Traditional temple

Temple of Goddess Kali where fish is offered as ‘Bhoga’ in Odisha – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

CUTTACK: While non-vegetarian offerings are taboo in Hindu temples, the Goddess Kali shrine at Kali Gali in the town of Cuttack is known for its delicious “Fish Bhoga”. The tradition of daily offering of non-vegetarian ‘Bhoga’ to the temple deity is believed to have started 200 years ago.

“Anna Prasad is offered to the deity twice a day and fish curry is an integral part of the lunch offering menu. The amount of fish offered as ‘Bhoga’ can be large or small depending on the availability,” Kali Temple Chief Priest Santosh Bhattacharya (48) said.

Interestingly, no onions or garlic are used to prepare the fish curry. Only native fish are cooked by the priests using ginger, cumin and ghee (clarified butter) inside the temple’s “Rosha Ghara” (kitchen), Bhattacharya said.

Legend has it that the uninhabited locality ‘Kali Gali’ was used as a cremation ground where an ‘Aghori’ sadhu who had started worshiping a Shiva Linga opted for ‘Shakti Upasana’ during the period when Odisha was under the Maratha Empire . He enshrined an idol of Goddess Kali made of clay collected from the banks of the Ganges mixed with ‘smashan’ ashes in a thatched-roof house.

It is believed that the same idol is worshiped in the shrine. The local zamindar at the time, Sashan Bandopadhay, who was unquestionably believed, had built a temple and provided land and hired a priest to conduct the daily rituals of the deity when he was blessed with a baby boy.

Following the construction of the Kali Temple, the locality was named Kali Gali. The three-foot tall idol of the four-armed goddess Dakshina Mukhi Kali stands on the chest of Lord Shiva. According to tradition, ‘Sodasha Upachar Kali Puja’ is conducted at Kali Temple twice a year. Also, Kali Puja on ‘Deepawali Amavasya’ and ‘Ratanti Kali Puja’ is done in ‘Magha Krushna Pakshya Chaturdasi’ at the shrine.

There is also a unique tradition that prevails at the shrine. Unlike other places, instead of using utensils like plates, cups, saucers, etc., the ‘Anna Prasad’ is brought to the pots directly from the ‘Rosha Ghara’ and offered to the deity. The temple is now managed by the Endowment Commission.

CUTTACK: While non-vegetarian offerings are taboo in Hindu temples, the Goddess Kali shrine at Kali Gali in the town of Cuttack is known for its delicious “Fish Bhoga”. The tradition of daily offering of non-vegetarian ‘Bhoga’ to the temple deity is believed to have started 200 years ago. “Anna Prasad is offered to the deity twice a day and fish curry is an integral part of the lunch offering menu. The amount of fish offered as ‘Bhoga’ can be large or small depending on the availability,” Kali Temple Chief Priest Santosh Bhattacharya (48) said. Interestingly, no onions or garlic are used to prepare the fish curry. Only native fish are cooked by the priests using ginger, cumin and ghee (clarified butter) inside the temple’s “Rosha Ghara” (kitchen), Bhattacharya said. Legend has it that the uninhabited locality ‘Kali Gali’ was used as a cremation ground where an ‘Aghori’ sadhu who had started worshiping a Shiva Linga opted for ‘Shakti Upasana’ during the period when Odisha was under the Maratha Empire . He enshrined an idol of Goddess Kali made of clay collected from the banks of the Ganges mixed with ‘smashan’ ashes in a thatched-roof house. It is believed that the same idol is worshiped in the shrine. The local zamindar at the time, Sashan Bandopadhay, who was unquestionably believed, had built a temple and provided land and hired a priest to conduct the daily rituals of the deity when he was blessed with a baby boy. Following the construction of the Kali Temple, the locality was named Kali Gali. The three-foot tall idol of the four-armed goddess Dakshina Mukhi Kali stands on the chest of Lord Shiva. According to tradition, ‘Sodasha Upachar Kali Puja’ is conducted at Kali Temple twice a year. Also, Kali Puja on ‘Deepawali Amavasya’ and ‘Ratanti Kali Puja’ is done in ‘Magha Krushna Pakshya Chaturdasi’ at the shrine. There is also a unique tradition that prevails at the shrine. Unlike other places, instead of using utensils like plates, cups, saucers, etc., the ‘Anna Prasad’ is brought to the pots directly from the ‘Rosha Ghara’ and offered to the deity. The temple is now managed by the Endowment Commission.