(Last Updated on : 02/06/2014)
Kolkata has diverse cultural and religious history; this is evident from the temples and other monuments that adorn the city and its suburbs. The Jain Temple in Kolkata is known as the Pareshnath Jain Temple, and is located in the northeast side of the city, at the bustling Badridas Temple Street. This temple is a very renowned and was built by an art enthusiast named Ray Badridas Bahadur in 1867. The temple serves as an important worshipping place for the Jain community in Kolkata and also for others.
The temple is dedicated to Pareshnath, who was the 23rd Jain Tirthankar, and he is worshipped by the Jains, and this is one of the most important Jain temples in Kolkata. The place is famous all over that is why devout Jains from distant parts of India flock to the Temple precincts al round the year. The temple consists of four temples inside of it. The deity of Lord Shitalnathji is seated in the sanctum sanctorum, and his diamond-studded forehead is a major attraction for the visitors. There is a lamp, which burns with ghee inside the sanctum sanctorum, which has been continuously burning ever since the initiation of the temple since 1867. The lamp bears silent testimony to the contemporary world since ages and it is wonderful to acknowledge the mysticism associated with.
There are three other shrines dedicated to Chanda Prabhujidev, Dadaji Garu and Kushalji Maharaj. The last temple is dedicated to Lord Mahavira, who was the last Tirthankara of the Jain tradition.
The Pareshnath Jain Temple, Kolkata, has displays of exquisite designs and it is an impressive structure consisting of mirror-inlaid pillars and windows that have made of stained glass. The interiors of the temple are splendidly beautiful, along with the outdoors, which are surrounded with many beautifully colored flower gardens and fountains. There is a small stream flowing through it, which also has amazing variety of flowers all around it. The fountains look brilliant when water gushes out of them in perfect harmonization. A well-maintained reservoir, adds up to the surrounding beauty. Colorful fishes swarm the surface of the glistening water at the slightest hint of food grains. The floor of the temple is elaborately paved with marble that gives it a solemn look and also a mark of purity. The temple exhibits extraordinary artistic tendencies that are visible in the whole pattern of the decoration of the interiors and the exteriors. One can also find the paintings of renowned painter Ganesh Muskare, adorning the walls, which enthralls the visitor. Chandeliers or Jhar Battis are another feature that makes the interiors sparkle and lends the extra shimmer to the serenity of the temple.
The temple is open to visitors from 6:00 am to 12:00 Noon, and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Buses and taxis ply to the desired venue and it is also approachable by metro. The place is not only an important place of worship of the Jains but also a place of interest for tourists who admire the splendor of the temple. It is a combination of pious environment and beautiful surroundings. Entering the temple one is transported to a higher plane that is mesmerizing.