Kalna, India Cruise Port

Within West Bengal, you'll find the cruise port of Kalna, India located on the western bank of the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River, after splitting from the Ganges. More popularly known as Ambika Kalna, the city was named for the Hindu goddess Kali, who promotes empowerment (or Shakti). Along with that heady namesake, Kalna is full of Shiva temples and other historic monuments; little wonder it's earned the nickname "City of Temples." A 6th-century text was the first reference to the city in writing; during this period, Ambika Kalna was an important center for maritime trade. It came into its own during the 18th century when Bardhaman rulers began building the detailed terra cotta temples with some frequency. Today, the city continues to produce textiles, hand-woven fabrics, and is a major center for trading rice and other grains. Listed below are a handful of our favorite experiences when cruising to Kalna, India:
 
  • In a city full of temples, these are absolutely going to be the biggest attraction. At the top of the list is 108 Shiv Mandirs or 108 Shiva Temple. Built in 1809 to celebrate the transfer of the royal estate of Bishnupur, the temples are in two circles: the first with white marble and black stone Shiv lingas (representations of Shiva), and the second made from white marble Shiv lingas - all of which can be seen from the temple platform's center.
     
  • Decorated with 25 steeples, the Krishna Chandra Mandir is a popular temple built around 1751-1752. Here you'll find scenes from epic tales represented on the walls.
     
  • A great example of traditional sculpture, Gopalbari Mandir is made up of 25 monuments, with many of its walls decorated. There's also an adjacent hall for devotional dancing and musical performances.
     
  • During festival season, you might happen across the Saraswati Puja, where the faithful pay homage to goddess Saraswati and celebrate their cultural heritage. It's a riot of color and sound that attracts people from all over the state.
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