Calcutta and It's Colorful Temples

While heading to the Cali temple, we see the paradise gardens just near the river banks. The Cali temple takes it’s name from the god of dead Cali. He is depicted as black or blue in color with a long red tongue. Generally he has two sets of beads made of skulls on his neck. These skulls belong to the devil, since he is constantly at war with it. Cali is sometimes named as the unsatiable queen. Thus many animals are sacrificed at her temple to ease her hunger.

According to some sources, human sacrifices took place at the temples until 1835, but it was later forbidden. We asked the truth of this hearsay to our guide, but he assured us that such a thing never took place. There is also a crematorium here that works with electricity.

This temple was built upon the place where Shiva’s fingers crumbled and fell off after her wife died. There are small stalls that sell food and flowers as offerings to Kali. The most popular ones are the Hibiscus flowers which are related with blood. It is forbidden to take photos inside this temple.

Later on we arrive to another peculiar temple called the Jain temple. In Jainism the main moral code is not to hurt any other living being. So in order to achieve this Jainists walk on bare foot to avoid hurting ants, carry bush sweepers in their hands to brush off places they are going to sit and wear a white clothing on their mouth to avoid accidentally eating a fly. Mosaic pieces and colorful bright stones were used in the architecture of this temple. The motifs are mostly of animals or plants.

The fire that signifies enlightenment in the temple never ceased to burn since 1975, when the temple was built. What is interesting is that the white bowl on the fire never turned black with smoke. They call this a miracle, if the bowl starts turning black they believe that disasters will occur and the day of reckoning will arrive.

I had to visit the toilet in the temple garden. Unfortunately I had the worst smell I experienced through my time in Calcutta. What went through my mind at the time was “I guess they don’t use any water to wash the place off in case they accidentally kill the worms in their fecal matters.”

After this colorful temple, in order to mix up with the locals we decided to use the subway system to get to the center. Although the subway was very crowded we didn’t smell any bad odors.

The windows and balconies of the structures are barred with iron. In public transportation the same thing was used to separate the driver from the passengers.

They had to come up with a security system since there are too many homeless people. There are loincloths and refugee s even on the main roads. The people wash on the streets, wash their laundry on the streets, eat at the streets, feed their baby at the streets, so in short people live on the streets. Poverty is on such a high level that we saw a man with a single lag, walking with a hand made wooden stick instead of crutches. It was truly saddening to see poverty and sordidness reach to such levels.

There are many  festivals and ceremonies that take place in Calcutta. So it is recorded as the city of fun in many sources.

In some festivals the locals build statues and models of their favourite gods and send these onto the holy Ganj River’s branch Hogdy, with candles ablazed on them. We saw a human figure on the river on the first day we got here, and thought it was a human body but apparently that was just one of the statues.

We saw many statues being carried on the back of the trucks. The whole city was very colorful and energetic.

Along with global fast food chain restaurants there are also many luxurious restaurants available in the city. What is really sad is that once you go out of the restaurant you are surrounded by people asking for a piece of bread.

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