Hindu Temples of Kolkata
Revered as one of the 51 'Shakti Peethas', the Kalighat Kali Temple is a Hindu temple, whose presiding deity is Goddess Kali. Historians believe that Kolkata received its name from the term 'Kalighat'. Located on the banks of Hooghly River is the Dakshineshar Temple which was erected by Rani Rashmoni during 1855 and is dedicated to Goddess Bhavatarini. Another famous temple is Birla Temple, constructed by the Birlas, in Ballygunge. Idols of Radha and Krishna in the main temple, Lord Shiva in the right part of the temple and Goddess Durga are present on the left side of this temple. Dwadash Shiva temples in Barisha are above 300 years old and dedicated to Lord Shiva, built by Raja Santosh Ray Chowdhury.
Buddhist Temples of Kolkata
There exist some well-known Buddhist temples in Kolkata, which draws Buddhists and followers of other religions too. Situated in Dhakuria, South Kolkata, the Nipponzan Myohoji (Japan Buddha Sangha) Temple was built by Nichiditsu Fuji around 1935. Devotees also visit the Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple which was initially known as Burma Buddhist Dharmmasala. The main shrine is present on the upper floor of this three-storied building, which consists of a marvellous idol of Lord Buddha with a white face flanked with gold leaves. This statue is placed over a golden throne, wears a golden crown and is clad in attractive golden attire. Incense sticks, other tiny statues and candles impart a unique appeal to the altar.
Jain Temples of Kolkata
Also referred to as the Parshwanath Temple, the Calcutta Jain temple is based at Badridas Temple Street and erected by Seth Badridas during 1867. Lord Pareshnath, the 23rd Tirthankara is the main deity of the temple. Four other temples named Dadawadi Temple, Mahavir Swamy Temple, Chandraprabhu Ji Temple and Shitalnath Ji Temple are also a part of this temple. Kolkata's Digambara Jain Temples include Shree Mahaveer Digambar Jain Temple, Chowringhee, Shree Digambar Jain Naya Mandir, Ravindra Sarani and Shree Digambar Jain Bada Mandir, Burra Bazar. Such Jain temples are quite ancient.
Parsi Temple of Kolkata
There is only a single Parsi temple in Kolkata which is named as the Parsi (Zoroastrian) Fire Temple or the Anjuman Atash Adran created during 1912. It exists on Metcalfe Street or the 'Bandook Street', Bowbazar area of Central Kolkata. Non-Parsis are not permitted entry into this temple and as Parsis are worshippers of the 'Fire God', a sacred fire burns eternally inside the temple premises. Magnificent specimens of frosted glass art are displayed in this fire temple, which possesses ornamental doors and windows exhibiting features of Zoroastrian iconography. The walls of this Fire Temple consist of a brass plate depicting 'Faravahar', a significant symbol of Zoroastrianism.
Other Temples of Kolkata
Kolkata is home to numerable Kali temples which are thronged by thousands of visitors throughout the year. Firinghi Kalibari is over 500 years old and was named after Anthony Firinghee, a European who had concerted to Hinduism. It is located in Bowbazar and is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Also termed as Jay Mitra Kalibari, Kripamayee Kali Temple is present on Hooghly River's banks at Baranagar, North 24 Parganas. Housing the idol of Goddess Siddheshwari, Thanthania Kalibari is another important Kali temple. Tourists can also visit the Shobhabazar Lal Mandir, which is an ancient Hindu temple, constructed by the Raja of Shobhabazar at Shobhabazar. The Lake Kalibari and Rampara Kalibari are amongst the several other temples based in the city of Kolkata.