Kali Bari Mandir was built by some Bengali devotees in Shimla way back in 1845, though it is believed that the inception of the temple started in 1823. Records of the temple at that time reveal that the original idol of the temple was 4 feet tall.
The temple is dedicated to goddess Kali, who is also known as Shyamala. In fact, Shimla derives its name from the name of the goddess. Originally located at Jakhu Hill, the temple was shifted to its present location by the British.
The temple is a popular tourist destination of Shimla but it is during Navratras and Kali Pooja time that devotees throng the temple. The original idol has been replaced by a smaller and more aesthetically-appealing one; it stands in the center with Shyamala devi and Chandi devi flanking it on either side.
According to local history, the British complained about the noise during the evening aarti
s; however, the priests convinced them that the aarti
s were actually prayers for the British to win the war.