Different cultures and traditions are part of India’s rich heritage, which attracts tourists worldwide. Diverse culture, style of worshipping, and the way we celebrate our festivals make India a nation tourists want to explore. At religious places across the country, the priests/caretakers hand out different types of prasad to visitors or devotees. In temples, the most common prasad is Laddu. However, there is a temple in West Bengal’s capital Kolkata, where priests offer noodles and chop suey as prasad to the worshippers.
The temple is called “Chinese Kali Temple” and is located in Kolkata’s famous Tangra area also called the “China Town”. In this area, one can see a blend of Tibetan and East Asian culture, making it a good tourist attraction.
The temple and the idol look the same as in any other Goddess Kali temple in India. The thing that makes it unique is the Prasad first offered to Goddess and later distributed among devotees. Chinese cuisine like noodles, chop suey, sticky rice, and various other dishes are also offered to Goddess Kali in this temple.
The locals in the area said that through this temple, they were trying to hold on to the Indian culture while incorporating the Chinese.
According to media reports, the temple is said to be 80 years old. For 60 years, Hindus used to worship two granite stones with vermilion over them beneath a tree at the site before the temple was constructed. Around 20 years ago, people from the Bengali and Chinese communities came together to built the Chinese Kali temple in Tangra, Kolkata.
According to a mythological tale, a 10-year-old Chinese boy had fallen sick. Nothing was working to improve his health and nobody was able to cure him. His parents became hopeless as all their efforts went in vain. As a last option, they laid near the stones. His parents prayed to God for their son’s health and he became better after a few days. It was a miracle for them and the people in the locality. Since then, the site acquired significance for the Chinese population as well as other locals before a temple was eventually constructed.