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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

Lake Town

Chinese Buddhist Temple, Lake Town

Chinese Buddhist Temple, Lake Town

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

College Square

 Mahabodhi Buddhist Temple, College Square

Mahabodhi Buddhist Temple, College Square

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

 Mayanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple

Mayanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple

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 Vihar

Bow Barracks

 Dharmankur Buddha Vihar, Bow Barrack

Dharmankur Buddha Vihar, Bow Barrack

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

 Japanese Buddhist Temple, Dhakuria

Japanese Buddhist Temple, 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)

 Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, Tangra (New Chinatown)

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.

The prayer hall contains a giant Buddha statue with a Bon Swastika (Inverted Swastka) on the chest.

The golden statue with a golden glow creates a mesmerizing effect. There are several paintings and wall hanging on the walls of the prayer hall.

The first floor contains a library with large collection of religious texts, Chinese Calligraphy classes can be organised on request and they come free of cost. Bhikkuni Miao Ru, insists that calligraphy is like meditation as one needs to focus on the design of the character and needs a lot of practice.

But the greatest attraction of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple is the food, it serves. Strangely this Buddhist Temple doubles up as a eatery.

The eatery is open from 11am to 6pm on weekdays only and serves vegetarian cuisines from China, Taiwan and Indonesia. Read more…

Hsuan Tsang Monastery

Paschim Chowbaga

 Hsuan Tsang Monastery, Paschim Chowbagh, Calcutta

Hsuan Tsang Monastery, Paschim Chowbagh, Calcutta

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…

Note: 

  • 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

 

  1. March 30, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    You can also visit the Buddha Temple at Garia located at Milan Park.

    • April 29, 2016 at 1:57 PM

      Thanks Tirtha for the info I will definitely visit the Buddhist Temple in Garia and blog about it.

      I really feel privileged to have knowledgeable readers like you.

  2. March 30, 2016 at 1:46 AM

    Didn’t know there are so many…! Thanks, Ranganda…🙂

    • April 29, 2016 at 1:55 PM

      Yes maniparna, Kolkata is full of surprises and do visit the Buddhist Temples of Kolkata

  3. March 30, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    An exceptionally good site for historical & cultural exploration .
    Hats off………

  4. March 30, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Thanks for sharing this. Informative and an useful piece of article!

  5. Somnath Ghosh
    March 31, 2016 at 12:01 AM

    Thank you for this unique presentation on Buddhist Temples of Calcutta. Though not in proper Calcutta, but in Digberia village 3 & half KM east of Madhyamgram Chourasta there is Southern Bengal’s largest metal Buddha statue made of eight metals (Ashtadhatu) and is worth seeing. The statue is 20 feet high & was brought from Thailand in 2005. Two KM east of this temple there is a beautiful Buddhist Pagoda founded in 1963 by the Bengalee Buddhists who left Burma & settled here, little south of Kazipara Mor. The locality was called ‘Burma Colony’, now known as ‘Suvarnapattan’.

    • April 29, 2016 at 1:53 PM

      Thank you Somenath for the info. I have herd of the Burmese and Buddhist colonies near Madhyamgram, but never knew that they had such a large Buddha statue. I will definitely visit the place and blog about it.

  6. March 31, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    Nice complication, so many of them speaks about the vibrant culture of Kolkata.

    • April 29, 2016 at 1:51 PM

      Thanks Alok, the best selling author Amitabh Ghosh once said “Calcutta is the world’s first metropolitan city,” no wonder Calcutta does have its share of surprises. Even after more than two decades of exploring the city I still bump on new things.

  7. May 12, 2016 at 12:10 AM

    Very helpful post.

  8. May 20, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    what a treasure trove of information about the Buddhist Temples of Kolkata… I have actually passed very close to the one in Tangra, Lake Town etc. but had no clue they existed…but now I do🙂 and added to my wish list….

    • May 20, 2016 at 6:59 PM

      Dear Prasad Kolkta is a true melting pot, next time when you visit my city do let me know

  9. October 20, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    I visited Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple Tangra (New Chinatown) the gate was closed. There was a lady who opened it. I went to temple which is very serene and beautiful. I was given incense which i burnt and offered to god. I mediated there for sometime and it was very relaxing feeling. The master there also met me talked to me and gave advise. She offered chinese tea which was nice. They also gave me a book, a mark, and other items. It was nice experience. The atmosphere is peaceful.

  10. October 20, 2016 at 6:36 PM

    I visited the Mayanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple Eden Hospital Road, Central Metro, the main monk had gone to Burma thus i couldn’t see the temple. Will come later.

  11. October 20, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    I visited Mahabodhi Buddhist Temple College Square, it opens at 3 pm in afternoon and remains open till 8pm. In morning it opens at 5 am and open till 12 am. The temple is very beautiful and nice place to meditate with high vibrations. I came to know the prayer and meditation happens at 7 am and 7 pm everyday will visit again. I couldn’t meet monks in afternoon someone told me i can meet them during prayer time at 7. Temple is big from inside and very well maintained.

  12. October 24, 2016 at 7:12 PM

    I visited Dharmankur Vihar Bow Barracks, its just a small temple within a guest house. When i went mantra of buddha was playing. I couln’t meditate as sound was loud.

  13. October 24, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    I visited Japanese Buddhist Temple Lake Road, Dhakuria, its a nice temple…quiet peaceful…the monk who does puja there is very nice person he listens to you carefully and gives proper advise….puja, chanting happens everyday 5 to 6.30 am and pm….its quiet beautiful temple with ample space….the best part i found was the monk who is very friendly and nice person.

  14. ABHIJIT SUKUL
    October 28, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    There is a small temple near the Regent Park Police station. It is a walking distance from Kudghat (Netaji) Metro station.

  15. October 28, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Valuable information dada

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