Buddhist Temples of Kolkata (Calcutta)
Buddhist Temples of Kolkata (Calcutta)
A compilation of Buddhist Temples in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, has always been a melting pot of people of different religion and ethnicity. As the different religious group settled in a new city they set up there own place of worship.
As these religious group were further divided in sub sects and ethnicity, each of these groups started coming up with there own place of worships.
Unlike the Christian, Jews and Parsis the Buddhist came much later to the city and only a handful of there temples date backs over a century. But still Kolkata boast a interesting collection of Buddhist Temples, belonging to different ethnic groups, and scattered all over the city.
Chinese Buddhist Temple
The Chinese Buddhist Temple is located on Jessore Road in between Lake Town and Bangur.
The official address is 426 Jessore Road and the temple is located on a narrow lane on the opposite foot of Lake Town and Bangur.
It is a new temple, opened only in 1962. It went through an extension in 1972. The Chinese Buddhist Temple on Jessore Road consists of a large central hall and several smaller shrines. It also houses a library containing a large number of hand written religious text.
The temple is not very well maintained and is rarely visited by devotes. An old lady caretaker looks after the Chinese Buddhist Temple.
Mahabodhi Buddhist Temple
Located on the eastern side of College Square and on the Bankim Chatterjee Street, the Mahabodhi Buddhist Temple is one of the most well known Buddhist pilgrimage of Kolkata.
It was founded in 1911 by the Ceylonese Buddhist monk Anagarika Dharmapala.
Incidentally Anagarika Dharmapala was a co – participant of Swami Vivekananda at the parliament of World Religion in Chicago in 1893.
The building houses the head quarters of the society along with a Buddhist Temple on the top floor. The temple contains a relic – a tooth of Lord Buddha, which is displayed on his birthday.
There is no entry restriction and the temple houses giant statues of Buddha and the walls and the ceiling have frescoes in bright colours depicting the life of Lord Buddha.
Mayanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple
Eden Hospital Road, Central Metro
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).
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.
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.
The Mayanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple in Kolkta finds its mention in Amitav Ghosh’s best selling novel The Glass Palace. Read more…
Dharmankur Buddhist Temple, is located on the Nalalda Square on Buddhist Temple Street. It lies on the eastern end of Bow Barracks.
Bow Barracks, a set of brick red buildings served as a barrack fro World War I (WWI) soldiers.
Today the building houses a cosmopolitan mix of Kolkata’s population including Anglo Indian and Chinese.
Dharmankur Buddha Vihar is run and managed by Bengal Budhist Association, which was set up in 1892.
The Dharmankur Buddha Vihar in Bow Barracks was established in 1903.
The Dharmankur Buddha Vihar contains a small shrine, with a golden statue of Lord Buddhaat the ground floor and next to the open courtyard.
The large complex houses a library and a guest house. The complex doubles up as a guest house for Buddhist students, but welcomes guests of all faith. But the rooms are basic with common toilet.
Japanese Buddhist Temple
Lake Road, Dhakuria
The Japanese Buddhist Temple is located next to the Dhakuria Lake and Dhakuria flyover.
The milk white building with golden boarders is officially known as The Nipponzan Myohoji.
The Japanese Buddhist Temple was built in 1935 by the Japanese Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii.
The temple is housed inside a large compound with well maintained garden containg a pillar with Japanese inscription and several statues of lions.
The altar inside contains a small statue of Buddha and services are held twice everyday in morning and evening.
Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple
Tangra (New Chinatown)
Located on 8 New Tangra Road, Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple was founded in 1998 by Buddha Light International, a Taiwanbased organization.
Hsuan Tsang Monastery
Hsuan Tsang Monastery located in Paschim Chowbaga is really a gem and can remind one of the Buddhist Monasteries built high up in the Himalayas.
The two storied Hsuan Tsang Monastery has prayers halls on both floors and the hall on the first floors contains fresco in bright colours.
The complex also houses the Hsaun Tsang Memorial Hall, housing a statue of the famed Chinese traveller, who visited India during the reign of the great Indian King Harshavardhan.
The hall also doubles up as a library and houses a rare collection of Chinese religious books neatly arranged in shelves. Adjoining to the monastery complex is a small chinese cemetery. Read more…
- This is an compilation post and is not exhaustive. It would be updated from time to time.
- The post does not include the Confucianism and Taoism Chinese Temples, where Buddha is also worshiped