Singur, known for its traditional rituals, witnesses a remarkable shift in the celebration of Kali Puja at the infamous Dakat Kali temple. The age-old customs have given way to a new spectacle, marking a departure from the practices of yesteryear.
Last Sunday, while the entire state was immersed in worshipping Goddess Kali during Kali Puja, Singur's Dakat Kali temple initiated a distinctive ceremony a week ago. Through the recitation of Chandi Path, the goddess was invoked, drawing devout women from the village to participate in the worship.
Post-invocation, the past week has been dedicated to elaborate rituals, with women bringing the deity to life through vibrant processions from their homes to the temple. Priests, adorned in yellow, meticulously tie the sacred thread to the goddess's idol, assisted by devotees wielding grass and turmeric.
On the day following Kali Puja, the goddess is returned to her abode, carried by the women of the village. At dawn, the temple is closed, reopening the next morning at 6 a.m. The centuries-old Dakat Kali temple proudly upholds ancient traditions, attracting devout worshippers who ardently follow the puja rituals.
Once a year, the goddess's idol is bathed with the holy water of the Ganges brought by the temple's caretaker. During this time, the sanctum sanctorum remains closed, emphasising the sacredness of the ritual.
The morning after Kali Puja, the goddess is offered a variety of delicacies, including fruits, sweets, and deep-fried treats. Devotees also indulge in khichuri and payesh as part of the offering. Dakat Kali's special puja spans four hours on the auspicious day of her immersion.
Notably, Dakat Kali's temple in Purushottampur, Mallikpur, and Jamin Beria villages is the sole venue for Kali Puja in the area. Residents seek the goddess's blessings before any significant event, making offerings at her shrine.
On the day of Kali Puja, the priest adorned the goddess in a Banarasi saree after her morning bath. Crowned with a tiara and adorned with jewellery like ear studs and ankle bells, the goddess looked resplendent.
Since that morning, devotees have flocked to the temple, offering their prayers and aspirations to the goddess. With folded hands and lit lamps, they express their reverence, hoping for the fulfilment of their deepest desires. The air is filled with devotion as the aroma of incense lingers, symbolising the unwavering faith of the worshippers.