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Calcutta Jain Temple
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrAlso known as the Mookim’s Temple, the Calcutta Jain Temple which is located in Kolkata was constructed by Rai-Badridas Mookim in 1867 ADE. Rai Badridas Mookim was the Court Jeweler to His Excellency, the Viceroy who was also the then Governor-General of British India.
HistoryCalcutta Jain Temple or as it is often also called Parasnath Temple is decorated with Belgian glass and is cited in all Kolkata city maps. Rai Badridas Bahadoor Mookim who was the son of Kalkadas Mookim, one of the ancestors of Bhama Shah (the famous general, financier and minister in the court of Rana Pratap of Mewar ) migrated to Calcutta from Lucknow, which lies in the northern parts of India. Rai Badridas Mookim also did build two other similar Jain Temples in Sammet Sikhar and Purimatal, which lies in Allahabad
The Pratishtha or rather to say, stone laying foundation, of the main idol of Shitalnathji in this temple was done by the famous Jain Guru, Sri Sri Kalyansurishwarji Maharaj.
The temple complex has been named after the famous 23rd Jain, Tirthankar.
What to See at Parasnath TempleThe main complex of the Mookim’s Temple is subdivided into four temples which are:
This beautiful temple is often visited by several devout Jains from all quarters of the world, all year round. One of the main attractions of the temple is the deity of Lord Shitalnathji, who is seated inside the sanctum sanctorum, and is adorned with diamonds studded on his forehead. Another mysticism associated with this temple is a lamp which has been burning ever since the ‘Pratishtha’ of Shitalnathji’s idol in this temple, which happened in 1867. This lamp bears the silent testimony to the contemporary worlds that evolved through the centuries and shall also continue to do so till the end of time.
Apart from this Eternal Burning Flame that makes the temple so holy. This temple is also one of the most splendid buildings in the heart of Kolkata. The interior of the temple is filled with Belgian mirrors, stained glass paintings, European chandeliers, intricately patterned marble motifs on the floor and also flower motifs on the temple walls.
This pastel colored building which is set within a picturesque and beautifully colored flower garden is filled with striking fountains and is dotted with exquisitely carved marble statues placed all along the pathways.
There is also a small artificial man-made stream that flows through this temple complex, which has a well-maintained water reservoir within its grounds. One can see really aged colorful fish in this man-made pond, which swims to the surface of the crystal clear water of the tank at the slightest hint of food.
For all art enthusiasts, one can also see paintings of the great painter, Ganesh Muskare , which adorns the motif inlaid walls of this holy building.
One must also have a look at the European chandeliers once they visit this temple that makes the interiors sparkle with an extra shine and renders a feeling of serenity, which often enthralls the visitor’s mind.
Festivals Held in the Parasnath Jain TempleAlthough the temple becomes too crowded during these Jain festival times, nevertheless, one can visit this temple on the occasion of Diwali , Mahavir Jayanti and other Jain religious events.
The temple remains open to all Jains and non-Jains during the morning hours, until sundown- and there are no admission charges for entering this building.
How to Get to the TempleThe best way to visit this building, which lies in the northern side of Kolkata metropolis is to take a taxi to Khanna Bridge near Khanna Cinema bus stop and then find the exact location of this famous building from local bystanders on the streets. One can even take an underground inter-city train and after alighting at Shovabazar Metro Station ride on a share auto-rickshaw and get down at Khanna Bridge to visit this building. The journey time to this temple should not take more than an hour from any distant locations within the co-ordinates of the Kolkata metro city.
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Aug 07, 2014