4.6 / 5

Belur Math

📍 Belur, West BengalView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:October to March

⏰ Open Hours:6:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

🏞 Things To Do:Explore the temple, Visit the museum, Enjoy the serene environment, Participate in prayer and meditation sessions

💰 Budget:No Entry Fee

🧳 Traveller Types:Family, Solo Travellers, Religious Tourists, History and Culture Enthusiasts

🔍 Known For:Headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Architecture amalgamation of Hindu, Christian and Islamic styles, Serene Environment

📍 Distances:From Howrah Railway Station: 6.5 KM, From Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport: 16 KM

📸 Photography:Allowed outside the temple. Not permitted inside.

👗 Dress Code:Conservative dressing recommended

♿ Accessibility:Wheelchair accessible

📜 Historical Significance:Built by Swami Vivekananda in memory of his teacher and guru, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

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Belur Math: A Spiritual Oasis in Kolkata | Explore the History & Culture of Ramakrishna Mission

Are you looking for a place to experience peace, tranquility, and enlightenment in Kolkata? If yes, then you should visit Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Belur Math is not just a temple, but a symbol of universal faith and harmony.

It is a place where you can witness the fusion of different religions and cultures, and learn about the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda. Belur Math is also a place where you can enjoy the beauty and diversity of nature, architecture, and art.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Belur Math, including its history, significance, attractions, timings, location, and how to reach it. We will also give you some tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your visit to this spiritual oasis in Kolkata.

History and Significance of Belur Math

Belur Math was founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1897, after his return from the West. He wanted to create a place where people from all walks of life could come together and practice spirituality without any distinction of caste, creed, or religion.

He also wanted to establish a center for social service and humanitarian work, inspired by the ideals of his guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Sri Ramakrishna was a mystic and a saint who preached the unity of all religions and the divinity of all beings. He lived in Dakshineswar Kali Temple, where he had his spiritual awakening and met his disciples, including Swami Vivekananda.

Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi was the wife and spiritual consort of Sri Ramakrishna, who embodied the ideal of motherhood and compassion. She played a vital role in nurturing and guiding the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna after his passing away.

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Swami Vivekananda chose Belur as the site for his ashram because it was close to Dakshineswar and also had a serene and scenic environment on the banks of the Hooghly River. He designed the main temple himself, which was completed in 1938 after his death. The temple was dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, whose relics are enshrined in it. The temple is also a tribute to Swami Vivekananda’s vision of one universal faith, as it incorporates elements from different religions and cultures in its architecture.

Belur Math is now the headquarter of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, which is a worldwide spiritual movement that promotes harmony, service, and peace. The math is the monastic wing of the movement, which focuses on personal development and spiritual practice. The mission is the philanthropic wing of the movement, which engages in various social welfare activities such as education, health care, disaster relief, rural development, etc. Belur Math is also a place of pilgrimage for millions of devotees who come here to seek inspiration and blessings from Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, and other disciples.

Architecture and Attractions of Belur Math

Belur Math Temple is one of the most unique and beautiful temples in India. It reflects the vision of one universal faith that Swami Vivekananda had. The temple has a majestic dome that resembles a mosque or a church. The spires on the four corners are inspired by Hindu temples. The windows are shaped like Buddhist chaityas or arches. The entrance has a verandah that resembles a Rajput palace or a gurudwara.

The walls are decorated with motifs from Christian art or Islamic calligraphy. The temple is made of red sandstone from Rajasthan and white marble from Makrana. The temple has a spacious hall that can accommodate thousands of people. The hall has a marble image of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa sitting on a lotus pedestal. The image was sculpted by Gopeshwar Pal, a famous artist from Bengal.

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Within the Belur Math campus, there are other individual temples dedicated to Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami Brahmananda. Each temple has its own distinct style and charm. The temple of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi is made of white marble and has a simple yet elegant design. It has an image of Holy Mother sitting on a throne with her feet on a lotus pedestal.

The temple was inaugurated in 1921 by Mahatma Gandhi. The temple of Swami Vivekananda is made of black stone and has a Gothic style. It has a statue of Swami Vivekananda standing on a rock, which symbolizes his famous speech at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. The temple was built in 1932 on the spot where Swami Vivekananda was cremated. The temple of Swami Brahmananda is made of red brick and has a Bengali style. It has a marble image of Swami Brahmananda sitting on a tiger skin, which represents his mastery over the senses. Swami Brahmananda was the first president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission and a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.

Also check out: Belur Math: A crown of divine spirit

Belur Math also has a Ramakrishna Museum that showcases the life and works of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, and other disciples through exhibits, photographs, relics, etc. The museum is located in a two-storey building that was formerly the residence of Swami Vivekananda. The museum has six galleries that depict the different phases and aspects of the lives of these great personalities. The museum also has a library that contains books, journals, magazines, and audio-visual materials related to Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

How to Reach Belur Math

Belur Math is easily accessible by road or ferry from Kolkata or Howrah. Here are some details about how to reach Belur Math by different modes of transport:

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By Road:

You can take a taxi, bus, or auto-rickshaw from Kolkata or Howrah to Belur Math. The distance is about 10 km from Kolkata and 6 km from Howrah. The fare depends on the type of vehicle and the traffic conditions. The road route passes through some famous landmarks such as Howrah Bridge, Rabindra Setu, and Vivekananda Setu.

By Ferry:

You can take a ferry from Babughat or Fairlie Place in Kolkata to Belur Math Ghat. The ferry service is available from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays and from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekends and holidays. The fare is Rs. 10 per person for a one-way trip. The journey takes about 30 minutes and offers a scenic view of the river and the city.

By Rail:

You can take a local train from Kolkata or Howrah to Belur Railway Station, which is the nearest railway station to Belur Math. The station is about 2 km away from Belur Math. You can take a rickshaw or walk from the station to Belur Math. The train fare is Rs. 5 per person for a one-way trip. The train frequency is every 15 minutes.

By Air:

You can take a flight to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, which is the nearest airport to Belur Math. The airport is about 15 km away from Belur Math. You can take a taxi or a bus from the airport to Belur Math. The taxi fare is around Rs. 300 for a one-way trip. The bus fare is around Rs. 50 for a one-way trip.

Belur Math is a place that will enrich your mind, body, and soul with its spiritual atmosphere and cultural heritage. It is a place that will inspire you to live a life of harmony, service, and peace. It is a place that will make you feel closer to God and yourself. If you are planning to visit Kolkata, make sure you include Belur Math in your itinerary. You will not regret it.

You may also like to check out: What You Seek Is What You Find!

We hope this article has given you all the information you need about Belur Math. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments section below.

If you want to book your trip to Belur Math or any other destination in India, you can visit our website and explore our amazing offers and packages. We are here to make your travel dreams come true.

Belur Math Reviews

We then went to Vivekananda Showroomwhich displayed Swamiji's life in seven parts. Next time I am there, I will take my notebook. Mobiles had to be switched so could not take notes and I could not remember so much stuff either. I am perfectly okay to spend another ten bucks for the ticket to be here for my notes. Lunch/ Prasad For those who are keen to have Prasad (Lunch) there in Belur Math, need to pick coupons between 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM and lunch is served at 12:00 PM. We were no where in that area at that time so we munched spicy puffed rice (For INR 20, the quantity is too much to be consumed by one person), some fries made of sago grains which is again too much to eat though we just bought one packet for ten bucks, some liquor tea and had some chopped guava stirred with spices that was selling at INR 120 for a kilo. Belur Museum One of my favorite spots here is the Museum. As my mother was visiting the place after over five decades, as soon as the main gate opened exactly at 3:30 PM, we first headed towards the Museum. The tickets are still INR 5 per person The miniature of every place Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sarada and Swami Vivekananda visited or stayed, the articles they used (Even Tooth powder container and safety pin), the letters they wrote, the clothes they wore, the furniture they had seriously can give anyone goosebumps just thinking that we are roughly two centuries apart and able to see them so close. It almost feels like they are around. The Main Temple We then head to the main temple, meditate for some time, do Japa - then walk to cover each memorial where earthly remains were consigned. Celebrations Ahead There were temporary pandals being setup for forthcoming celebrations of Holy Mother Sarada's birth anniversary. The program schedule was in display outside the main gate. The gardens with flowers of different colors is truly a photographer's delight. The crowd crazily posed to click dozen selfies and group pictures completely ignoring the "Photography Prohibited" board. The temporary blindness was from both parties and amusing - the ones who clicked were blind to read board and the authorities who were supposed to ensure adherence to rules, were blind to see the crowd clicking. I did not click a single photograph - Yes, I am the only devotee that follows rules. God does not let me break rules in his place to minimize wrong doings in my account. My phone died long before I entered Belur Math. So did photography. The Memorials The last time I visited Belur Math a couple of years back, I missed seeing the memorials where the earthly remains were consigned of Swami Vivekananda, Sarada Devi and the first president of Belur Math, Swami Brahmananda. Now matured with age and information from different sources, visiting these memorials was in my priority list The Dispensary There is a charitable dispensary of the Math that treats patients for fever, cough and cold, stomach ache etc. I observed this only that day, not during my last visits, as I was wandering around munching fries and puffed rice - waiting for the main gate to open. The Highlight Of The Day I was supposed to visit Belur Math on my birthday 18th December. It was raining that day and hence we visited yesterday little knowing that we will be fortunate to be blessed by Swamiji. We did not even have to wait in the Queue. Immediately after seeing the memorials, we were supposed to go out of the small gate to the store Pallimangal to purchase some incense sticks, when we saw a line thinning as people headed towards a building and it immediately struck me thatGuru Darshanwas in progress. We literally threw our slippers and got in just in time to offer Pranam to Srimat Swami Smaranananda ji Maharaj, the current president of the order. All that loitering for three hours, waiting for the Main Gate to open at 3.30 PM was worth it. AfterDarshan,as I stood outside the room watching Swamiji at a distance, I observed a man in late eighties, fingers in gloves trembling, sitting still, patiently letting each one of us offer ourPranam, selflessly on a cold winter evening - just for us, our well being, our solace, to put our minds to rest. My eyes glistened and just then a person called out to collect the Program Schedule for 28th December. I picked one printed copy and walked out of the building, feeling blessed. Pallimangal, Integrated Rural Development A friend had mentioned about this store recently and I wanted to check this out. I was pleasantly surprised at the range of product they have and reasonably priced. I picked two boxes of Sandal Incense sticks (50 in each box) for just INR 34/- You have many grocery items like Phenyl, ghee, soap, honey and other items bags, purses, mats, etc. This is very different from the Book Store within the premises that has books and photographs. This one is an outlet for the produce made by a rural population. This place takes care of both senses and soul. The view of the Ganges, the visuals of the garden, the collection of books, the lively crowd, the peace in the atmosphere, the synergy in the prayers makes this much more than just a spiritual center. As we left the premises of Belur Math,as the dusk dawned and the large screens installed there showed the proceedings taking place in the main building, the crowd seemed relaxed, settled, sitting on the grounds, the clicking subsided and I wondered, what next? It is the peaceful moment and the mood that sets in with it that finally caught up with the crowd as the natural light faded and the environment was artificially lit. It is the connect to the tranquility that made most of the crowd let go of the noise they brought with them and finally receive what this place is supposed to offer the seeker - A slice of divinity!! Originally published here
This place was started by Lord Ramakrishna Dev's disciple, Swami Vivekananda. This place is not only a place of worship, but it's an admirable piece of art if it's viewed from the eyes of an artist. The main temple, has been constructed quite beautifully with minute detailing to every nook and corner of the structure. The place where Lord Ramakrishna Dev's idol is placed, is made in such a way that devotees can get a clear view from the corners as well. There are shrines of Goddess Sharada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. You could even think of spending the night there as there are clean and well maintained guest houses and delicious food (veg though.) served to guests. Also, you might get to witness the 'Arti' at the temple at dawn. Now this might sound quite petty a thing, but it does instil a lot of inner peace and tranquility.Local's tip: please keep your gadgets in your bags, switch off your cell phones and please don't try clicking pictures from any corner of the campus. This is considered to be punishable. Also, if you want to take a dip in the river Ganga, you are gladly welcome, but make sure you carry spare clothes with you. Try not littering the place, not because it's punishable, but you don't want to carry around the guilt of littering a place that's clean and beautiful as Belur Math, which has maintained this reputation for over 200 years.
This place holds a special place in my heart because this was the only place where I could write and words came to me, a bit easy. Belur math is the headquarters of Ramakrishna mission and you can see monks all wrapped in orange robes meditating. Personally, I found this place very peaceful and there is an aura of positivism that surrounds this place. There is a beautifully crafted temple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa and just sitting there for 5-10 minutes will fill your mind with peace and tranquility. Best way to reach this place is to first visit Dakhineswar Kaali temple which is almost 150 years old and located on the bank of Hooghly river and pay homage to the Holy Shrine and then, take a boat ride which runs under WBSTC from Dakhineswar to Belur. It takes around 15-20 minutes for the boat ride and it's a must do thing. Earlier they had those small wooden boats ( like the ones in Swades Movie) which I personally loved but now there are big vessels that is used for transportation. In all, this isn't the ride you can afford to miss. Try to take a stroll from Belur harbor to Belur temple with those birds chirping as you move pass those small lanes surrounded by small houses.
4 pm: Belur Math After satiating the bibliophile in me, it was time for some spiritual pursuit. I took a taxi ride to the peaceful Belur Math. The Temple, located on the banks of the Hooghly River, was founded by Swami Vivekananda and is now the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math religious organization. The temple incorporates architecture and designs from Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Housed inside the Math is the Ramkrishna Sarada Mandir, where regular prayers take place. This is the place where Swami Vivekananda resided and died in 1902. A monument commemorated in his memory stands within the Math premises right beside River Hooghly. I chose to walk around the gardens for a while before entering the temple. Photography is strictly prohibited at Belur Math. So make sure you don’t snap any photos as there are plenty of security guards around. After visiting Belur Math, I walked down to the river pier and stepped into a local crude motor ferry boat to reach the Dakshineswar Kali Temple.
Winter mornings are the best thing of Kolkata. It is the most preferred season for many reasons – travel to the city of joy, short weekend trips from here, fairs, food and celebrations. My recent Instagram stories are all around #KolkataWinter #Besttimetotravel #CityofJoy The Christmas experience in Park Street, various craft and hand loom exhibitions/ fairs in different parts of the city or sweets with liquid date Jaggery are all specialties of Kolkata winter. Most of us who stay in Kolkata know Nicco Park, Science City, Alipore Zoo, Museum, Eco Park are all crowded during Christmas holidays. So, my family planned a quiet visit to Belur Math. A Toto to BarrackporeChiriamore INR 10 per person A Bus to Bally Khal INR 12 per person A Bus to Belur Math INR 7 per person
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