Move over Victoria Memorial and Princep Ghat, we bring to you a list of stunning attractions in Kolkata that are off the beaten track. The city of joy is much more than just the usual fare. If you love exploring new places which are less infested by people, you ought to go through this. So, if you are looking for something a little different, here’s our list of top 5 unusual places in Kolkata, which are a must visit.
- The Lower Circular Road Cemetery – Also known as General Episcopal Cemetery, the Lower Circular Road Cemetery was established in 1840 and is one of the largest cemeteries in Kolkata. It is situated at the crossing of Park Street ( Mother Teresa Sarani ) and Mullick Bazar (Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road). It is spread over 33 acres of land and we can find more than 12000 graves in it. While South Park Street Cemetery is widely popular amongst the people of Kolkata, not many know of this particular cemetery, which has a beauty of its own.
While you can visit this place anytime round the year and it remains open till evening daily, the best time to visit this is on All Souls Day when the entire place is decked up with candles adding a spectacular charm to the place. Among the notable graves, we can find those of John Drinkwater Bethune, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Sir Haren Mookerjee, C.F. Andrews among others.
- The Pareshnath Jain Temple – Situated on the northeast side of Kolkata, near Manicktala at Badridas Temple Street, the Pareshnath Temple, constructed in 1867, is an extraordinarily beautiful place which looks like a set right from a movie. Decorated with mirrors, colored stones, and mosaics made of glass, the temple was built by a Jain art connoisseur named Rai Badridas Bahadoor Mookim. It comprises of four different temples within the area and the main temple is built in the honor of Sri Sital Nath Ji, known as the 10th Jain Avtaar. The stream in front of the temple is a treat for the eyes and is surrounded by gardens and colorful flowers. The stunning mirror laid pillars and other architectures made of stained glass further adorns the place, making it a must visit for tourists.
- Mother’s House – Located at 54A A.J.C Bose Road, Kolkata, the Mother House of the Missionaries Of Charity has been the home of Mother Teresa and her sisters from 1953 to the present day. This is where the Saint lived, worked and guided her religious family across the world. Mother was laid to rest here in 1997, and the place has a soothing charm of its own which fills the mind with peace and tranquility.
A museum is there for the visitors, which has Mother Teresa’s sandals, her dinner bowls, her sari, the rosary, her hand written letters among other things. You can see Mother’s room where she stayed and worked, maintained in all its simplicity. The Missionaries Of Charity is open from 8 am to 12 pm and again from 3 pm to 6 pm on all days except Thursday. You can take photographs of the holy tomb and her statue, while photography in the museum is generally restricted.
- Chinese Kalibari – Unusual as the name may sound, but there is actually a Chinese Kali Temple in Tangra area of Kolkata, something which you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Whenever you visit the place, you will always find Chinese people putting off their shoes, folding their hands, bowing before the Goddess and praying with full devotion. There are certain special days, on which you can make a visit to see the celebrations in the temple where people from all over the place come together to take part in the rituals. Among these special days, are Kali Puja, Diwali, and others.
While the main devotees here are Chinese, the temple follows the traditions of ancient Hinduism as in every other Hindu temple. During Kali Puja, the Chinese people light candles which are considered holy for them and along with it, they also burn handmade papers to ward off evil spirits. Special Chinese incense sticks are lit making the aroma here distinct from other temples in and around Kolkata. And the best part? The bhog which is offered to the Goddess here is also Chinese and comprises of noodles, chop suey, rice and vegetable dishes.