Parasnath Jain Temple in Kolkata, West Bengal
The city of Kolkata, India’s second largest cosmopolitan city is the seat of diverse cultural, religious and political affairs. Whether it is Christmas, Id or Durga Puja, the air round the city of joy is always in a celebrating mood. People of various religious beliefs reside in this city and as a result Kolkata is spotted with quite a number of mosques, churches and temples of variety of religious sects. Parasnath Jain Temple in Kolkata is one of the gaudiest most religious buildings of the city. Devotees of the Jain sect come here and worship God with reverence.
Being the capital of British India, Calcutta, former name of Kolkata was the hub of various trade activities. Rich merchants who were mainly Jains used to come to the city for business purpose and many of them had even settled here with their families. At present, Kolkata is the home for a sizable Jain community who belongs to the rich business class and in fact contributes a handsome amount to the city’s incurred revenue.
The Parasnath Jain Temple is located in the north east part of Kolkata at the Badridas Temple Street. A famous art connoisseur named Ray Badridas Bahadur built this temple in 1867. The temple is well decorated with sprawling flower gardens, statues of European style, white marble floors and stained glasses. The walls display beautiful paintings of the world renowned painter Ganesh Muskare. The archetypal chandeliers of the Parasnath temple add to its lavish decoration.
The temple is dedicated to Parasnath, 23rd Jain Tirthankara. In the sanctorum, the idol of the deity Lord Shitalnathji is present in a seated posture. The forehead of the statue is diamond studded which enthralls devotees coming from across the globe. There are three other shrines in the temple apart from Lord Shitalnathji. They are dedicated to the sages Chanda Prabhuji dev, Dadaji Garu and Kushalji Maharaj. There is also another temple which is dedicated to Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara and a contemporary of Lord Buddha.
The temple has a lamp burning since the time of its construction. Attached to the temple, there is also a library which offers an opportunity to study and learn about Jainism and Jain literature.
The Parasnath Jain Temple in Kolkata is open for public visits from 6 A.M. – 12 P.M. and 3 P.M. – 7 P.M. The place is well communicated by private and public busses, cabs and underground metro. The nearest metro station is Belgachia which is few meters away from the temple.