Bhog ruled out across Kali temples
Kali Puja will be without the customary bhog for devotees visiting Dakshineswar, Kalighat and other temples across Calcutta and in the adjoining areas this year.
Almost all temple committees have decided against distributing bhog to prevent devotees from coming in close proximity during the pandemic.
“This will be a break from tradition…. I don’t recall when bhog was not distributed in the temple,” Kushal Chowdhury, secretary of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple Trust, said. “We have no option. The situation is such that all devotees will have to accept the new normal.”
This year, the temple authorities have decided that devotees will have to leave immediately after offering puja.
At Kalighat, the authorities have decided to scale down the volume of bhog that is usually prepared on the day of Kali Puja day because there will be no distribution. “If we used to arrange around 100kg of rice to prepare bhog on the day of Kali Puja, this year it will be one-fifth of that… we will not distribute bhog to our devotees visiting the temple on Saturday,” Bidyut Halder of the Kalighat Temple Committee said. “This will be an exceptional year for all of us at the temple.”
Several Kali temples across Calcutta will not carry out the ritual of bhog distribution because of the pandemic and the high court order.
The high court has said police have to ensure Covid protocol is maintained at all temples. “The local administration and the police will ensure there is no overcrowding within the temple precincts or outside,” the court has said.