Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the centuries-old Jeshoreshwari Kali temple in Shatkhira district of Bangladesh on the second day of his visit to the nation. The temple, located at a village called Ishwaripur bordering India, is a popular destination for devotees on both sides of the bored.
“A number of devotees come here during Kaali Puja. So a multi-purpose community hall is needed here, which can become a shelter house during any disaster, especially cyclone. The Indian government will construct a community hall here. I express my gratitude to the Bangladesh government that it has also wished us well for this work,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi received a traditional welcome at the temple, where he was seen sitting on the floor and offering prayers. He also placed a “hand-made Mukut (crown)” on the Goddess, which is made of silver with gold plating and was crafted over three weeks by a traditional artisan, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
“I had the good fortune to visit this holy shrine and offer my prayers to Ma Kali. I pray to the Mother that the world is freed soonest of the Covid pandemic,” he said after the visit.
According to him, India had asked the Bangladesh government to be allowed to build a community hall in the temple complex. “This community hall will serve a multi-purpose – as a resting place for devotees and as a place for refuge and aid during calamities and natural disasters, especially cyclones. It will be for the service of the people,” he said.
According to Hindu mythology, the Jeshoreshwari Kali temple is one of the 51 Shakti Piths, scattered across India and neighbouring countries. Records suggest a Hindu king set up the temple in the 16th century.
On Saturday, PM Modi is also scheduled to visit Gopalganj’s Orakandi temple. “I am particularly looking forward to my interaction with representatives of the Matua community at Orakandi, from where Sri Sri Harichandra Thakur ji disseminated his pious message,” Prime Minister Modi had said in a statement on Thursday.
Then, he will also visit the ‘Mausoleum of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’ in Tungipara of Gopalganj.
On Thursday, a day before he left for Bangladesh, PM Modi had said he looked forward to offering prayers to Goddess Kali at the Jeshoreshwari Kali temple.
The temple was spruced up ahead of the visit. When the Prime Minister last visited Bangladesh in 2015, he had offered prayers at Dhakeshwari temple in Dhaka.