Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kali Ghat Temple

Although the current building of the Kali Temple only dates back to the 19th century, it has been a sacred site for much longer. A favorite pilgrimage place for Hindu devotees, this normally busy place was especially crowded on the day of my visit. The line to pay respects to the wild -looking female deity known as Kali. During my visit in Kolkata, I would see many idols of this favorite Bengali goddess, typically depicted with blue skin, black hair, tongue sticking down, and adorned with a garland of the decapitated heads of the demons she killed. Bypassing that long, snaking line, my motorcycle guide led me to a place within the temple compound where sacrifices were taking place. A family passed its goat over to a temple person. Everyone crowded around to witness the swift decapitation. Although I was not in a position to see the gruesome action, I did see the body fly to the left, with the blood spurting out of the neck like a fountain. As we left, I spotted four black goat heads lined up on the ground. How many more sacrifices would occur that day?

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