Heritage & Culture

Neveh Shalome Synagogue Kolkata

Neveh Shalome Synagogue is the oldest synagogue to be built in Kolkata. After an overwhelming visit to the Magen David Synagogue, we ventured for the other two synagogues of Kolkata. The Neveh  Shalome Synagogue was built by Shalom Obaida-Ha-Cohen in 1831 in the memory of his father Shalom Ha-Cohen. The Neveh Shalome is not as ornate and magnificent as the Magen David Synagogue which is situated right beside it. The entry to the synagogue is through a domed arch whose door is now hidden by the myriads of shops in front of the gate. The Neveh Shalome synagogue was...

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Magen David Synagogue Kolkata

The Magen David Synagogue touching the skylines of Kolkata stands at the busy junction of Canning Street and Brabourne Road. You could hardly see the gate of the synagogue as the gate is flanked by shops selling make accessories and junk jewellery. But you will not miss the tall tower of the synagogue which is often mistaken for a church. Welcome to one of Asia’s finest synagogues! We reached the main gate and called out for the caretaker. The caretaker opened the door and we asked whether we are allowed to visit the synagogue. He was very cooperative and...

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The Jews of Kolkata – Then & Now

My first introduction to the Talmud – Torah was during my tenth standard text book through a story called “The Needle” by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Later on read a little more in “The Class” by Eric Segal. But little did I know that our very own Calcutta had a thriving Jewish community back in the nineteenth century. Although in decline, there are landmarks of Jewish community. Calcutta had always been a potpourri of various cultures and traditions and the Jewish community which came to Calcutta were welcomed with open arms here. The Past: The Baghdadi Jewish community came to...

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South Park Street Cemetery – a tryst with Calcutta’s past

With love in their heart and memories that are forever, the tombs of South Park Street Cemetery was built by the grieving family members. South Park Street Cemetery has always been an enigmatic place for me. While in school (The Assembly of God Church School, Park Street), I was always overwhelmed by the cemetery. I always wanted to see what is there inside those gates, but finally got a chance after so long. The historic Calcutta has always interested me and South Park Street Cemetery is a perfect place to experience it. So along with Agni, I was at the Park...

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Marble Palace – A hidden treasure in the heart of Kolkata

Beginning our first post with the Marble Palace. Situated at Muktaram Babu Street, I myself did not know that Kolkata had such a treasure trove within her. This is one of the lesser known places of interest in Kolkata and thus the apt choice for my first post. Marble Palace was built in 1835 by Raja Rajendra Mallick, an affluent businessman and zamindar of those times. About a few minutes walk from the Mahatma Gandhi Road Metro station, stands the grand white Marble Palace which is a testimony to the opulence and grandeur of the period. As you enter...

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