Among all the turmoil and religion-based animosity that has caused a nation-wide frenzy, here is a look at the brighter side of our country where religion is not a hindrance.
In fact, it is a confluence of cultures. Our city of joy nurtures communal harmony and what better example than the CHINESE KALI TEMPLE in Tangra. Yes, you read that right!
By now you have understood that this is no regular temple. So what is different about this place, you ask?
It shows us communal harmony and integration. Here, you would often find Chinese and Bengali people praying side by side to the same deity.
The incense sticks used here are those that are commonly used in the Chinese community, they are longer in size and smell very different from our regular, black incense sticks or ‘agarbatti’.
You will be overwhelmed with how much this place has to offer to your senses.
Talking about offerings, here the ‘prasad’ or ‘bhog’ is also off beat. True to their Chinese roots, they offer noodles and chopsuey as prasad. Now that is something that is hard to refuse but not hard to digest.
Pic courtesy: scoopwoop
Another queer tradition in this place is that of burning handmade paper to ward off evil spirits.
Even the way in which the ‘pranaam’ is done before the goddess is typically Chinese, of holding the incense sticks with both hands and bowing down three times in from of the idol, unlike the Hindu method of holding the incense and making a circular motion with it.
The Chinese are known for their love for the colour red. So, here the deities are clad in red cloth too.
History behind the emergence of this unique temple:
About 60 years back, this site had a tree below which there were few stones smeared with sindoor.
This was worshipped by the locals. Around that time, a small Chinese boy from the surrounding area was very ill. Even doctors could not cure him.
His parents had lost hope and lay him down near the tree and prayed for several nights at a stretch. Finally, a miracle happened. The boy got well, and from that time onwards, the site became special for the Chinese community of that area.
The temple was built 12 years ago. The two stones are still there. Two traditional Kali statues have since been installed as well.