The name 'Dhakeshwari' means 'Goddess of Dhaka'. This famous 11th-century Hindu temple is the most prominent temple of Dhaka, located at the old part of Dhaka. It is the National Temple, widely visited by thousands of visitors and devotees.
The Dhakeshwari temple was built in the 12th century by Ballal Sen, a king of the Sena dynasty, and it is said that the city was named after the Goddess.The current architectural style of the temple cannot be dated to that period because of the numerous repairs, renovations and rebuilding which have taken place over time. It is considered an essential part of Dhaka's cultural heritage. Many researchers[who?] believe that the temple is also one of the Shakti Peethas, where the jewel from the crown of the Goddess Sati had fallen. Although there is not enough historical context to establish this as a fact, researchers have been 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 murti was taken to Kumartuli, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. During the partition of India, she was brought to Kolkata from Dhaka with millions of refugees. By 1950, the businessman Debendranath Chaudhary built the temple of Goddess in Kumortuli area and established some of the Goddess' property for her daily services. The idol is 1.5 feet tall, has ten arms, mounted on her lion in the form of Katyani Mahishasurmardini Durga. On her two sides are Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh. A Tiwari family from Azamgarh was appointed by the royal family for daily worship of the deity. In 1946, the descendants of that family came to Calcutta and were re-appointed, where they still serve the Goddess continuously.
It is widely believed[according to whom?] that the Queen, wife of King Bijoy Sen went to Langolbond for bathing. On her way back she gave birth to a son, known to historians as Ballal Sen. After ascending to the throne, Ballal Sen built this temple to glorify his birthplace. Legends say that Ballal Sen once dreamt of the deity covered under the jungle. Ballal Sen uncovered the deity from there and built a temple, named for Dhakeswari. Whatever the legends describe, Hindus consider Dhakeswari to be the presiding deity of Dhaka, which is an incarnation or form of Goddess Durga the Adi Shakti. The idol of Durga is called Dhakeswari .
Anyone can visit by road with taxi/three-wheeler/bus from anywhere in Dhaka.