Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), General > Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

A Piece of Myanmar (Burma) in the Heart of Kolkata (Calcutta)

Also see: Buddhist Temple of Kolkata (Calcutta)

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

As I climbed the dimly lit staircase of Kolkata’s (Calcutta’s) only Mayanmarese (Burmese) Buddhist Temple a few lines of Amitav Ghosh’s best selling novel The Glass Palace flashed in my mind.

“Rajkumar’s favorite haunt was a small Buddhist temple in the centre of the city…. They would make their way across town on a bus and get off at the stop for the Eden Hospital. They’d climb up the grimy marble stairs and when they reached the top, they would step into a hall that seemed to be a world away from its surroundings: full of light, perfumed with scent of fresh flowers…. “

Rajkumar, literally meaning prince, the principle character of Amitav Ghosh’s novel The Glass Palace was by no means a prince. In the first chapter of Glass Palace Amitav Ghosh descrbes Rajkumar as “His name meant prince, but he was anything but princely in appearance.”

As my memory wondered through the pages of The Glass Palace I made my way to the top floor of the building housing the small and beautiful shrine. Straight in front of me was the statue of Lord Buddha dressed in golden attire with is gleaming white face.

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Signboard

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Signboard

The Maynmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple is located on 10 A Eden Hospital Road, next to the horse mounted statue of Rana Pratap, just off the Central Avenue. The two boards on the no descriptive three storied building are the only evidence of the Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple in Kolkata (Calcutta).

I have passed the building numerous time and have photographed it from the outside but never managed to get inside as it perennially remained under lock and key. Every since I read The Glass Palace by Amitabha Ghosh about a year back, the Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple has been my most sort after place in my explore Calcutta itinerary.

Inside Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Inside Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

The Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple of Kolkata (Calcutta) was established in 1928 by U San Min and the building was purchased for Rs 47,000. It was called the Burma Buddhist Dharmmasala which later came to be known as the Myanmar Buddhist Temple. Today the shrine is located on the top floor of the three storied building. The ground floor is let out to raise funds for the maintenance of the temple while the first floor serves as a guest house or dharmasala for the Burmese monks visiting the city.

Recently Arnab Banerjee, a fellow Calcutta (Kolkata) enthusiast informed me that the Maynmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple remains open every day in the evening and photography is allowed inside. The very next weekend I was out to visit and shoot one of my most sort after places in Kolkata (Calcutta).

I entered the building through a entrance heavily encroached by hawkers. A winding staircase laid me to the top floor. Two Burmese monks welcomed me into the small but elegant temple, in spite of a severe language barrier it was definitely a very warm welcome.

Golden Buddha Statue, Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Golden Buddha Statue, Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

The alter contains a magnificent statue of Lord Buddha with a glowing white face is covered with gold leaves. The statue is seated on a golden throne and dressed in golden attire complete with a golden crown and umbrella.The alter is also decorated with several other statues, coloured candles, incense sticks and last but not least Chinese made flashing lights.

Sadly a sheet of glass in front of the statue makes photography extremely difficult, only option is to shoot from the small openings on either side and it was all I did to capture one of the most magnificent Buddha statue of Calcutta (Kolkata).

Please seeAmitav Ghosh’s Twit on the Kolkata’s Historic Burese temple.

Reference:

Special Thanks:

  • Special thanks to Arnab Banerjee a fellow Calcutta (Kolkata) enthusiast who provided me with valuable information on the Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (calcutta).

This article on Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Calcutta (Kolkata) has been twitted by Amitav Ghosh.

  1. December 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    good to read rangan..a gr8 way to keep us informed on many such hidden splendours of our own place!!

  2. vishalrathod76
    April 3, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    Lovely post Great narration and Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing .

  3. July 9, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    Good piece. One may compare with Indian temple, Durga Temple, in Yangon (Rangoon).

    • July 9, 2015 at 9:29 AM

      Thanks Prabir for the info. Rangoon (Yangon) is on my visit list, hope I will make it there, one day.

  4. sourajit ghosh
    May 27, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    brother I am selected as a student of buddhist studies in Nalanda university and want to become a reseracher in this area.Want to meet and talk to you and would love to accompany you in this type of tours.

    • May 27, 2016 at 7:16 PM

      Congrats Sourajit, wish you all the best. I am not a scholar on Buddhist studies I am just a blogger with a keep interest on varied topics.

      If you want to contact me drop me a mail at rangan@rangan-datta.info

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