Sunday, October 4, 2009

More about Kali temple

Kalighat Kali temple is one of the most popular Saktha temple visited by thousands of devotees every day. MAA is Karuna Moyi, Daya Moyi and Ananda Moyi. MAA is well known for granting boons to devotees. No wonder people come from allover the world to visit the temple.

But about the temple itself. How is it?

1. One of the (if not the) dirtiest temple in India.

2. The only temple in India where Beggars and Vendors have a free rein. The Nat Mandir is used by Beggars as their home. You find them sleeping there at any time of the day. The Beggar Children use it as their play ground. The beggar children sit on the floor among the crowd and tug at your feet. They kick the devotees who are sitting there meditating.

The vendors of the so called Raksha thread forces one mala on your head and demand money. Then you have the vendors of Kumkum and other Puja material. Then you have permanent sweet shops inside the temple.

Is this a way a holy place should be run? Temple for MAA is called MAA Badi or Mother's house. Do we keep our Mother's house like this?


  1. As a foreign Kali bhakta I felt especially harrassed when I first went for puja at Kalighat; however as I became a familiar face everyone around the Mandir took a liking to me and I had no trouble once I could properly argue my way out of giving "bakshish" to the scam artists.

    I must agree though, it is rather sad to see such activities going on at such a sacred place. Out of love for the goddess, I would gladly drop life in the USA and work at any Kali Mandir just to serve her by maintaining the Mandir! Sincere bhakti would fix all of these problems you mention.


  2. The situation in the temple can not improve unless there is a concerted effort on the part of the devotees.

    But do we see such a move?

    Frankly it is a big NO. People have filed suits to restrict the activities of Pandas. The High Court has passed orders. But you find no change at all.

    But has anyone taken an effort to remove the Beggars, keep the temple clean or get rid of the vendors of Fake charms?

    No one has done it. Newspaper articles about the temple never talk about these aspects. Why? Because the articles are written by the local people.

    The basic problem is that the local population seem to be quite happy with the present situation. They are happy with their privileges. They have contacts who arrange for quick Dharshan. They wear slippers/shoes inside the temple. Other visitors remove slippers/shoes.

    They stand in the well between the Nat Mandir and Jor Bangla and ask the employees to push the people who have standing for hours in the line so that they can have Dharshan.

    The temple will not improve unless the locals want it. Unfortunately there is absolutely no move on the part of the local people to improve the situation. Being a local I find this hard to stomach. The only local people who talk about the bad situation are the ones who never come to the temple.

  3. Jai Maa! That same Kaali that sits there as an idol in the temple is also in those beggars outside. So if the idol is there then the beggars should be there too! Let them sleep there, let them play there, let them live there! When Maa allows it then who are we to intellectualize it? There is no purity or impurity in Kaali worship, and don't we all go there as beggars ourselves? So imagine if some higher being wanted 'us' beggars out of there?!
    As for the Pandas, how about just ignoring them?
    And as for the beggars (like 'us') who ask for bakshish then how about just give what we can and then move on and if cannot give then how about not give and move on? Jai Maa!

  4. I do not think anyone who has visited the Kalighat Kali temple will talk favorably about the Beggars and pandas.

    All temples in India were full of Beggars earlier. Lepers, Blind and the Lame along with able bodied Beggars. Fortunately most of the temples have taken effective steps to control the Beggars.

    It is not a question of purity at all. But I do not think being hounded by Beggars is a pleasant experience for any one.

    I know people who give money to some Beggars. The moment you do it, You are surrounded by all the Beggars who will hound you to the nearest Metro station/bus stop. If you have a car till the car moves away.

    These Beggars do not beg because of want. They have taken is as a profession.

    About pandas, enough has already been written. Just a couple of days back, the Pandas entered the Sanctum Sanctorum and beat up the devotees there with sticks. All because the management tried to prevent the entrance of pandas inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.

    The High Court had passed an order in 2005 prohibiting the entrance of Pandas inside the sanctum sanctorum.