No visitors allowed to famed Balurghat temple on Kali Puja
Balurghat: The authority of Balurghat Bura Kali Puja committee has imposed a strict ban on the entry of devotees to the temple in Kuthikachari road during Diwali and Kali Puja this year in wake of the pandemic.
It is the oldest Kali puja in the region. Secretary of the puja committee Bikash Bhowmik said the temple would remain closed for visitors on Saturday.
"We have taken the decision to keep the temple close for devotees on Diwali. We have sought everyone's cooperation in this regard. The decision was taken after consultations with the district administration and civic authority. We can't take any risk," Bhowmik said.
According to him, the devotees will not be allowed to loiter inside the temple with offerings of sweets, fruits, flowers and vermilion powder.
The temple was kept totally out of bounds for visitors from March 24 when the lockdown was clamped for the first time. The temple committee had, however, thrown open the gates around two months back with certain restrictions and safety protocols.
Notably, the famous Kali Puja draws thousands of devotees to the temple every year. The Black-Stone Idol of Goddess Kali is decorated with gold and silver ornaments during two days of Kali Puja celebration.
This puja is said to have started more than 400 years ago. Locals believe that once Atreyee river flowed through Kuthikachari area hundreds of years ago. The entire area had been under a clutch of dense forest. "Goddess Kali came from underground and the local devotees set up a temporary temple to worship the Goddess. Later, Harinath Bhattacharjee and Gopal Chandra Chakraborty had set up a permanent temple with the help of local people," locals said.