Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), Calcutta Heritage, General > Shwetambar Jain Temple, Gouribari, Kolkata

Shwetambar Jain Temple, Gouribari, Kolkata

Shwetambar Jain Temple

Gouribari, Kolkata

With the Battle of Plassey Calcutta transformed from a trading outpost of East India Company to the capital of British India. Soon the city transformed into the second city of the mighty British empire and become the hub of business activities in Asia.

Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

As the city and its economy grew it started attracting prople from not only different parts of India but from the entire world. The Britishers were already there they were joined by the Jews, Armenians, Portuguese and Greeks.

Panoramic view of the Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Panoramic view of the Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

In came the Marawaris and Gujratis, two flourishing business communities from the western part of the country who made Kolkata (then Calcutta) their home in order to make some quick money.

Pigeons inside Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Pigeons inside Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Majority of the migrants from Rajasthan and Gujarat were Jains and as their business flourished they started building Jain Temples all across the cities.

Today Kolkata houses more than half a dozen Jain Temples, but sadly most of them are prohibits entry for non Jains.

Luckily the biggest and the most spectacular of the Jain Tempe is city has no such restrictions and welcomes everybody with open arms.

Located in Gouribari area near Maniktala and Khanna regions of north Kolkata the temple complexes are popularly known as Pareshnath Temple. Although named after the 24 Jain Tirthankara Pareshnath the four temples contains no temple dedicated to Paraeshnath.

Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

The four temple spread over four complexes are dedicated to Sitalnath (10th Tirthankara), Chandraprabha (8th Tirthankar), Mahavir (24th Tirthankar) the fourth temple contains the footprint of Jain saint Jin Dutt Kushal Suri.

Mosaic work at Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Mosaic work at Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

The main temple complex dates back to 1867 and houses the temple dedicated to the 10th Jain Tirthankar Sitalnath

The temple was founded by Rai Badridas Bahadur, who served as a Mukim to the Viceroy of India.

The complex is approached through a huge three tired gateway topped with a domed pavilion.

The pavilion once operated as a drum house welcoming visitors with the beating of drums and blowing of trumpets.

The name of the founder of the temple along with the foundation date are inscribed in English, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu on either side of the gate.

Decorative work at Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Decorative work at Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Apart from the Temple of Sitalnath the complex houses several structures including a guesthouse for Jain pilgrims.

The complex is complete with paved pathways meandering through landscaped gardens decorated with flowerbeds and marble fountains.

The compound also contains a big pond with dozens of fishes and central fountain. In the morning the fishes and pigeons are fed by the devotees visiting the temple.

Just in front of the temple is a statue of Rai Badridas Bahadur and the entire compound houses several other statues. The base of the lampposts are decorated with beautiful ornamental glazed tiles.

Mosaic work at Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex

The main attraction of this complex is the Sitalnath Temple. The entire temple along with its spire is decorated with glass and mosaic work. The mosaic and glass works include floral and geometric design along with animal and human figures. A mosaic shows a lion and cow drinking water from the same stream, this represents the universal doctrine of peace of Jainism.

Temple of Chandraprabha, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Temple of Chandraprabha, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

The temple is approached with a long flight of stairs leading to richly decorated interiors with glass walls and beautiful chandeliers.

On the left is a lamp which have been continuously burning since the foundation of the temple in 1867.

Just south of the main complex is the complex housing the temple dedicated to Chandraprabha. This temple came up in 1895.

The approach is again through a similar large gateway and a tree line path leads to the temple. The temple, approached by a long flight of stairs, has a similar plan but lacks the mosaic and glass ornamentation and interiors are plan and simple.

Temple of Mahabir, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Temple of Mahabir, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

The third and final complex is situated east of the Sitalnath Temple and houses the Dadabari housing the footprint of the Jain saint and a temple dedicated to Mahabir the last Jain Tirthankara.

Located east of the Sitalnath Temple Complex and is approached through a similar gateway like the two other complexes.

The path leads to the domed marble pavilion of Dadabari housing the footprints of the famous Jain saint Jin Dutt Kushal Suri

This complex is also beautifully decorated with pathways paved with black and whitee marbles along with fointains and a huge pond. Sadly the complex lacks the mosaic and glass works. North of the Dadabari is the temple dedicated to Lord Mahabir. Again a simple spired temple approached by a long flight of stairs with little ornamentation on the outer wall.

Dadabari and Mahabir Temple (right), Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Dadabari and Mahabir Temple (right), Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

The four Jain Temples along with the beautiful complex serves as an oasis of peace in the heart of north Kolkata and provides a peaceful atmosphere in one of the busiest localities of the city.

Necessary Information:

  • Google Map Location
  • Temple timing: 6am – 11 am and 3 pm – 7 pm
  • Photography: Photography is allowed except for temple interiors
  • Entry fee: Nil
  1. January 18, 2021 at 6:12 PM

    Well written, as always, but you should probably invest in a grammar check tool or Plugin

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