In a symbolic visit charged with devotion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the first head of government of any country to visit the iconic Jeshoreshwari Kali temple. He offered his prayers at the 16th century Kali Mandir – an ancient Hindu shrine located in Ishwaripur village in southwestern Bangladesh, which now borders West Bengal. According to Hindu mythology, the Jeshoreshwari Kali temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths — the 51 sacred sites where goddess Sati’s 51 body parts were believed to have fallen. The shaktipeeths are spread across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Sri Lanka.
“Ahead of Chaitra Navratri, I got the opportunity to visit one of the 51 shakipeeths. When I came to Bangladesh in 2015, I offered my prayers to Maa Dhakeshwari. Today, I was fortunate enough to bow my head before Maa Kali”, said Mr Modi, adding that he wished to visit all the shaktipeeths if he gets the chance. He also placed a hand-made, gold-plated silver crown to the goddess during his offerings.
Noting that a large number of devotees from across the border visit ‘Maa Kali mela’ at the temple, Mr Modi announced building of a multi-purpose community hall at the mandir which would be useful for social, religious and educational events for local people and also act as a shelter at the time of disasters such as cyclones, the construction work for which will begin soon.
PM Modi will also visit a temple in Gopalganj’s Orakandi, the abode of hundreds of Hindu Matua community, a large number of also live in West Bengal.
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