As we all know, 'prasad' plays an important role in every puja ritual. It is an offering (bhog) made to the God and then eaten by devotees after performing the puja. And if you explore, you will find the type of prasad varying from place to place. It is yet more fascinating to notice how food culture of a region influences the prasad menu of a temple (or the region). For instance, halwas and ladoos are a constant on a bog thaali in North India; whereas, in Bengal, prasad comprises fruits, puffed rice, mishti doi etc. But have you ever heard of noodles being served as a prasad in a temple? Yes, you read that right! We recently came across a temple in Bengal that distributes desi Chinese delicacies as Prasad. Let's find more about this unique temple of India.
If you explored or studied about Kolkata, then you surely have come across this place called Tangra (popularly referred to as China Town) - the roots to ever popular Indian-Chinese cuisine (or as we call it desi Chinese). During the 1930s civil war in China, large group of people were evicted from the country, who took shelter in Tangra, Kolkata (then Calcutta) and took up work at tanneries. However, over the years, their profession shifted to food industry, giving birth to what we call Indo-Chinese cuisine.
While strolling through the lanes of Kolkata's China Town, you will come across a Kalibari (Temple of Goddess Kali), which has 'Chinese Kali Temple', written on the plaque outside. Every day, the locals of the area perform ritualistic puja at the Kali Temple, twice a day. While everything at this Kalibari looks similar to other Kali temples across Bengal, Prasad here makes the temple standout in the lot.
Unlike the quintessential bhog (that comprises fruits, sweets, khichdi et al), here devotees are given noodles, chop suey, fried rice et al as Prasad, after puja (especially during the Diwalis).
According to the website www.tourmyindia.com, this Kali temple is "more than 60-year-old" and serves as a "great example" of Hindu and Chinese unity.
We also came across a Facebook Page named World of Kolkata that states Chinese Kali Temple as a "must visit" place in Kolkata. Take a look at the post:
How To Go To Chinese Kali Temple:
This temple is located in Matheswartala Road, Tangra. This place stays open all the seven days (from Monday to Sunday), from morning to evening. However, during the ongoing pandemic, do check out the state's travel resting before you visit the place.
We suggest, do visit this unique kalibari on your next trip to Kolkata and also explore the super delicious restaurants in China Town.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.