Religious Spots in West Bengal
West Bengal, based at the eastern part of India, is a land of splendid beauty and allure. It is abode to many magnificent religious spots which uphold the rich cultural tradition. The state, once the centre of learning and early reformation, was at its peak during the Britishers’ reign. With the blows of changes and modifications as time has passed, it still manages to restore its old school charm which is also reflected in the multiple religious places it houses. Many spiritual thinkers and gurus have been born and lived in this state and it has seen the amalgamation of diverse religious communities. The beauty of such diversity is worth exploring. Let us have a look at the various religious monuments housed here that are incredible in design and are known for their elegance, style and simplicity.
Temples in West Bengal
This temple was built by the Birla family and is located at Ballygunge. It attracts devotees from various places especially during Janmashtami
. The temple resembles the famous Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneshwar
. It has some influence of the Rajasthani temple architecture and its stone engravings present pictorial depictions from the scriptures. Know more....
Aerial View of Birla Mandir in Kolkata / source
Located at Guptipara near Hooghly, it was built in the seventeenth century in the Bengali style of architecture. Devotees from far and wide visit this temple to offer prayers to the residing deity.
Ananta Basudeba Temple
This is a Lord Krishna temple. The structure of the temple is octagonal on top and its walls are designed with terracotta works, built in the traditional eka-ratna
style. The terracotta works present stories from Hindu mythology.
This is one of the fifty- two Shakti peeths in which Sati’s lips are believed to have been fallen after Sati’s self- immolation and when her dead body was carried by Shiva. The temple is a holy Hindu pilgrimage site that sees pilgrims visiting throughout the year.
Located at Nannur, in Bolpur, West Bengal, this temple site is like a mound. It dates back to the Gupta period.
This is a tantric Hindu temple dedicated to the tantric goddess Tara. This is the most important centre of Tara worship and her cult. The ashram of Bamakhepa, or the ‘’mad saint’’ who dedicated his entire life to the worship of Tara is situated near the temple. It is believed that he practiced and perfected the tantric
arts there as a mendicant under the tutelage of another famous saint Kailashpathi Baba.
This is an old Hindu Kali temple. It is one of the fifty- two Shakti peeths in which Sati’s left ankle is believed to have been fallen. Located in the Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal, it has been declared as a heritage site by the West Bengal government.
Mohanpur Jagannath Temple
It is situated in Mohanpur, in the district of Midnapore, West Bengal. The temple consists of the idols of Balaram, Subhadra and Jagannath. Presently in a ruined state, the temple requires preservation.
This temple is located in the town of Tarakeshwar, West Bengal. It is an ‘atchala
’ of Bengal temple architecture and it has a ‘natmandir
’. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva worshiped as Taraknath. There is also a tank at the north of this temple known as Dudhpukur
and according to legends it fulfills the prayers of those taking a dip in it.
Dakshineshwar Kali Temple
One of the most famous temples of West Bengal, it attracts pilgrims throughout the year. It is a famous nineteenth century Kali temple. This temple is associated with Ramakrishna.
A beautiful view of Dakshineshwar Kali Temple / source
Located on the west bank of Hooghly river, Belur, it is the heart of the Ramakrishna movement founded by Swami Vivekananda who was a chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The math is a huge campus and the architecture of the Ramakrishna temple is such that it resembles a temple, a mosque and a church when seen from different positions. The architectural style is remarkable as it is a fusion of different religious architectural influences and stands for ‘universal faith’ which was the movement’s belief.
This temple is located at Darjeeling in West Bengal. It was built resembling the features of the Pasupathinath temple in Nepal. Know more
The architecture of the temple consists of thirteen minars,
each built as a blooming lotus bud. A Hindu temple of goddess Kali, it is situated at Banshberia at Hooghly district. The inner structure of the temple resembles human anatomy. The architecture of this temple and its adjacent temples represent ‘Tantrik Satchakrabhed’.
Khaepa Kali Tala
This temple is majorly a goddess Kali temple but also comprises other gods’ temples such as Lord Shiva’s, Vishnu’s, the Durgamandir and the Harimancha. It is situated at MaloPada, old Katwa, near Gouranga Baddi.
Madangopal Jiu Temple
Located in the village of Mellock near Samta, it is called the temple of Lord Gopal. The temple consists of a roof with eight slopes, designed in terracotta style. It is presently in ruins. The deities worshipped in this temple are Radha and Madan Gopal.
One of the Shakti peeths, the temple is located in the Burdwan
district of West Bengal. Locally known as Mangal Chandimandir, the Durga here is Mangal Chandika and Bhairav is Kapilambar. It is believed that the right wrist of Sati fell here after her death by self- immolation when Shiva carried her dead body.
Churches in West Bengal
St. Paul’s Cathedral
It is one among the most popular churches of West Bengal. St. Paul’s cathedral is an Anglican cathedral and also is a vital part of the Kolkata’s Anglican Communion. The construction of the structure was started in the year 1839 by Bishop Daniel Wilson and was completed in 1847. The architecture of the cathedral is in the Gothic Revival style which because of its elegance and simplicity attracts a great number of tourists from across the Globe.
Panoramic view of St. Paul's Church in West Bengal / source
St. Andrews Church
This is yet another dignified Church in the state. Maria Imhoff, wife of Marquess of Hestings supervised the construction of the Kirk. The Church adheres to the Presbyterian worship form. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has declared this church as the Grade I Heritage building.
St. Thomas Church
It is a renowned Roman Catholic Church of West Bengal. The church edifice has been alluringly designed in the colonial style. St. Thomas church is based in Kolkata’s Park Street.
Lord Jesus Church
The Lord Jesus Church based at Taltala, Kolkata is a famous Catholic church. Previously, it was a Church of Scotland following the worship in Presbyterian form. Most of the religious and holy activities celebrated in the church are in Bengali Language.
St. James’ Church
The Church building has one among the most admiring and attractive architecture. The lieutenant-Governor of West Bengal laid the keystone of the church in 1862. Several devotees visit this religious monument.
Bandel Church is one among the most renowned and ancient churches of the state. It recites the Portuguese settlement in the country. It was built in the year 1660. The key features of this Church comprises of a shrine to Mary, an organ, three altars and various tombstones.
American Church of the Holy Nazareth
It is located at Barabazar, Kolkata. It is an attractive American Apostolic Cathedral. The church is best known as the “Mother Church of the Indian Americans”
. It’s interior is adorned with marble.
Gurudwaras in West Bengal
Guru Nanak Darbar Chandrakona
Located in Chandrakona, it is believed that Sri Guru Nanak visited this place while his visit to Assam. Legend has it that Chandra Katu Rai, the then king of this place was childless and with the blessings of Guru Nanak, he had a girl child but the king brought her up as a Rajkumar with the blessings of Guru Nanak.
Gurudwara Nima Serai Guru Teg Bahadur
It is situated in Malda on the banks of the Mahananda River. It is said that both Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur had visited this place. This is considered as one of the most auspicious places in the state.
Gurudwara Choti Sangat
It is maintained by the Agrahari Sikhs. This is the only committee in Kolkata that organises the Holla Muhalla processions. Large number of Sikhs gather here to celebrate different Sikh festivals and offer prayers to their lord.
Gurudwara Bari Sangat
Located in Tullapati Cotton street, it is one of the most notable Gurudwaras in West Bengal. It is believed that both Guru Nanak and later Guru Teg Bahadur had visited this place.
Mosques in West Bengal
It is a 14th century ancient mosque situated in West Bengal’s Maldah district. During the medieval times, this mosque was considered as the largest one in the entire Indian subcontinent. The mosque was built by Sultan Sikandar Shah in 1373.
Front view of Adina mosque / source
Baro Shona Masjid
Also known as Baroduari this great Golden Mosque is based in Gour, India. It is situated half a kilometer from the south of Ramkeli, and 12km south from Maldah district in West Bengal. A massive rectangular structure this is the largest monument in Gour.
This big mosque is situated in the West Bengal’s Hooghly district. It was constructed in the pre-Mughal epochs. The four-sided structure measures approximately 70.41 by 12.5m and comprises of no courtyard in front or enclosed Shan.
It represents the glory and grandeur of the Nawabi regime in West Bengal, created by Munny Begum, Nawab Mir Jafar’s wife. It is located in Murshidabad, India.
It was built in the year 1375 by Muqlish Khan. The Mosque allures massive Muslim Pilgrims, specifically during the time of Pir’smela and Urs festival
. Muslims dwelling in that specific area are regarded to be chiefly Ashraf’s.
The Nakhoda Masjid is based in the chitpur region of the business district Burrabazar in central Kolkata. The Masjid bears a remarkable resemblance to the tomb of Mughal Ruler Akbar at Sikandra, Agra.
The Katra Masjid is the mausoleum of Nawab Murshid QuliJafar Khan. It is situated in the Murshidabad city’s north eastern part, in West Bengal. It was erected during the years 1723 to 1724. The MurshidQuliJafar Khan with the aid of his architect Farash built the masjid.
Hazrat Syed Shah Abdullah Kermani, the great Sufi saint established this mosque. It is situated in Birbhum district.
It was created during the regime of Sulthan Alauddin Husain Shah by Rafat Khan. The masjid is located at Kherur in Sagardighi, which is nearby to the Berhampore. It covers a total area of around 2 acres and this is mosque is of 15th century. It comprises of a triple domed corridor and single domed prayer chamber. It has four minarets at its four corners.
Located in Hooghly, this is a masjid cum imambara which comprises of two storied building and a very tall clock tower. The construction of the Mosque was initiated in the year 1841 by Muhammad Moshin, which was completed fully in the year 1861.
Madina Masjid belongs to the portion NizamatImambara present in Murshidabad, West Bengal It was built in the year 1847 by Nawab Nazim Mansur Ali Khan Feradun Jah.
Tipu Sultan Mosque
The Tipu Sultan Shahi Mosque is the most popular mosque located in Kolkata, which attracts a great number of tourists. Visitors from all sections of religions and society are permitted to visit this great historical premise. The mosque is an artifact which boasts both cultural tradition and architectural beauty. It is located at 185 Dhartamtalla Street and was built by Prince Ghulam Mohammad in 1832.