Pareshnath Jain Temple (Parasnath Jain Temple)
Built in 1867, the Pareshnath is free to enter and open to all. Visitors can stroll around the garden’s ponds, silver-painted statues, and mosaics; and view the four temples, each devoted to a different Jain tirthankar: Shitalnath Ji, Chandraprabhu, Mahavir, and Dawawadi. The Shitalnath Ji is the showpiece for its opulently decorated interior of mosaics, marble, and mirrors.
The Pareshnath features on nearly all private Kolkata sightseeing tours, with most combining a pause outside with stops at the city’s other attractions, as well as guiding, air-conditioned transport, and hotel pickup and drop-off. For a more comprehensive visit, choose a customizable tour that lets you adjust your itinerary to accommodate a longer look around; or visit the temple independently to contemplate its shrines on your own.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Pareshnath Jain Temple will appeal to culture and religious buffs.
- Allow about an hour to explore.
- While admission is free, donations are encouraged.
- Be prepared to remove your shoes before entering the temples.
How to Get There
The Pareshnath temple sits on Badridas Temple Street in northeast Kolkata. The easiest way there is by cab—you’ll avoid getting lost and having to negotiate the city’s traffic alone. Alternatively, ride the metro to the Sovabazar stop and make the 10-minute walk from there—chances are you’ll need to ask for directions as the temple is tucked away in a maze of alleyways.
When to Get There
The site is open daily from 6am-12pm and again from 3pm-7pm, but if you can, double-check the opening times before visiting. The complex is usually busy, especially at sunset when the faithful visit after work. To avoid the crowds, arrive as early as possible after opening. Be aware that Jains celebrate the festival of Paryushan between mid-August and mid-September every year, which may affect opening hours and crowd levels.
What to See at the Pareshnath Temple Most visitors admire the decorative gardens and lesser temples before exploring the main Shitnalath Temple. This exotic-looking building is worth seeing for its lavish interior of white marble, colored glass mosaics, mirror-inlaid pillars, and sparkling chandeliers. Must-sees include a seated statue of Shitalnath Ji, complete with a diamond-studded forehead; and a diya lamp, which has burned continuously since 1867.
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