Pareshnath Temple Kolkata also known as Pareshnath Jain Temple situated at 36 Badridas Temple Street, Gouribari in Maniktala, Kolkata- 700004.
The style of architecture adopted in building this Pareshnath Temple in Kolkata is simply magnificent, with the tall and slender central spire and the cluster of minor pinnacles arranged around its base. The central spire, gracing the skyline and soaring high above the surrounding lawns and colorful flowerbeds, was originally plated with gold. It has rising behind it a flagstaff on which flutters the temple flag.
Along with the parapet of the terrace, a balustrade ornamented with small pinnacles and a miniature triple-arched shrine in the center, flanked by two casket-like structures on its eastern face.
The whole exterior of the temple is most gorgeously ornamented with brilliant mosaics, excelling in beauty and elegance more than any other in any part of the world.
Mosaics Glass Decoration:
The inner design of the temple is an abundant manifestation of beauty, unexplainable in its vivid decoration of mosaics. One is bound to become speechless looking at the walls, ceiling, arches, pillars, etc. which are intelligently crafted with colored glass mosaics reflecting lights from all sides. While the stone and glass works are fantastic in the extreme in their bewildering shades of color and design. The pillar to pillar is also ornamented with hand-painted panels of remarkable beauty, depicting scenes from Jain history and mythology, and the ceilings hang fine chandeliers of hand-cut glass in variegated colors.
Skill in Mirrors Setting:
In the sanctum, mirrors are so skillfully fixed at an angle in the walls that a visitor can see in one mirror from outside the sanctum a person circumambulating.
In Badridas Temple Street in the city of Calcutta stands a cluster of Jain Temples, the principal one being dedicated to Sri Sitalnath, the tenth of the Jain Tirthankaras or path-founders. Built-in 1867, this temple stands in one of the prettiest gardens in the city.
This temple has an interesting history. In this area, there was a Jain shrine called Dadabari, dedicated to some prominent Jain saints. It is here that Sri Badridas used to come to pay homage to these saints; and one day, seeing cruelty being done to the aquatics of a nearby tank, purchased the whole plot at the behest of his mother, constructed the temple, already mentioned, it is very significant that the temple is dedicated to Sri Sitalnath, which means the Lord Protector of the Aquatics.
An astonishing tale is there about the finding of the image of Sri Sitalnath that we find in the temple. It is said that after completing the construction, Sri Badrias consulted his preceptor, Sri Kalyan Suri as to which of the twenty-four Tirthankaras this temple should be dedicated to and he was told that it should be to Sri Sitalnath.
By his advice, he went on a long journey in search of a suitable image of the tenth Tirthankara but everywhere he was baffled in this search. At last, he arrived at Agra and while attending a ceremonial procession, got into a conversation with an unknown holy man to whom he narrated the purpose of his coming. Pondering over it for a while the holy man took him to a place and pointed at some particular location on the ground with a meaningful gesture.
Sri Sitalnath Found:
The very next day, taking the holy man and some laborers with him, Sri Badridas went to the spot and began to dig the earth. It was not long before he came across a staircase, leading down to what appeared to be a cave. Sri Badridas immediately descended the steps and at a considerable depth, he was surprised to find a temple, in which he saw this figure of Sri Sitalnath.
An oil lamp was still burning and it appeared to him that someone had just left the place after offering worship. With due respect, Sri Badridas immediately took the image into his possession. Badridas came out of the cave. He searched for the holy man who had directed him to the spot but could not find him. The image was then brought to Calcutta and installed in this temple by our preceptor, Sri Kalyan Suri.
Sri Badridas established a lamp, that burns with ghee and it is the lamp that ever burning since it was installed and still burning. Over this lamp hangs a white shade, which does not usually get black. It is said that it gets stained only when the temple is defiled in any way.
Ever since its erection, this temple and its gardens have been the object of joy for countless devotees, worshippers, tourists, and sightseers and attracting numerable visitors every day from lands near and far off.
Founder of the Pareshnath Jain Temple:
Sri Rai Badridas Bahadur, the founder of the Pareshnath Jain Temple. He was born in the Shrimal Jain community of Lucknow on 26 November 1832. He was son of Kalkadas.
He migrated from Lucknow to Calcutta in the year 1853. He was new to the city and not that rich as well, but was honest, intelligent, and perseverant, and within a very short time, he became a leading jeweler. He also appointed Mookim (State Jewelers) to the Governor General of India in the year 1871. He established his firm named Rai Badridas Bahadur and Sons. In the historic Delhi Darbar, Sri Badridas was given the honor of Rai Bahadur and the award of Empress of India from Lord Lytton.
Badridas built a beautiful Kothi in Harrison Road, Kolkata, which was also featured in “Glimpses of Bengal” published in the year 1905.
He bought a plot of land intending to make a farmhouse. But his mother wanted him to build a great temple in the plot. So he build the Pareshnath Temple Kolkata which took him 25 years to finish. He builds the temple in crafting with meticulous perfection. He also built some other temples during his lifetime. They are At Shikharji, Madhuban, on the highest peak of Pareshnath Hill – Pareshnath Tonk, and At Purimatal, Allahabad – Shri Adinath Ji Temple.
Sri Badridas was also very much socially active and as part of their social responsibility, he did various works for the development of society.
He was the founder of:
- Johari Bazaar Dharmakanta Association.
- Calcutta Pinjrapole Society
- Bengal National Chamber of Commerce (founder President), was the first National Chamber of Commerce in India.
Apart from these, he reasonably contributed to Benaras Hindu University, British Indian Association, and many organizations.
He died in the year 1914, his age was 83 years.
He was the first person who got permission from the Kolkata Municipality Corporation (then Calcutta Municipal Corporation) to have his last rites performed on his premises and not at the general place as is done for all other citizens.
Pareshnath Temple Kolkata Timing:
6.00 am to11.00 am and
3.00 pm to 7.00 pm
Mobile: 8961002638, 99031072112, (Sri Sushil Jain – 9007856254)
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