Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), General > Greek Orthodox Church ~ Calcutta (Kolkata)

Greek Orthodox Church ~ Calcutta (Kolkata)

Transfiguration of the Saviour Church

Greek Orthodox Church of Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see my compilation of Calcutta (Kolkata) Churches

The Transfiguration of Saviour Church, belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church is located next to the Kalighat Tram Depot.

Greek Orthodox Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Greek Orthodox Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

The Greek Orthodox Church, looks more like a Greek Temple than a church, with its four Doric columns in the portico supporting the giant triangular pediment. The smart whitewashed facade the Greek Orthodox Greek church stands out amidst the chaos of Kalighat.

Greek Inscription, Greek Orthodox Church

Greek Inscription, Greek Orthodox Church

Although the Greek Orthodox Church has an antique look but it is among the newest of the Calcutta (Kolkata) Churches and was constructed only in 1925. But the Greek connection to the city to the city dates back almost to the days of Job Charnock, the controversial founder of the city of Calcutta (Kolkata).

According to some sources the first Greek Orthodox Church of Calcutta (Kolkata) came up in 1752, but it was soon abandoned. During the time of Warren Hastings the second Greek Orthodox Church came up in Amratala area.

Haji Alexios Argyree, a prominent Greek merchant of Calcutta, had borne a large part of the cost of the building and the balance was raised by public subscription. It was opened to public in 1781.

In 1924 the Greek shifted their church for the second time. Kalighat was the new location for the new Greek Orthodox Church. The foundation stone was laid in 3 Nov. 1924 and the first prayer was held on 19 Nov. 1925.

A Priest in Black Tunic,Greek Orthodox Church

A Priest in Black Tunic,Greek Orthodox Church

Once a thriving business community in Calcutta (Kolkata) the Greeks merchants started leaving the city after independence. In 1960s the Greek Orthodox Church was forced to closed down due to lack of members.

In the 1980s an Orthodox mission to the Indians was established by Fr. Athanasios (Antheles), a Greek hieromonk from Egypt. He established a Greek Orthodox Church, dedicated to Apostle Thomas, in Arambagh Hooghly.

In 1991 Fr. Ignatios (Sennis), a hieromonk from Mount Athos, arrived in West Bengal to continue Fr. Athanasios’ work. It was Fr. Ignatios (Sennis) who reopened the Greek Orthodox Church of Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1991. He also established the Philanthropic Society of the Orthodox Church.

Today the members of the Greek Orthodox Church in Calcutta (Kolkata) consists mainly of Bengali converted Christians and Sunday services are held regularly in Bengali.

Several plaques written in Greek, at the Greek Orthodox Church entrance, welcomes the visitors to the church. The small but elegant interior is amazingly well maintained. The lone corridor leads to the beautifully polished wooden alter with beautiful panels and paintings.

Chandelier, Greek Orthodx Church

Chandelier, Greek Orthodx Church

The alter contains several paintings on canvas depict Christ after his transfiguration, Jesus and his apostles and Virgin Mary and the archangels Gabriel and Michael wielding swords. St Catherine is painted in one corner.

The alter also contains three doors leading to the sanctum sanctorum, containing panels depicting the Annunciation with Mary and angel. These paintings in typical late 19th Century style are by D. Tsevas of Athens, 1930. His signature at the corner of each panel says so.

A printed copy of an ancient icon is displayed in front of the altar which parishioners kiss in the course of the service, followed by consecration. The only new paintings are the four on the walls in the severe Byzantine style. These are likenesses of saints sent from Greece.

Wood Work, Greek Orthodox Church

Wood Work, Greek Orthodox Church

Three huge chandeliers, shaped like brazen chrysanthemums turned upside down, hung from the celling. Sadly the age old tungsten bulbs have been replaced by florescent lamps, in a attempt to save electricity but in the process rubbing the church of its beauty and grace.

Presently the debt crisis of the Greek Government has affected the upkeep and functioning of the Greek Orthodox Church in Calcutta (Kolkata). As funds are drying up the Philanthropic Society of the Orthodox Church, is finding it extremely difficult to fund its philanthropic activities.

Interior, Greek Orthodox Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Interior, Greek Orthodox Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Special Thanks:

  • Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Kolkata Chapter. This photos were shot during the Kolkata Chapter meeting of INTACH.
  • Philanthropic Society of the Orthodox Church
  • To my friend and fellow Calcutta (Kolkata) enthusiast Anurag Mitra, for suppling valuable inputs.


  1. February 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    nicely documented

    • March 20, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Thanks Sourabh

    • Kashyap Ray
      April 21, 2016 at 7:59 AM

      I have passed this place so many times and not stopped by…
      Next time surely I will do so..

  2. Bibhash Gupta
    October 24, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    excellent coverage and photographs by Rangan Dutta

    December 21, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    i would like to know the timings of this church and also of the chinese churches in tiretta bazaar. can you please help.

    • December 29, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      Dear Pratiti, the Greek Orthodox Church is open during the Sunday Morning Mass (about 9am).

      The Chinese Temples are also open every day but Sunday morning (9 – 11 am) is the best time.

      Do visit them and share your experience.

  4. April 5, 2015 at 1:15 AM

    Sir may I know how to contact the father? And is this church falling under Eastern Orthodoxy or oriental orthodoxy?

    • April 10, 2015 at 9:25 PM

      Dear Sandipan the Church is probably under Eastern Orthodoxy.

      I don’t have the contact number of the father. The Sunday mass starts at about 9am, you can contact him before the mass starts.

  5. Olga
    April 10, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    Thank you for the very nice information. Can you please give also the information which calendar id followed there (it is important to be able to catch up with the holiday services). Thanks in advance

    • April 10, 2015 at 9:28 PM

      Sorry Olga I have no idea of the calendar they follow, can you please specify the festival you are looking for???

      Also thanks for the words of appreciation.

  6. July 16, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Dear Rangan,

    I am a professional based in Delhi, and am in Kolkata for the next few days; Please look at our blog http://ekalpaviram.blogspot.in/ and @Alpaviram on facebook/ @AlapviramOnline on Twitter. Instagram and GooglePlus. Do let me know if we can catch up. I am available at ekalpaviram@gmail.com.

    Look forward.

  7. Priya
    August 19, 2016 at 5:18 PM

    This church is open only on sundays ??

  8. January 25, 2017 at 8:32 AM

    Please answer me someone.
    I’m an Architecture Student and we have to go to Greek Orthodox Church today morning. Is it opened? I heard it is only opened on Sundays so I’m afraid .

    • June 4, 2018 at 3:07 PM

      It is open on Sunday morning for service.

    April 10, 2017 at 7:23 PM


  1. March 15, 2021 at 11:33 AM

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