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Kalighat Kali Temple

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The one Temple I will never visit again.

Kalighat Kali Temple

Violent, vengeful Kali is the patron goddess of Kolkata, and this temple complex -- believed to be the site where the toe of Shiva's wife fell when her body was scattered across the earth by the gods anxious to stop Lord Shiva's dance of destruction -- is a major pilgrimage center, drawing some 20,000 visitors each day. If you're a non-Hindu, you cannot enter the inner sanctum, sticky with the rotted remains of fresh flowers offered by devotees every day, but it's worth your while to explore the courtyards and the various stalls selling flowers, fruit, and religious paraphernalia. If you're uneasy about the idea of animal sacrifice, avoid the enclosure to the south of the temple where at least one goat is offered to Kali every day (a ritual that allegedly replaced the ancient practice of human sacrifice). Be equally wary of the so-called priests -- temple "guides" who usher you into the complex and conduct a whirlwind tour of the facilities, only to present you with a donation book that records the radically generous donations of other foreigners.

Read more: Review of Kalighat Kali Temple and other religious site reviews in Kolkata | Frommer's

Kali temple, Kolkata | Groovy Ganges
I lived in Calcutta for ten years, and know exactly what you are describing, it is pretty much a daunting task entering the inner sanctum and be out.. the so called pujaris pressing literally any human they can find to give them money and inside the little cage that surrounds the Kali's thumb (the deity is in that shape for those who have not seen it ) there are so many of them who would touch you and ask for money and it was not all that bad between 69 -79 but when I visited after many many years, I was so thoroughly disgusted as well.. so I walked out as quickly as possible.. I wish to mother Kali that she take care of all the poor souls who are so much in need of money and give rebirth to her sanctum, I hope this change will come about soon.. :)
Can't SPCA do anything about the 'sacrifice' in this temple?

I am happy that I have NOT yet been to Kolkata.

My DH lived there before our wedding for about 10 years!
Raji, don't underestimate Calcutta, one of the nicest places to visit.. I loved living there.. people are very warm, never had a problem and fantastic shopping experience.. :) not sure what your Daughter in law would say about the place, do you know where she lived???

About Sacrificing the lamb in the temple or the goat, when it comes to the religion I don't think SPCA will not do anything, specially there are so many meat eaters in india among hindus.. so it is like killing for meat.. I doubt if they will interfere.
Dear Bushu,

My DH has enjoyed his stay at KOmaLa vilAs, Calcutta! Some of his friends live there but since they visit us, I have not gone

there yet! :)

The temple looks so great! Picture from Wikipedia:

Pictures can be beautiful, it hides the cries of agony of millions of victims. I would rather see this place in pictures.
decade ago,it was my first journey in a metro which started from Park Station to Kalighat. And followed by the hand pulled cart drive to Kalighat temple.

memory lingers on.
Animal sacrifice is not uncommon in many devi temples of india. Why single out kalighat temple alone ? I lived in Howrah and Calcutta is the most humane city in the country and I agree that it takes little more time to love calcutta but once you understand the ethos and values of bengal and bengalis you would never forget it. In any case only Brahmins feel very awkward towards this practice of animal sacrifice. In most of the famous devi temple in Tamil Nadu once animal slaughter was practiced but no more now. Devi wants the sacrifice of one's ego not animals. Till date the animal sacrifice at Kalighat temple remain outside the focus of animal lovers. It is time to get the work initiated by a social reformer. For the time being we should get solace by the fact that atleast human sacrifice descended to animal sacrifice !
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