Siddheswari Temple, Kalna, West Bengal

The most important temple of Kalna, from religious point of view is the Siddheswari Temple. A Hindu devotee of Goddess Kali feels his/her visit to Kalna is incomplete with out a darshan of Goddess Kali in this Siddheswari Temple. This temple is the holiest of all the temples in Kalna. And that is one reason why it is also known as Ambika Kalna, Ambika being another name of Goddess Kali.

The town looked calm, not much traffic, narrow lanes; it was quite an effort to get the right direction to the temple. Take the directions to the temple when you are at 108 Shiva temples there. The walking distance is hardly 15 minutes, but a wrong turn can make you go in circles.

Kali literally means, ‘the black one’. The Goddess does look fearsome, her garland of severed heads and belt of human arms are hard to understand. She is prayed by women for the well being of their children, money and food. The purohit there did not mind my taking pics.

Can you recognize what is in the picture below?

Animal sacrifices are made for her even today. The U shaped structure that you see is the sacrificial tool. The animals’ (most often goat or sheep), neck is inserted through the U shaped opening and in one blow, before the animal realizes, the cut is done. I found it really hard to explain all these to my 16year old and 12 year old.

The row of shops outside the temple sells the essentials for puja. It was morning time, brisk business was on, I didn’t feel like disturbing him and ask the shopkeeper to pose for my series ‘Faces of India’.

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