Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata


Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (151)

The Chinese have been trading with India for centuries and it was no surprise when one Chinese trader decided to set shop right near the city. With the establishment of a sugar processing plant, Tong Achew unknowingly sowed a seed for his community to call this country their home. Even though the sugar processing factory had a short life but that paved the opportunity for the Chinese to come to Calcutta in search of a better living.

Why Did They Build These Temples and Churches?

The first set of Chinese immigrants were mostly men and it is quite natural for them to form their own groups usually from the same village or the same trade. Group formations like these were not uncommon as within mainland China also workers from one province who would have travelled to another province for work would form groups.

These social groups were referred to as Huiguans (“Voi-Koon” in Cantonese and “Fee Kwan” in Hakka) which actually would translate as “meeting place” in English. So the Chinese workers who had come to Calcutta started forming these Huiguans. These were actually social clubs which had facilities like that of a school, games like Mahjong, some had basic beds while some had proper boarding facility for newly arrived workers from the mainland.

Whenever a new immigrant would come from a particular province he would first head straight to his community Huiguans. Here other than meeting his own people he would also be in groups who had similar skill sets like carpenter, dentist, tanners etc. This way it would also be easy for them to find a job by word of mouth. Another important role for these Huiguans was to make funeral arrangements. When a Chinese immigrant would die here in this city then most likely he would have been alone here without his family. Since it was impossible to send the body back home to Chania they would have to be buried here in the city and with no relatives around it was these very Huiguans that would do the necessary funeral arrangements.

Last but not the least most of these Huiguans also had a traditional temple built. So basically it was a social club where one could come to socialize, play some games and pray to their gods.

 

How They Decide To Join Which Club?

China is fairly a large country thus even though they might speak the same dialect or have similar gods they might have a difference in traditions and worship style. Thus immigrants usually joined a club which was specific to their religious styles. The clubs were actually men’s only and women and children were not allowed. A reason for this would be that the initial immigrants were mostly men who came alone without their family. Later on, when family members started arriving the women and children were allowed only during festivities and other mass religious ceremonies. This, however, is not practised anymore and these clubs are open to all.

 

The Four Main Chinese Community of Kolkata

The Chinese who immigrated to Calcutta in search of work were mainly from Guangdong Province.

1) The Carpenters – These people were Cantonese speaking from West Guangdong Province. These people were master carpenters whose work were adored by the British. This community mainly settled in the Tiretti Bazaar locality. Here they set up their carpentry shops some of which still exists till date.

2) The Tanners – These group of men came from the East Guangdong Province and spoke Hakka. Being tanners which involved working with rawhide they set up their business around Tangra which then was extreme outskirts of the city and was mainly marshlands.

3) The Dentists – These men were traditional Chinese Dentists and came from Central China (Hubei Province).

4) The Laundry Men – This group of people came from Shanghai. Most of the people from this community set up laundry and dry cleaning business and that is the reason why one can see many Shanghai Laundry & Dry Cleaners around the city.

 

Why Are These Temples Called Churches?

These are basically traditional Chinese temples but are referred to as Churches. Some elders in the community say that it was because the local Chinese community saw several massive churches all around them mostly built by the British and so they also started calling their temples as churches as for these initial Chinese immigrants they did not have the exact dictionary translation for their place of worship which could be translated to English.

 

Where Are These Located?

Tiretti (Tiretta) Bazar was the original Chinatown where most of the old temples are located but as the community expanded to Tangra the second Chinatown we can find some temples out there also. However, most of the old Chinese temples can be found only around Tiretti Bazar.

 

Locations of These Temples and Churches?

When I had initially decided to write this blog I wanted to make a comprehensive list of all the Chinese Temples and Churches so the list not only includes traditional Chinese temples but also Christian Churches as well as Chinese Kali Temple. It’s important to list down all of these since all of them have some connection with this community and needs to explore. Till now I have found 16 of them.

Tiretti Bazar

Sea Ip Church
Toong On Church
Gee Hing Church
Sea Voi Yune Leong Futh Church
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church
Nam Soon Church
Ling Liang Church


Chadni Chowk

Choong Yee Thong Church


Tangra

Grace Ling Liang Chinese Church
Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre
Pei May Chinese School Temple
Chinese Kali Mandir
Shing Yin Temple
Tai Shou Gung Temple


Chowbagha

Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery


Lake Town

Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple

 

Location of All the Temples and Churches on Map

 

Sea Ip Church

Address: 22/1 Chattawala Lane, Kolkata 700012
Opening Date: Original Location (1882 or 1894) Present Location (1905)
Deity: Kuan Shih Yin,  Kuan Yimg or Guanyin or Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy)
Type: Traditional Chinese
Community of: Four districts of Guangdong Province

Visually this is the most stunning Chinese temple in this locality. It is a two-storied building with the club on the ground floor and the temple on the first floor. The club on the first floor is the only Chinese club where I have seen people reading the only Chinese newspaper that is printed in the country. It’s printed locally and due to its declining popularity is now printed on a limited basis with Xerox Offset technology instead of the earlier Letter Press method. On a Sunday evening, you would also find older Chinese men playing chess on wooden boards.

On the first floor, you have the temple and the thing to watch out is the wooden roof which is more than hundred years old. The deity is placed in the main room with offerings placed on the table in front. Make sure to notice the intricately carved wood works with hang from the ceiling. Also, another unique thing about this temple is its collection of porcelain Buddha’s which is placed in a glass showcase on the side. The wooden roof is as old as this temple thus more than 100 years old.

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (1)
Sea Ip Church – Entrance
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (2)
Sea Ip Church – Entrance

 

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (3)
Sea Ip Church – Entrance

 

Sea Ip Church – Most Part of the Entrance Occupied By Squatters
Sea Ip Church – Most Part of the Entrance Occupied By Squatters
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Sea Ip Church – Club Room on the Ground Floor
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (6)
Sea Ip Church – Club Member Reading a Chinese Newspaper That Is Printed In Kolkata
Sea Ip Church – Kuan Shih Yin, Kuan Yimg or Guanyin or Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy)
Sea Ip Church – Kuan Shih Yin, Kuan Yimg or Guanyin or Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy)
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Sea Ip Church – Intricate Wood Carved Decorations Hanging From the Ceiling
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Sea Ip Church – Porcelain Laughing Buddha’s
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Sea Ip Church – Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
Sea Ip Church – Register
Sea Ip Church – Register

 

Toong On Church

Address: 22 Black Burn Lane, Kolkata 700012
Opening Date: 1924
Deity: Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
Type: Traditional Chinese
Community of: Koon Tong Province (Canton Region)

This place was basically where the famous Nanking Restaurant was once located. The ground floor was where one of India’s first Chinese restaurants existed and on the first floor, you had the residence and the family temple.

As per records, the original Toong On Church was located at 10 Black Burn Lane and just the Nanking Restaurant was located at this address. After the closure of the restaurant Toong On Church was shifted to this place to avoid it being sold off.

Be prepared to navigate through heaps of garbage when trying to enter this particular church. Even though the local municipal body has a fully functional automated garbage processing plant nearby it is the local roadside squatters that tend to mess up the entrance when they sit to sort through their piles of garbage collection. Things sometimes become such worse that you have to actually walk over garbage and then enter the premises.

After years of legal battle between the owners and the government and the local association finally, the structure is safe from demolition and you will find a big Buddha statue on the ground floor which has been very recently placed just to keep the place from again falling into the wrong hands. Take the stairs to the first floor and you will be able to see the temple.

When you are at the temple do look at the stained glass window and the circular tapered columns something reminisce of classic architecture of the early 1900’s.

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (13)
Toong On Church – Front View
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (14)
Toong On Church – Side View
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Toong On Church – Date (1924) Embossed On Concrete
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Toong On Church – Signboard
Toong On Church – Statue of Buddha On The Ground Floor
Toong On Church – Statue of Buddha On The Ground Floor
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Toong On Church – Stained Glass Window
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Toong On Church – Temple On The First Floor
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Toong On Church – Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
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Toong On Church – Back Portion Under Dangerous Condition Due To Damaged Surrounding Government Buildings
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Toong On Church – View From The Terrace

 

Gee Hing Church

Address: 13 Black Burn Lane, Kolkata 700012
Opening Date: Original Location (1888) Present Location (1920)
Deity: Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
Type: Traditional Chinese
Community of: Mixed

The entrance to this club and temple is very deceiving, you need to take the tiny lane located next to Chen’s Carpentry Work and walk up to first floor. Both the club as well as the temple is located on the same floor. The main attraction at this club is Mahjong and you will see several play boards across the main floor and members from the Chinese community playing especially on Sunday’s.

The club has the main deity and a small adjacent room with another deity. You will find several cats roaming all around this club and personally I have seen them on every visit. These cats just roam lazily around the club which makes me believe that the cats stay at the club itself.

There used to be another club located on the top floor (above Gee Hing Church)  called Woo Hip Koon this club used to have functional guest rooms on the upper floor for Chinese workers who came new to the city to use it as a temporary accommodation but now it’s no more functional and off limits.

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (23)
Gee Hing Church – Entrance
Gee Hing Church – Take the Lane to the Right to Reach the Club Located On the First Floor
Gee Hing Church – Take the Lane to the Right to Reach the Club Located On the First Floor
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Gee Hing Church – A Flight of Stairs Will Take You To The First Floor. Access to the Second Floor Is Blocked.
Gee Hing Church – Club
Gee Hing Church – Club
Gee Hing Church – View of Toong On Church From The Balcony
Gee Hing Church – View of Toong On Church From The Balcony
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Gee Hing Church – Main Deity Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
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Gee Hing Church – Framed Photograph of Deity Located In the Second Room
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Gee Hing Church – Members Playing A Game of Mahjong
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Gee Hing Church – Members Playing A Game of Mahjong
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Gee Hing Church – Antique Chairs with Marble Base Was Once Used By the Senior Members of the Club

 

Sea Voi – Yune Leong Futh Church

Address: 17 Black Burn Lane, Kolkata 700012
Opening Date:  1908
Deity:  Ruan Ziyu & Liang Cineng (Futh/Buddha), Lu Ban (Carpenter God) and Tong Atchew
Type: Traditional Chinese
Community of: Se-Wui Province (Canton Region)

Walk a little towards North and you will find a beautiful red coloured circular long building and at the very corner, you will find a small door. Note that this temple has no signboards and you just need to push the door open to enter the temple. On the top of the building, you will see a “Hupei Association” board and this should be the identifier. Hupei’s are the Chinese dentists by profession.

This is the only temple that has both Ruan Ziyu & Liang Cineng together both of which are considered as an incarnation of Buddha.

Normally there is always an attendant at the temple who can show you around. Amongst all the other Chinese temples this is the only temple where you need prior permission for photography. The temple attendant cannot give you permission and you would have to speak to the person in charge of the temple for that. This is also the smallest of all the temples at Tiretti just located in a single small room, what it lacks by size is made up by overall look and feel. The social club is located next door and has to be accessed from the Eastern side of the building.

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Sea Voi – Yune Leong Futh Church
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (36)
Sea Voi – Yune Leong Futh Church – Entrance
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Sea Voi – Yune Leong Futh Church – Main Gate
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Sea Voi – Yune Leong Futh Church – Deity Ruan Ziyu & Liang Cineng (Top L& R), Lu Ban & Tong Atchew (Bottom L& R)

 

Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church

Address: 32 Black Burn Lane, Kolkata 700012
Opening Date:  1858
Deity: Tien Hou (Queen of Heaven) + Other
Type: Traditional Chinese
Community of: Hakka Community

Your first impression can be very deceiving when it comes to this temple in particular. What you see first is just an entrance with a door with the name written on a marble plaque on top. This temple which is basically a Tien Hou Maid Temple is located on the first floor. Just take the stairs up to the first floor and you will see the temple. Do not forget to visit the room towards the east where you will find some more deities.

This temple has deities of Tien Hou (Queen of Heaven), Kun Se Sin (Lady in white of Buddhism), Tu Teh Chun (God and goddess of well-being and happiness) along with few others located in the next room.

This temple is mainly used by the Hakka community whereas the rest of the Chinese temples in this locality are mainly used by the Cantonese people.

Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church - Entrance
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Entrance
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Entrance (Main Gate)
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Entrance (Main Gate)
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Marble Plaque at the Entrance with Details of a Legal Case
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Brightly Coloured Staircases Leading To the Temple on the First Floor
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Entrance to the Temple on the First Floor
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Main Temple
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Main Altar
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Main Altar
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Main Temple Deities
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Main Temple Deities
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Praying To the Ancestors
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Wood Works
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Main Temple Area
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Memorial Tablets With Various Dates and Information RecordedChoonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Memorial Tablets With Various Dates and Information Recorded
Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Memorial Tablets With Various Dates and Information Recorded
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Choonghee Dong Thien Haue Church – Side Room with More Deities

 

Nam Soon Church

Address: 13 Damzen Lane, Kolkata 700073
Opening Date: 1820 (approximate)
Deity: Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War), Lu Ban (Carpenter God) & Caishen (God of Wealth)
Type:  Traditional Chinese
Community of: Nam Hai Province, Phan Yu Province & Shun Tak Province (Canton Region)

This is the oldest Chinese temple in the city and evidence of this can be found in the large bell which has inscriptions stating this. Each Chinese community have their own style of worship and practices thus these three provinces who had similar methodology had this temple built for themselves. Other than the temple there is also a club which operated from the room on the northern side of the temple. This temple also had age-old age home and a Chinese language school within its premises.

To locate this temple you have to walk on Damzen Lane until you reach a bend and right at the edge of the bend you will find a small gate which will take you to the courtyard of the temple.

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (53)
Nam Soon Church – Entrance
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (54)
Nam Soon Church – Temple Courtyard
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Nam Soon Church – Memorial Stone Plaques
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Nam Soon Church – Memorial Stone Plaques
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Nam Soon Church – Main Temple Door
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Nam Soon Church – Main Temple Door
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Nam Soon Church – Main Temple
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Nam Soon Church – Main Temple Deity
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Nam Soon Church – Intricate Wood Work Hanging From the Ceiling Depicting Various Scenes
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Nam Soon Church – Main Temple Deity Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
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Nam Soon Church – Caishen (God of Wealth)
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Nam Soon Church – Lu Ban (Carpenter God)
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Nam Soon Church – Temple Bell (The Original Date of Temple Construction Is Mentioned On This)
Nam Soon Church – Ornamental Armoury Used During Religious Processions
Nam Soon Church – Ornamental Armoury Used During Religious Processions
Nam Soon Church – Club Room Next To the Temple
Nam Soon Church – Club Room Next To the Temple
Nam Soon Church – Once This Board Was Filled With Photo of Club Members Later Removed During Indo China War
Nam Soon Church – Once This Board Was Filled With Photo of Club Members Later Removed During Indo China War
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Nam Soon Church – Antique Furniture

 

Ling Liang Chinese Church

Address: P-7, Hide Lane, Bowbazar, Kolkata 700012
Opening Date: 1961
Deity: N/A
Type:  Christian
Community of: All

Interestingly most of the Chinese in the city of Kolkata is now officially Christians. Even though they visit the Chinese Temples and celebrate traditional Chinese festivals most of them are now Christians. Ling Liang Church is probably the first Christian church for the Chinese located at Tiretti Bazaar.

Rev. Dr and Mrs T. David Lamb were Christian missionaries from Shanghai who came to Calcutta to spread the gospel. Since Tiretti Bazaar had the densest population of Chinese thus they set up the Ling Liang Chinese School and along with that Liang Liang Chinese Church.

Ling Liang Chinese Church – Main Church Building
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Main Church Building
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Inaugural Plaque
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Inaugural Plaque
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Interiors of the Church
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Interiors of the Church
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Memorial Plaques inside the Church
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Memorial Plaques inside the Church
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Memorial Plaques inside the Church
Ling Liang Chinese Church – Memorial Plaques inside the Church

 

Choong Yee Thong Church

Address: 19 Meredith Street, Kolkata 700013
Opening Date: 1920
Deity:  Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War) and Caishen (God of Wealth)
Type:  Traditional Chinese
Community of: All

This building was actually Mei Kong Chinese School which was built by the members of the community for Chinese children. The school became so popular that the original structure which was relatively much smaller had to be rebuilt and scaled up. With the start of Indo-China war, the population of Chinese in the city suddenly declined and so it affected the school also. It did again gain popularity but by then the city had other popular English school which was preferred then. The original location of the club was present right next to Gee Hing Church at Tiretti Bazaar and the stone plaque can still be seen out there.

There is a small temple on the terrace which can be accessed by stairs. Unlike the other temples, this remains closed most part of the day. If you want to visit then it should be before 11 AM.

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Choong Yee Thong Church (School Building)
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (76)
Choong Yee Thong Church – Main Entrance
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Choong Yee Thong Church – Interiors of the School Compound
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Choong Yee Thong Church – Photographs of Former Club Presidents and Other Group Photos Can Still be seen
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Choong Yee Thong Church – Photographs of Former Club Presidents and Other Group Photos Can Still be seen
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Choong Yee Thong Church – Located On the Terrace
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Choong Yee Thong Church –Memorial Plaque
Choong Yee Thong Church - Exteriors
Choong Yee Thong Church – Exteriors
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Choong Yee Thong Church – Altar
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Choong Yee Thong Church – Caishen (God of Wealth)
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Choong Yee Thong Church – Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)

 

Grace Liang Liang Chinese Church

Address:  14, Gobinda Chandra Khatik Rd, Topsia, Kolkata, West Bengal 700046
Opening Date: 1973
Deity: N/A
Type:  Christian
Community of: All

After the Liang Liang Chinese Church and School at Tiretti Rev. Dr and Mrs T. David Lamb who were missionaries from Shanghai opened this school for the Chinese families based in Tangra. Along with the school they built a church. Service takes place every Sunday morning and during special school activities.

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Grace Liang Liang Chinese Church
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (88)
Grace Liang Liang Chinese Church
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Grace Liang Liang Chinese Church – Foundation Stone
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Grace Liang Liang Chinese Church – Memorial Plaque
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Grace Liang Liang Chinese Church – First Floor
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Grace Liang Liang Chinese Church – Church Floor

 

Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre

Address: 8 New Tangra Road, Kolkata 700046
Opening Date: 1998 / 2012
Deity: Buddha
Type:  Buddhist
Community of: All

This was the very first Chinese temple that I had ever visited in my life and that too in Kolkata. This was actually the turning point when it comes to documenting the Chinese community of Kolkata. I had dropped my card with the centre in charge (the head monk) and from then onwards I got invited to various events and the rest, as they say, was history.

This is one of the newest religious centres in the city and along with the Buddhist temple this place also operates as a monastery, Chinese Language School and last but not the least a small eatery serving delicious vegetarian Chinese cuisine.

For me, the most attractive part was the Chinese calligraphy training that takes place at the library. If you are really serious and want to learn a new language then this is the place to be.

Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre - Entrance
Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Entrance
Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Inaugural Stone
Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Inaugural Stone
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Inside (Ground Floor)
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Inside (Ground Floor Restaurant Shop Front)
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Dining Area
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Main Temple
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Main Temple
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Statue of Buddha
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Calligraphy Training
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Calligraphy Training
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Fo Guang Shan Kolkata Buddhist Centre – Some Hot Green Tea

 

Pei May Chinese School Temple

Address: P1-2, Ishwar Mondal Lane, Kolkata 700046 (Terrace)
Opening Date: 1929
Deity: Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War) and Caishen (God of Wealth)
Type:  Traditional Chinese
Community of: All

Once this was the largest Chinese language school in the city. The size of the property can rival any big school in the city but unfortunately, with the declining population who wants to be taught in Chinese, this school started slowing down. Added to this misery was multiple legal issues which even stopped the school from functioning. Now the school is slowing regaining life and is back teaching students. However, in this school, Chinese (Mandarin) is just another subject and not the main language of teaching. At the moment this is the only functioning Chinese school in the city.

Being a Chinese institution it has a functioning Chinese temple on the terrace. This temple has a special significance during Chinese New Year celebrations at Tangra. All the Lion Dance groups must first go to the temple and pray and then perform around the town.

Entry is free for all during Chinese New Year and other celebrations, for rest of the time you need verbal permission from Beijing Restaurant since they manage this temple.

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Pei May Chinese School
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Pei May Chinese School – Temple on the Terrace
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Pei May Chinese School – Temple Altar

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Pei May Chinese School – Prayer Drums
Pei May Chinese School – Prayer Drums
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Pei May Chinese School – Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War) and Caishen (God of Wealth)
Pei May Chinese School – Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
Pei May Chinese School – Kuan Ti / Guan Yu (God of War)
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Pei May Chinese School –Caishen (God of Wealth)

 

Chinese Kali Mandir

Address: Matheswartala Road, Tangra, Kolkata 700046
Opening Date: Not Available
Deity: Kali & Shiva
Type:  Hindu
Community of: All

This is one of the most talked about Chinese temple in the city even though this is just a small roadside temple. The obvious reason is that it’s the only Hindu Chinese Temple in the city which is run and managed by the Chinese community. Over the years some Chinese have converted to Hinduism and thus started praying to Kali and Shiva. Though this is a Hindu temple some Chinese influence can be seen like that of the offering of Chinese(type) incense sticks.

The main reason why this temple is getting so much attention is the fact that the Prasad that is offered to the Hindu deities include Chinese dished like noodles. Try visiting this temple during Kali Puja and see the local Chinese community performing aarti.

 

Chinese Kali Mandir – Decorated During Chinese New Year
Chinese Kali Mandir – Decorated During Chinese New Year

 

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Chinese Kali Mandir

 

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Chinese Kali Mandir – Shiva & Kali

 

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Chinese Kali Mandir – Kali

 

Shing Yin Temple

Address: 82/1B, Tangra, Kolkata 700046
Opening Date: 
Deity: Buddha
Type:  Buddhist
Community of: All

Take the eastbound lane from Chinese Kali Mandir and you will reach this new Buddhist temple. This is relatively a new temple which is obvious with its new building structure. The main temple is located on the ground floor with the upper floor used by the temple authorities for official purposes. This temple is open for viewing early in the morning from 7 AM onwards for around an hour and in the evening at 5 PM for an hour.

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Shing Yin Temple
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Shing Yin Temple
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Shing Yin Temple – Entrance
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Shing Yin Temple – Interiors
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Shing Yin Temple – Interiors
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Shing Yin Temple – Buddha

 

Tai Shou Gung Temple

Address: 104 D/1 Matheswartala Road, Kolkata 700046
Opening Date: 
Deity:
Type:  Traditional Chinese
Community of: All

I am sure you have passed by this temple several times but failed to notice since the building does not resemble a temple. Located right next to the huge China Town Gate (Chinatown Gate) on JBS Haldene Avenue (Below Maa Flyover) this is more like a triangular building and the temple is located on the ground floor. The temple is usually open during the morning hours.

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (122)
Tai Shou Gung Temple on the Left and Chinatown Gate on the Right
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (123)
Tai Shou Gung Temple
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (124)
Tai Shou Gung Temple
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (125)
Tai Shou Gung Temple – Entrance
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (126)
Tai Shou Gung Temple – Interiors
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (127)
Tai Shou Gung Temple
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (128)
Tai Shou Gung Temple

 

Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery

Address: Adarsha Nagar, West Chowbagha, Kolkata 700100
Opening Date: 1968
Deity: Buddha
Type:  Buddhist
Community of: All

I am sure you have read about the famous Chinese traveller and this temple and monastery is named after him. The location of this temple is a bit out of the city more towards Bantala. Since most of the tanneries at Tangra were shut due to pollution concern and most were shifted to Bantala the Chinese communities extended out.

This temple is located around 15 minutes from Ruby Hospital and has a huge property which comprises of a temple of the ground floor, a community hall on the first floor, a monastery and also a small cemetery.

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (129)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Compound
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (130)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Temple
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (131)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Buddha Fountain
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Temple at the Ground Floor
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Temple at the Ground Floor
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (133)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Ground Floor Main Altar
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (134)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Ground Floor
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Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Ground Floor
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (136)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Different Avatars of Buddha
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (137)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Plaque
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Temple & Community Hall in the First Floor
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Temple & Community Hall in the First Floor
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (139)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Temple & Community Hall in the First Floor
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (140)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Various Avatars of Buddha Painted On the Wall
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Plaque Next To the Library
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery – Plaque Next To the Library
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Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery –Library
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (143)
Hsuan Tsang Chinese Buddhist Temple & Monastery –Statue of Hsuan Tsang

 

Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple

Address: 426, Sree Bhumi, Jessore Road, Kolkata 700048
Opening Date: 1962 / 1972
Deity: Buddha
Type:  Buddhist
Community of: All

This temple is located in Lake Town and is the northernmost Chinese temple in the city. Not many people know about the temple and inside a small discreet lane, you will find this massive building with the temple on the first floor. Remember to open your shoes at the entrance and then get to the first floor. Take permission from the temple owners if you plan to do photography.

 

Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (145)
Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (144)
Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple – Main Gate
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (146)
Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple – Innaugral Plaque
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (147)
Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple – Temple (On the First Floor)
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (148)
Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (149)
Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple – Statue of Buddha
Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata (150)
Calcutta Chinese Buddhist Temple – Surrounding Walls Are Covered With Brass Statue of Buddha

 

I have tried my best to cover all available and known Chinese temples and churches in the city of Kolkata. Please feel free to contact me if you know of any other temple or church that can be added to this list. All the information that I have put up against each temple or church are either from information plaques or from the elders of the Chinese community.  There can be mistakes especially in identifying the gods so please do let me know if you find anything it will ultimately help this consolidated list grow. I have not included the Chinese temple of Achipur since that is located quite far away from the Kolkata jurisdiction. I will write a separate blog about that temple.

 

Other Blogs on the Chinese Community

Chinese New Year

Dragon Boat Festival

Lion Dance Show

Lion Dancers of Kolkata

Elders Day

Chinese Breakfast in Kolkata

 

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11 thoughts on “Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata

  1. Really impressive research. I being a Chinese Indian myself from Assam didn’t know about all the temples. I only know a few, especially Nam soon voi koon as our origin is from Nam Hoi. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and information.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many places to explore in Kolkata, i used to think i have covered up almost all the interesting places there and will visit the rest but these places were beyond my knowledge, its really amazing to go through such a detail post, will surely visit as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Subhadip good read. I studied in grace Ling Liang school from LKG till grade 12. My great grandmother was the founder of tai shu gung and I was married into the tannery that once stands behind the tai shu gung temple which now stands an enormous building. My aunts in laws are active members of BLIA, the three yang sisters. I’m sure you would have met them at BLIA. So now you understand what emotions this read gave me. I am now setttled in Vancouver. Thanks again for the new year blog. Waited a whole year for it though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for writing, I actually wanted to know more about Tai shu Gung temple. Can you please tell me which year it was opened and also some information about the deities inside. The deties look very different and I asked many at Tangra but none could confirm anything. Thanks!

      Like

      1. That is a very good question subhadib which i have been wondering too ever since i was married. As you know i grew up having this altar of “su ku pho” the deity in our joint family household and i was educated in a missionary school. So during childhood i didnt realise that our family has been worshipping a different deity . Until i got married and realised that my in laws family have buddha altars. I realised this only a couple of years ago, my great grandmother is a taoist and maybe she brought this faith with her from china. Kwan yim, kwan kung , and the other deities are taoist and im sure the tangra community might not realise that they are taoist because its passed down from generations. Im guessing buddha faith are influened only when they are settled in india. Su ku pho the deity was a saint. And the lady on the left of her was a recent lady , was reincarnation of her or possessed by her ( im not sure). The temple was build in the early 80.

        Liked by 1 person

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