Kalighat is also densely populated and vibrant—with a rich history of cultural intermingling with the various foreign incursions into the area over time.
A famous temple Kalighat Kali Temple dedicated to the goddess Kali is situated in Kalighat. This is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. The right toe of Dakshayani is said to have fallen here. The Shakti here is known as Kalika, while the Bhairava is Nakulesh. It is a very famous place and a pilgrimage for Shakta (Shiva and Durga/Kali/Shakti worshippers) followers within the Hindu religion.
One Raja Basanta Roy, uncle of Pratapaditya and the King of Jessore, Bangladesh perhaps built what is now known as Old Temple. This temple was situated on the banks of river Adi Ganga. The natmandir, a hall attached to the sanctum sanctorum is in the southern side while Shiva's temple is situated in the north-east. There is also a temple dedicated to Radha Krishna built in 1843 by a zamindar of Baowali. The speciality of Kali of this temple is the long protruded tongue made of gold. This is a different appearance from the other visualisations of Kali.
Kalighat temple has references in 15th century texts. The original temple was a small hut. The present temple was built by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of Barisha in 1809. They offered 595 bighas of land to the Temple deity so that worship and service could be continued smoothly. It is believed by some scholars that the name Calcutta was derived from Kalighata. In the early days traders halted at Kalighat to pay patronage to the goddess. The temple was initially on the banks of Hooghly. The river over a period of time has moved away from the temple. The temple is now on the banks of a small canal called Adi Ganga, connecting to Hooghly. The present dakshina Kali idol of touchstone was created by two saints - Brahmananda Giri and Atmaram Giri. It was Padmabati Devi, the mother of Laksmikanta Roy Choudhury who discovered the fossils of Sati's finger in a lake called Kalikunda. This made Kalighat as one of the 51 Shakti Pithas.