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Archive for April, 2013

Toong On Church, Rebirth of a Chinese Temple

April 24, 2013 10 comments

Toong On Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Rebirth of a Chinese Temple

Also see: My blog post on Calcutta (Kolkata) Chinatown

Changing Story ~ Nanking Restaurant and Toong On Church (Top to bottom: March 2008, 10 Feb, 2011, 13 Oct, 2012, 20 Jan, 2013)

Changing Story ~ Nanking Restaurant and Toong On Church (Top to bottom: March 2008, 10 Feb, 2011, 13 Oct, 2012, 20 Jan, 2013)

March 2008: A beautiful two storied brick red building stood in the shadows of the multi storied office of Kolkata Telephones. The entrance was not easily approachable and the door perennially locked. Above the door in beautiful Chinese calligraphy was written Toong On Church.  The building once housed the Toong On Church at the first floor and the Nanking Restaurant on the ground floor. A decade long court case have kept the building under lock and key and the Toong On caligraphy was all that remained of the buildings glorious history.

Feb 10, 2011: I was out to explore the Chinese Temples of Tiretta Bazar, with fellow photographer Amitabha Gupta. We made our way past the garbage dump to the entrance of the beautiful two storied red coloured building only to find the Chinese calligraphy being replaced by a temporary banner of Nanking Restaurant.

Oct 13, 2012: It was the Calcutta edition of the Scott Kelby Photowalk 2012. I took a detour past the garbage dump and made my way to the entrance of the Nanking Restaurant. To my utter surprise I found the Nanking Restaurant banner replaced by the Toong On Church banner. Strangely the door was open and I made my way up to the first floor, straight in front was the alter housing the strange idol of the warrior God Kwan Ti. Sadly apart from the alter the room was totally empty and lacked the ambiance and glamor of the surrounding Chinese Temples.

Jan 20, 2013: It was the Footsteps Photowalk and again I made my way to the entrance of the Nanking Resturant and Toong On Church only to find that the temporary banner of Toong On Church have been replaced by a permanent beautiful bright red Chinese calligraphy.

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World War I (WWI) Memorials, Calcutta (Kolkata)

April 17, 2013 24 comments

World War I Memorials, Calcutta (Kolkata)

A Compilation of WWI Memorials in Calcutta (Kolkata)

From fallen soldiers to innocent victims of mass genocide, Calcutta (Kolkata) houses several memorials in memory of the martyrs of the Great War of 1914 – 18 (World War I). From well known towering memorials of British soldiers to hidden memorials dedicated to unknown regiments. Calcutta (Kolkata) WWI Memorials not only covers a wide range of history but also a diversified architectural style.

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Sribati ~ West Bengal’s Hidden Terracotta Gem

April 10, 2013 16 comments

Sribati, Katwa, Burdwan

West Bengal’s Hidden Terracotta Gem

Once upon a time a family from far of Gujrat migrated the entire length of the country to settle near the present day town of Katwa in Burdwan district. Belonging to the trader class they soon exhaled in trade & commerce.

Sribati Temple Complex (Left: Bishwashwar, Centre: Bholanath Right: Chandaneshwar)

Sribati Temple Complex (Left: Bishwashwar, Centre: Bholanath Right: Chandaneshwar)

Their huge barges sailed up and down the Hooghly and it’s tributaries and distributaries carrying merchandise from far off lands. In a very short span of time the Chandra family earned enough to build themselves a huge mansion, and several temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

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Armenian Good Friday, Calcutta (Kolkata)

April 3, 2013 4 comments

Burial of Christ ~ Armenian Good Friday

St. Gregory, the Illuminator, Armenian Chapel, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see my blog post on Armenians of Calcutta (Kolkata)

The coffin bearers slowly carried the black coffin, beautifully stacked with flowers outside the small chapel adjoining to the Lower Circular Road Cemetery in Calcutta (Kolkata). Strangely it was not a funeral and nor the black coffin contained any dead body !!!!

Armenian Good Friday, St. Gregory, the Illuminator chapel, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Armenian Good Friday, St. Gregory, the Illuminator chapel, Calcutta (Kolkata)

It was the Good Friday service of the Armenian Christian community at the St. Gregory, the Illuminator Armenian Chapel at Park Circus.

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