Dhakeshwari National Temple is a famous Hindu temple in Dhaka, Bangladesh and is state-owned, giving it the distinction of Bangladesh's "National Temple". The name "Dhakeshwari" means "Goddess of Dhaka".
In 1996, Dhakeshwari Temple was renamed Dhakeshwari Jatiya Mandir (National Temple) reflecting its position as the center of Hindu culture and worship in Bangladesh. This was the culmination of a major campaign by Bangladeshi Hindu groups who had been demanding official recognition for the primary Hindu place of worship. As a result, the Flag of Bangladesh is hoisted every morning outside the main temple premises.
The premises of the Dhakeswari there are temples of two types of architecture. The ancient one is of the Poncharotna Goddess Durga?s which lost its actual look after the renovation work.The fusion of Bangla chowchala and shikor temple is notice in the architecture of Dhakeshawri.
Temple Events and Festivals:
Dhakeshwari Temple is a hub of socio-cultural as well as religious activity. Each year, the largest celebration of Durga Puja in Dhaka is held at the National Temple, and Bijaya Sammelani (cultural program following Durga Puja) takes place in the adjoining parade ground a few days after Durga Puja is complete, and is also a major cultural event in the Dhaka calendar.Janmashthami the day of Lord Krishna's birthday also celebrated grandly.
The Dhakeshwari temple was built in the 12th century by Ballal Sen, a king of the Sena dynasty, and many say the name of the city was coined after this temple. The current style of architecture of the temple cannot be dated to that period because of numerous repairs, renovations and rebuilding in its long years of existence and its present condition does not clearly show any of its original architectural characteristics.
It is considered an essential part of Dhaka's cultural heritage. Many researchers say that the temple is also one of the Shakti Peethas, where the jewel from the crown of the Goddess had fallen. Although there is not enough historical context in order to establish this as a fact, researchers were directed to this site while trying to locate the particular Shakti Peetha. Since ages, the temple has been held in great importance. The original 800-year old statue was destroyed during the War of 1971.
The temple is located in Old Dhaka right behind the campus of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. There is a permanent altar outside the main temple premises. It hosts the yearly Puja of Goddess Durga.Inside the main temple premises, there are four identical structures devoted to Lord Shiva. To the east of these is the main temple, which hosts the statue of the Goddess.