Home > Bengal History, Day Trips from Calcutta (Kolkata), General > Temple of Dakshin Rai, Dhapdhapi

Temple of Dakshin Rai, Dhapdhapi

Temple of Dakshin Rai

Dhapdhapi, 24 Parganas (South)

Dakshin Rai or Dakshin Ray, literally meaning the King of the South, is the local deity of Sundarban and rules over beast and daemons. He is worshiped by all those who enter the Sunderban forest, for subsistence, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion.

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Idol of Dakshin Rai, Dakshineswar Temple, Dhapdhapi

There are lot of controversies regarding Dakshin Rai, although considered and worshiped as god by many but many other considered him as a demon with a uncanny curving for human flesh.

…. Dakshin Rai, the powerful demon king, who held sway over every thing that lived in the forest – every animal as well as every ghoul, ghost and malevolent spirit. Towards mankind he harboured a hatred coupled with insatiable desires – for the pleasures afforded by human flesh he had a curving that knew no limits.

Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide

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Idol of Dakshin Rai

Not only god or demon, there is a third opinion also, which considers Dakshin Rai as a human being turned god / demon. According to some sources his father was, Danda Baksha, who was the ruler of the Atharo Vatir Desh (Land of eighteen tides) and mother was Narayani. Dakshin Rai was the ruler of Hijli.

Human, demon or god let the scholar and historians argue. while you pack your bags and head for the biggest Dakshin Rai temple in West Bengal.

The temple with the gigantic Dakshin Rai statue is located at  at Dhahdhapi, near Baruipur. Dhapdhapi ia a railway station, on the Sealdah South rail line leading Lakshmikantapur / Namkhana.

A short toto (electric rickshaw) ride from the station takes one to the Dakshineswar Temple, dedicated to the king of the south Dakshin Rai.

The 1908 built temple is nothing much spectacular. Also the flat roofed structure has gone through a series of reconstruction and in the process losing most of its original elements.

The seven feet tall idol of Dakshin Rai carries a gun and is dressed in dhoti, jacket and pair of boots. Their are statues of several other deities scatted inside the temple. On the wall behind the idol are several weapons including spear, bow & a quiver of arrows, sword & shield and a spear.

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Dakshineswar Temple, Dhapdhapi

It is an active temple, where pujas and aarati being held every day. Large number of devotees assemble every day at the temple to offer pujas.

Getting there: Lakshmikantapur / Namkhana Local from Sealdah (South) to Dhapdhapi. Time: About an hour, fare – Rs 10. From station Toto (electric rickshaw) to Dakshineswar Temple. Time about 10 minutes fare Rs 10.

  1. October 16, 2019 at 1:00 AM

    Very informative. Thanks !

  2. Subhabrata Ghose
    October 16, 2019 at 3:24 PM

    Only a few weeks back, you were speaking about visiting DhapDhapi. And now you have done it :-)!
    Kudos, Rangan — way to go.

    • October 16, 2019 at 9:46 PM

      Thanks Subhabrata you have also visited the place. I do have plans of more blog posts of the folk lore of Sundarban

      • Subhabrata Ghose
        October 17, 2019 at 12:24 PM

        That would be a good effort, Rangan.

        This part of Sundarbans has escaped attention both by cultural enthnographists as well as social anthropologists.

  3. Shuvendu Mahato
    June 9, 2020 at 6:51 PM

    Very informative and interesting.

  4. July 29, 2021 at 6:19 PM

    Quite informative! Thanks.

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