradiction in the tradition as some devotees argue that the goddess cannot be pleased with any amount of bloodshed and with the killing of innocent animals. On the other hand, some devotees believe that sacrifice of the animal averts them from their suffering and allows them to be reincarnated as humans. Without much factual evidence, the devotees act according to their beliefs. The tradition has been going on for a long time now. 

People also crack coconuts instead of offering the blood of animals and make wishes, in case they are vegetarians or by their choice. 

People drag goats, bring chickens or other animals, and stand in lines for their turns to sacrifice it and make their wish. In front of the image of Kali, skilled butchers chop the head off the animals and offer the blood. The people then take the chopped animals to a hut behind the temple and have it cleaned and chopped, after which they make a feast


The odd tale behind the construction of the temple dates back to the 14th century during the Malla regime. It is said that Goddess Kali herself appeared in the dream of the reigning Malla King, where she ordered the king to build a temple dedicated to her in a strange and unknown place. As per what Goddess Kali had said, the king immediately set out the command to do as told. On doing so, a person said that he had already found a stone of Goddess Kali, right where the temple was to be built. Then, the temple was constructed, and the structure was left open with the elements – a gilded canopy with four golden serpents. There also is the image of Lord Ganesh, seven Astamarikas, and a stone Bhairav near her image. 


The Dakshinkali Temple is located outside (a kilometer away) the village of Pharping. It is 22 km south of Kathmandu, which is about an hour's route. The temple is an uphill route with scenic views.

The temple is a pilgrimage site in between mountains and lush green forests where pilgrims make their wishes and offerings to the ferocious goddess Kali. The place is also famous for a picnic spot and a small trek to the temple. 


Pashupatinath Temple

Maha Shivaratri: The Night of Shiva

Manakamana Temple: A Story of Reincarnation

Halesi Maratika

Dashain: A Fifteen Day Glimpse Into Nepal

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