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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entrance of the Nanking Resturant and Toong On Church only to find that the temporary banner of Toong On Church have been replaced by a permanent beautiful bright red Chinese calligraphy.

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