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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the religious places in Kolkata (Calcutta)?

Shikha Gautam DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

A melting pot of ethnicities, faiths and cultures, and the hub of Durga Pooja celebrations in India, Kolkata comes with a slew of religious places! Join in the electrifying nine day celebrations that characterise this brilliant city or spend some quiet time on your path to religious solace at the serene churches or peaceful temples:

  • Kalighat

    One of the major points of pilgrimage for devotees of Maa Kali and Lord Shiva, Kalighat is also one of the oldest areas in Kolkata. Legend has it that when Goddess Parvati’s body was destroyed, her right toe fell here. The shrine at the main temple here depicts Goddess Kali with a long golden tongue and is different from her usual descriptions. Not only does this place figure on the tourist’s map in Kolkata, it is also one place where you can pick up the famous Kalighat Pata Painting as well. Do remember to bargain in case you want to buy one, as prices double the worth of the painting may be quoted!

    A word of caution though, you might find priests and touts here tailing you and asking (almost forcing, at times) you to buy pooja items or make donations. It is best to steer clear of these people as dealing with them tends to get rude and dirty. Also, this place can be crowded at times of Pooja, so if you are with your family and want to enjoy the aarti, make sure you keep your kids close.

    Address: Kalighat
    West Bengal

  • Belur Math Shrine

    A stupendous amalgamation of a church, a mosque and a temple, the Belur Math Shrine is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Order which is involved in elementary and higher education, culture, health care, disaster relief and rural management. The Math is a haven of tranquility and is dotted by a number of temples like those of Ramakrishna, Sarada Ma and Swami Vivekananda. Take a peaceful stroll by the banks of river Hoogly here, enjoy the yummy food they serve as prasad and feel at peace with the supreme being and yourself.

    Address: Belur
    West Bengal

  • Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture

    A major centre for cross cultural activities in Kolkata, the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture was set up to commemorate the birth centenary of the spiritual guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Visit the place to engage in an animated discussion on the various discourses of religion; take a lesson or two in meditation or simply witness a cultural programme in the evening! This place is a haven of serenity, one you must make a visit to, when in Kolkata! The best part about this place has to be its well stocked library, which is an absolute gift to book lovers.

    Address: Dhakuria
    West Bengal

  • Nakhoda Mosque

    Inspired by Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra, the Nakhoda Mosque is a beautiful place of worship in red sandstone. It is known for its huge prayer hall where exhibitions are held on momentous occasions. Observe the many minarets of this place, pick up a Fez Cap for yourself from the small stalls around or become a part of the convivial celebrations at the time of Eid and Ramzan which see the place decked up in the best of fineries.

    Women visiting the place are advised to keep their head and shoulders covered and wear garments that cover their legs as dressing inappropriately here is considered offensive. Men must cover their heads as well, either by wearing a skullcap or tying a handkerchief.

    Address: Rabindra Sarani
    West Bengal

  • St Paul’s Cathedral

    A church that took close to 10 years for its construction has to be a marvel, right? Visit the St Paul’s Church in the city of Kolkata and find out! With its grecian pillars and Indo- Gothic architecture, this place mesmerises each person it welcomes to its warm embrace. Stained glass windows, artistically carved pews and chairs, walls decked in intricate mural paintings and an equally breathtaking facade describe this church which houses peace and tranquility in every nook and corner.

    Do make it a point to avoid visiting the place in the afternoon though, the Cathedral remains closed between noon and 3pm everyday.

    Address: Address: 1A, Cathedral Road
    West Bengal
    Telephone: +91-33-22230127

When you visit the above temples, do make it a point to have your shoulders and head covered as not doing so is considered offensive by the locals. Find religious solace when you pay your respects here and while you are at it, seek some blessings for me as well!

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