West Bengal ►Kolkata ►Pareshnath Jain Temple

Posted: 28.12.2010
Updated on: 31.01.2013

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Pareshnath Jain Temple at Kolkata

The most important Jain temple complex in Kolkata is known as the Pareshnath Jain Temple, and is located in the northeast side of the city at the bustling Badridas Temple Street amidst a very beautiful and attractive garden.

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Postcard of Pareshnath Jain Temple (c. 1900)

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Photo of Pareshnath Jain Temple (1903)

This temple is a very renowned and was built by an art enthusiast named Ray Badridas Bahadur in 1867. The temple serves as an important worshipping place for the Jain community in Kolkata and also for others.

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View to the entrance of the temple

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Picture from an American photo album (1945)

The temple site is dedicated to Pareshnath (Parshvanath), who was the 23rd Jain Tirthankar and this is one of the most important places of Jainism in Kolkata.

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The sacred field includes four temples where the deity of Lord Shitalnathji is seated in the sanctum sanctorum; his diamond-studded forehead is a major attraction for the visitors.

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There is a lamp, which burns with ghee inside the sanctum sanctorum, which has been continuously burning ever since the initiation of the temple in 1867. That lamp bears silent testimony to the contemporary world since ages and it is wonderful to acknowledge the mysticism associated with.

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There are three other shrines dedicated to Chanda Prabhujidev, Dadaji Garu and Kushalji Maharaj. The last temple is dedicated to Lord Mahavira, who was the last Tirthankara of the Jain tradition.

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The temple site is a masterpiece of Indian art with intricate hand painted panels depicting scenes from Jain mythology. It has an ornate mass of mirrors, colored stones and glass mosaics.

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Photo from c. 1903

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The structure has mirror-inlay pillars, stained glass windows and the marble floors have a floral design. The interiors of the temple are splendidly beautiful, along with the outdoors, which are surrounded with many beautifully colored flower gardens and fountains.

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There is a small stream flowing through it, which also has amazing variety of flowers all around it. The fountains look brilliant when water gushes out of them in perfect harmonization. A well-maintained reservoir, adds up to the surrounding beauty. Colorful fishes swarm the surface of the glistening water at the slightest hint of food grains.

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The floor of the temple is elaborately paved with marble that gives it a solemn look and also a mark of purity. The temple exhibits extraordinary artistic tendencies that are visible in the whole pattern of the decoration of the interiors and the exteriors.

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Photo of Pareshnath Jain temple from 1912

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Postcard with a depiction of the Pareshnath Jain temple (here denoted as "Babu Badridass Jain temple, Calcutta")sent to Germany in 1906

There are some wall paintings of the renowned artist Ganesh Muskare which enthralls the visitor. Chandeliers or Jhar Battis are another feature that makes the interiors sparkle and lends the extra shimmer to the serenity of the temple.

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Source/Info

compiled from the web

Compiled by PK

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