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Rev. J. Campbell, Missionary, Mr. A. Reid, Sab-Conductor, Mr. Ruggier, and Mr. Phozewski.
Passengers from London :-Mrs. Mary Burnes, Mrs. Julia Edwards, Mrs. Mary Hartshow, Mrs. E. Aitchinson, Mrs. D. Cox, Misses E. C. Carr, Emily J. Carr, L. M. Denys, M. Hannah, E. Sweedland, Sarah Edwards, and L. Edwards ; R. Cox, child; W. W. Ford, Esq. and J. G. Burnes, H. C. S. ; Capt. J. H. Johnstone, Lieut. H. N. Viga, H. M. 13th Regt. ; Mr. R. Edward ; Master Money; Messrs. R. Jobson, Mark Jones, W. Tytler, W. Aitchinson, and Thos. Hartshow, Super. Engineers ; Messrs. J. Mathews, H. Parks, T. Briant, G. Lepper, W. Sprago, R. Kemp, and J. Cox, Engn. Drivers.
Bahamian, J. Pearce, from Liverpool 23rd Feb., and Mauritius 6th June.
Passenger :-G. C. Bourgingnon. 7. Fifeshire, (Barque,) C. Wilson, from Madras 1st, and Endore 3rd July. 9. Adelaide, (Bark,) A. Steel, from Moolmein 22nd June.
Passengers :-Mrs. Barnes, Capt. Barnes, H. M. 41st Regt. and Mr. Smith, Mariner.
10. Will Watch, (Bark,) Wm. Barrington, from Singapore Ist, Malacca 3rd, and Penang 16th, June.
Passengers from Singapore :-Mrs. Philips, A. Reid, Esq. B. C. S., R. Chambers, Esq., E. R. Pilling, Esq.
11. Ripley, (Brig,) D. Lloyd, from Liverpool 22nd Feb., Madras (no date), and Vizagapatam 6th July.
13. Research, (Bark,) Ogilvie, from London 23rd February, Isle of Wight 4th March, and Madras 5th Instapt.
Passengers :-Mrs. Donnithorne and two children : Captain Roe and two children, Lieut. Dopnithorne, 8. M. 44th Regt. ; Mr. J. Welkie, Surgeon ; Mr. W. D. Meniler, Free Mariner ; Mr. J. Mackintosh, Free Merchant, and Mr. W. G. Chiene.
14. Onyx, (Schooner,) W. Chambers, from London 16th January, Cape of Good Hope 12th May, and Port Lonis 14th June.
15. Yare, (Brig,) H. H. Fawcett, from London 30th December, Cape and Isle of France (no date), and Madras 7th July.
Passengers :-Mrs. Fawcett. From the Isle of France :-Mr. J. R..Cox.
Passenger :- Mr. J. B. Don.
Tapley, Tapley, from Liverpool 9th March.
Passengers :- Lady D'Oyly, Miss McLeod, and Charles D'Oyly, Civil Service. 19. Judith, (Bark,) W. Ager, from Mauritius Ist June, Madras (no date), and Ennore 12th July.
Sylph, (Bark,) R. Wallace, from China 28th May, and Singapore 29th June.
Galatea, (Brig,) W. Tyrat, from Bristol 15th January, Cape of Good Hope 18th May, Isle of France 16th June, and Covelong 12th July.
Virginia, (Bark,) J. Hullock, from Bombay 4th July.
Passengers :-Capt. Whatley and Mr. E. Donnel. JUNE.
DEPARTURES. 25. Juliana, C. B. Tarbutt, for London.
Passengers :- Madam Holenbergh and 2 children, Mrs. C. Palmer, Mrs. Sharpe and 2 children, 2 Miss Hoggs, C. Palmer, Esq. Mr. Sharpe, Dr. Wylie, Lieutenants Faber and Grant, 40th Regt. and Lieut. Darvell, N. I.
Dona Carmelita, C. Gray, for the Mauritius.
Brongham, (Bark,) J. B. Viles, for ditto. 30. Swallow, (Bark,) W. Adam, for Rangoon.
Caledonia (do.) A. Symer, for Penang and Singapore. JULY. 8. Alexander, G. Jones, for the Mauritius.
Harrison, (F.) F. Bernard, for Marseilles. 10. Lady Hayes, (Bark,) T. Hector, for China. 11. Gaillardon, Wallen, for the Mauritius. 13. Elizabeth, W. Hill, for Liverpool. 17. Pompée, (F. Bark, A. Mallet, for Bordeaux.
CALCUTTA CHRISTIAN OBSERVER.
I.-Account of the Temple at Kalee-Ghaut, in the vicinity of
[With an Engraving of the Temple.) To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer. DEAR SIRS,
I beg herewith, agreeably to my promise, to forward to you an account of the temple at Kalee-Ghaut. It is probably known to most of your readers as the principal place of resort for Hindoo worshippers in Bengal. It is situated about three miles to the south of Calcutta, and at a short distance only from Tolly's Nullah. The road leading to it branches off from the Barripore road, immediately at the end of the suburb of Bhowanipore. The approach to the temple is very unlike to what a European visitor would naturally expect: it is mean and filthy in the extreme. The entrance is through a low, ruinous archway, which introduces the visitor into a miserable-looking court-yard, containing a few temples consecrated to Gonesh and Radha Krishno, and a lofty Oshotto tree (Ficus religiosus), under the shade of which are generally a number of Sunnyasees and Fakeers of different descriptions performing their devotions; though not quite with such a degree of abstraction as to prevent them from wishfully looking up to the passers by, in hope of a mite of their worldly goods.
A sind archway, as ill looking as the former, leads to the precincts of 2 temple, which form a pretty large enclosure. The temple itsex is on the north side. It is rather of larger dimensions, both as to height and spaciousness, than most buildings of the sort in Bengal, though not to be compared to even the smallest church or chapel used for Christian worship in Europe. It has two doors, one to the south and the other to the east. Immediately to the south of the temple is a roomy open hall, supported by pillars and of more modern architecture, called Nath Mondir. This hall serves to accommodate the worshippers, and especially the Brahmuns employed in reading the Chundee, a religious poem containing an account of the wars and triumphs of Kalee. Occasionally, as I have myself witnessed, a cow or bull takes its place among these holy men, without apparently giving offence to any one present. To the south of the Nath Mondir, is the place where the animals are sacrificed. To the east of the temple, is the Pákshala, or kitchen where the food for the use of the goddess is prepared by the wives of the priests. Besides the above buildings, there are within the yard several small temples, chiefly dedicated to Sheeb, and belonging to private individuals. The aspect of the whole is any thing but splendid and noble: it is in fact rather mean, and in perfect unison with the system to which it owes its origin.
The idol is a huge black stone, with four arms attached to it, holding in each a weapon of some kind or other. The face is most hideous; the eyes, nose, and mouth, are painted red, and a golden tongue projects nearly half a cubit from the lips. The figure is not complete, and appears above ground only from the middle upwards, or indeed rather less. It is arrayed with every kind of female ornament, bracelets, nose-ring, necklace, &c. and the lower part of the body is covered with a cloth.
The reason, why this place is held so sacred, is because it is one of the Peet-st'hans, an account of which holy places, was inserted in your number for July last. The toes of the right foot of Doorga fell on this spot, after they had been cut off by Vishnoo at the festival of Dokkyo.—Some Hindoos maintain that these toes are buried in the earth under the goddess, whilst others pretend that they are lodged within her holy belly. I am not able to say which of these opinions is most to be credited: in fact this is a point not fully decided among the Brahmuns themselves !
The place where the temple stands, was formerly (as indeed the whole country south of Calcutta) a part of the Sunderbuns, and covered with jungle; but without being then known as the receptacle of such sacred relics. There are several accounts given by the Natives respecting the manner how the holy spot was discovered; I will mention one communicated by an intelligent young Hindoo, who has appeared in your pages under the name of a “ Hindoo Spectator. I insert it in his own words.
“ It is the prevailing notion of most Hir.doos that a certain Brahmun of the name of Holdar had a cow which did not yield a single drop of milk, whenever she was allowed to enter the forest by which the place called Kalee-Ghaut was then surrounded. In order to discover the cause of this uncommon circumstance, one day he set his cow at liberty, and followed her wherever she went. At last he saw her enter into the deepest recess of the wood, and stand still on spot which appeared to him to have been illumined with a beam of resplendent light. Amazed at a circumstance so wonderful, he threw himself on the ground, sat cross-legged, closed his eyes, and commenced entreating the gods to disclose this mystery to his benighted understanding. In mercy to his brahmunical lineage, the goddess appeared to him in a dream,
and declared to him the absolute propriety of dedicating a temple to herself on that very spot, where he would find her toes buried under ground. Pursuant to this direction he lost no time to erect the said temple, taking care to publish abroad that it was at the express command of the goddess that he had resorted to this step. In a short time that temple became one of the most famous in Bengal.”
One is really at a loss which to admire most, the impudent assumption of Holdar, or the blind credulity of those who received his testimony. Be this as it may, the above event occurred about 200 years ago. The temple originally built by Holdar, was, not thirty years ago, much enlarged at the expense of the Shaborno Chowdries, the opulent zemindars of Beealah.
The descendants of Holdar, are the proprietors of the temple. They have now increased to 25 or 30 families, who share all the offerings presented to the goddess.—Some heads of families have 2 or 4 days in the month, during which they officiate and are entitled to all that is offered during that period. Others, being the posterity of more prolific progenitors, have had their turns so subdivided, as to be permitted to officiate only 3 or 4 hours a month ; yet all are more or less wealthy, and several possess much landed property.
The poorest of these Holdars officiate themselves as priests, and the richest keep a Brahmun in their service at a small monthly salary to perform their duties in lieu of them; but reserving of course all the profits and emoluments of the worship to themselves. Surely it would be no great disparagement to some ecclesiastical establishments in Christendom, if they bore, with regard to this practice, less analogy to the Pagan establishment of Kalee-Ghaut.
Rich Natives take occasionally their own Poorohits (family priests) to present their offerings to Kalee. To this, the Holdars have no objection whatever, as they themselves get, even in this case, all the offerings ;—an object, it is much to be feared, they have more at heart to obtain, than the honor of doing duty in the presence of the glorious Kalee.
There are constantly lounging about the temple a set of Brahmuns, who
be called brokers of the Holdars. These entice parties to present offerings to the goddess, and officiate for them. For their trouble they get from the Holdars a part of the things offered, and from the worshippers a trifling fee, which enables them to live pretty comfortably. These Brahmun brokers, however, it must be acknowledged, are not much respected by their countrymen. It is an understood thing, that when a native of property has once had his offerings presented to Kalee by any one of the Holdars, the latter becomes his regular priest at this shrine, and considers the offerer as his Jojmaun (i. e. customer), and expects he will always, at a future period, manage to come to worship when it is his turn to officiate.