In the quaint town of Naihati, the anticipation for Kali Puja transcends the ordinary, drawing devotees from far and wide. Known as the renowned Kali Puja destination of Bengal, Naihati's prominence is synonymous with one name: ‘Boro Ma’. This is not merely a local affair; it echoes across the cultural landscape of West Bengal.
The history of Naihati's Boro Ma dates back almost a century. Initiated by Bhobesh Chakraborty, the grandeur of the puja began with a divine vision experienced during a trip to Nabadwip. Witnessing colossal idols being sculpted, Bhobesh Chakraborty felt compelled to bring the essence of the divine to his hometown.
The first rendition of the puja was named Bhobesh Kali Pujo, with the deity being referred to as Bhobesh Kali. However, as mystical events unfolded, devotees started recognising Bhobesh Kali as 'Boro Ma,' bestowing an aura of reverence and transcendence.
Intriguingly, the responsibility passed from Bhobesh Chakraborty to his son in 2012, marking a significant year in the saga of Boro Ma. To commemorate this transition, a small stone idol was erected, and a tradition of distributing blessings for a hundred hours straight was established.
Each year, the divine idol is adorned with a hundred kilogrammes of gold and two hundred kilogrammes of silver, a testament to the devotion and contributions of the community. The committee reveals that every offering, whether a piece of gold or a heartfelt prayer, contributes to the majestic splendour of Boro Ma.
One devotee's story from 2018 adds a personal touch to the divine narrative. Witnessing two distressed women crying before the deity, a compassionate devotee inquired about their sorrow. To everyone's surprise, they shared tales of economic hardships, seeking solace in Boro Ma's divine presence. Touched by their plight, the devotee not only comforted them but also offered the assurance of a job. This incident exemplifies how Boro Ma's spiritual sanctuary extends beyond the puja rituals.
As the grandeur of Boro Ma's puja unfolds over five days, culminating in a magnificent procession, Naihati becomes a hub for devotees seeking divine blessings. The immersion ceremony is a spectacle, with the goddess adorned in a floral ensemble parading through the town amidst a carnival of lights.
Naihati's Kali Puja is not just an event; it is a saga that intertwines history, faith, and community spirit. The tales of Boro Ma resonate through time, drawing pilgrims from distant lands to witness the divine enchantment of Naihati.