KOLKATA, India — Just down the street from the Missionaries of Charity outpost where Mother Teresa spent much of her life in service to the poor sits St. James’ Church, one of most prominent examples of colonial architecture in Kolkata.
Also known to locals as Jora Girja for its twin spires, the structure on Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road was built in 1862 to replace its predecessor, which had fallen into disrepair, reportedly because of ants that had eaten into its wooden beams.
The grand, sand-colored building, with its buttresses and roof with a terra cotta hue, iron gates and palatial grounds, stood out as a sanctuary from the bleating taxi horns of the city’s midday traffic. It seemed unusually opulent when compared to much of the other surrounding, sooty business signs along AJC Bose Road.
An unexpected treat to stumble upon, St. James’ Church was, alas, not among my day’s itinerary, and so I continued on my way.