What Wikipedia Won't Tell You About Bally Rashbari Garden House- A Heritage Homestay in the Making


November end was always spectacular for me as it denoted the week-long celebration of Rashyatra,  more as Rashmela with those riot of colors filling the grounds of the Rashbari premises of Bally.  Not only did it meant the ride of the Ferris-wheel to me,  but a visit to the old high-ceilinged rooms of the Rashbari,  courtesy my father’s friend living there.  The rooms fascinated me even more, with the railed (we say Kori boroga) roofs and the high bed,  all echoed sophistication in itself. The younger me was indeed taken by the grandeur of the building.  With my growing years,  my father’s friend shifted,  so did the Mela (fair)  to the outer grounds and thus our approach was limited as the public access of the building grounds which consisted of the Nat Mandir in the Centre.  And last Sunday I felt the same enthusiastic me photographing the all-renovated architecture; going down the memory lane and revisiting the past,  however with an all-new look. 


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Opening your windows to the morning sun, with the first sun rays casting its shimmery reflection on the ebbing water level of river Ganges; or absorbing the morning serenity seated amidst the greens listening to the chirpings of the birds; or descending the iron steps to have a dip in the Ganges in a more private ghat; or witnessing a twilight silhouetted by the trio temples- Bally Rashbari offers it all, in one heritage homestay.


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    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The right trio shrines of Shiva


    A Look into the Background

    The Bally Rashbari dates back to the 19th century,  founded by Shri Purna Chandra Daw.  The lineage passed onto Shri Atanu Daw, and it is his conception of remolding this historical place into a heritage homestay.  


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    The manor of Sree Sree Radharaman Jiew is now owned by Shib Krishna Debottar Estate, and managed and administered by its Sole Shebait and Trustee. However, the senior-most member of the Daw family still holds the decision-making authority bestowed upon him by the ‘arpannama’; Shri Ashim Chandra Daw, being the senior-most, acknowledged his son’s idea in renovating the heritage of the estate. 


    ***

     
    The Rashbari premises have their own garden lawn by the banks of River Ganges; the garden is again set in a triplet before paving for the ghats. 




    The Temples in The Courtyard

    The walkway from the gates first stops at the Radharaman Nat Mandir,  a typical Nabaratna temple structure, placed centrally in the garden,  with a Rasmancha on the left and a Thakur Dalan on its right.  The Thakur Dalan and the Natmandir are yet to be renovated. Daily puja vidhis are performed in the Natmandir with the locals visiting at the Puja hours. 




    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The temple architecture typically represents the Nabaranta style of Bengal temples. The temples are parallelly built in two sets of lines. One has the Nat Mandir in the center while the other has the clock tower in the center.


    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Rasmancha, renovated and colorful


    Going beyond,  these structures are frontlined by the symmetrical system of six "Atchala" Shiva temples,  three on each side of the mid-placed Clock tower supported on Corinthian pillars.  These Shiva shrines are of typical Atchala Bengal Temple Architecture and are renovated with the golden-hued designs. This line of structures marks the start of the lawn which is by the river banks.  The lawn is divided by a paved road in the center to the ghat stairs,  edged by iron gates at the waterfront.


    The clocktower is built on twelve Corinthian pillars, symmetrically dividing the line of the atchala Shiva temples. A thick pillar supports the structure centrally.

    The clocktower is built on twelve Corinthian pillars, symmetrically dividing the line of the atchala Shiva temples. A thick pillar supports the structure centrally.


    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Six atchala Shiva temples, three on each side of a clock tower paves the way for the Ganga ghat for public use.


    The Café


    Towards the inside of the restored house premises, a café greets you in. A statue of Vivekananda sits by the entrance signifying the connection of the place to the Ramakrishna Triangle. The café has a comforting ambiance.  


    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The café receiving you to the interiors of the Garden House.


    The Section: Uttarayan


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    Uttarayan has two twin double bedded air-conditioned suites with common bathroom and balcony and directly opening to the garden along the riverside. [Tariff: INR 4000 for the room]


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    Opposite to the café is a single-storeyed building and is named Uttarayan. It also leads to the backyard by the banks of the river with a renovated seating arrangement in between the trees, a perfect blissful place to have your morning tea.  One would also find a gated ghat with iron steps here; a personalized bathing ghat one might say.

    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Uttarayan- exterior and inside.


    Uttarayan also has a mini "Baithhakkhana", so if you are lazy enough to not walk to the garden you can have your sip of tea right here. 

     
    The Baithhakkhana @ bally rashbari
    The Baithhakkhana (Photo Courtesy: Mr. Sagar Sen)


    The Garden by the Ganges



    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The backyard is beautifully molded into a garden. A perfect place to watch the sunrise or witness the Ganges in her truest form!





    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The backyard with the seating arrangement


    The Main Building: Kadambini Devi Nivas

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    Kadambini Devi Nivas has four double-bedded air-conditioned suites with attached bathroom and balcony overlooking the temples [Tariff: INR 3500 for the room]


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    The main three-storeyed building is named Kadambini Devi Nivas (named after Shri Purna Chandra Daw's mother) with the first and second floors offering the stay. Each floor has two rooms, and a verandah overlooks the temple structures and the garden. My personal favorite is the second floor as it gives a panoramic view of the Ganges too.  So you could just sit by and watch the world go by.



    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The vibrant interior of Kadambini Devi Nivas.


    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The view from the second floor of the Kadambini Nivas





    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The Rashbari Garden House- a perfect staycation worthy homestay by the Ganges!



    The Dining



    The ground floor of the main building serves as the dining. Although slightly compact, when compared to the usual dining, the interior is courteously decorated. 


    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The dim-lit interiors of the dining. I personally loved it.



    Food

    All rooms include complimentary breakfast. The breakfast and evening snacks are vegetarian dishes only. However, lunch and dinner are available with fish dishes. Veg Meal charges INR 250 per meal and Fish meal is INR 450. 



    Why Bally Rashbari Garden House?

    Undoubtedly a perfect location for a homestay with all bare necessities in your grip. The railway station of Belur Math and Belur are easily accessible with the road connection just by the property.  State Bank of India is situated at the main road turning,  so one would be financially connected too.  Heritage sites of Belur Math and Dakshineswar is at a stone's throw from the Rashbari.  And the Rashbari itself lights up during Ras,  Janmashtami and now Holi as well.  The craving of the ramblers is thus met with an all-in-all package to enjoy Nature’s bliss as well as the city life with a touch of serenity,  given the Ganges’ presence. 




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    For me, it was cherishing and revisiting childhood memories with my father. And with the homestay in motion, it would be raising the tourism mercury of the area.


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    Tariff


    • Uttarayan: INR 4000 per day per room with complementary breakfast
    • Kadambini Nivas: INR 3500 per day per room with complementary breakfast
    • Daytour (timing from 9 am to 5 pm): INR 1500. This includes breakfast, lunch (with fish) and tea and snacks at around 4.30 pm.
    • Pre-wedding photoshoot charges: INR 10000 for six hours, food, tea, snacks would charge extra. 


    Best time to Visit


    Pancham Dol (in March) is celebrated in the premises of Rashbari; as the name suggests it is the 5th day from the Dolyatra. The Rashbari would light up from the eve of Pancham dol, celebrating the Holika Dahan (similar to a bonfire) signifying the eternal win of good over the evil,

    Janmashtami, (August) celebrating the birth of Krishna.

    Ras, (November) when there is a weeklong fair outside the campus.


    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin


    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    The colors of the street just outside the Rashbari during the Rashmela. A delight for the street photographers.



    Contacts


    One might contact through their Facebook page for booking. AirBnB link would be updated soon.

    One might directly book over the phone: 9836040344 / 9051525307 / 9830710203





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    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin
    Bally Rashbari Garden House @DoiBedouin




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    15 comments

    1. Really enjoyed the post! I have been to Belur Mat and Dakshineswar. Would absolutely love to stay here once it is accessible to the public the next time I visit with the family. Looks so beautiful!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. The homestay is started with few rooms for the time being and the renovation still going on. But I would recommend a stay in the upcoming Holi or even Janmastami.

        Delete
    2. What a beautiful place! The architecture and details are so elegant. Holi would be a great time to visit!

      ReplyDelete
    3. Hi, I am a member of the Daw family, wife of Atanu Daw. I would like to compliment you for writing this beautiful article covering almost all the important aspect of the Rashbari.
      And special thanks to the photos which have been posted which is so appealing in sync with the beautiful place. The photos deserves special credit.
      Rgds
      Bindu Daw

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Wow... Thank you mam for those nice words... The appreciation means a lot

        Delete
    4. That architecture is just mind-blowing and the pictures do it great justice. It's lovely to stay in a historic and cultural building.

      ReplyDelete
    5. I love reading about India because the architecture amazes me and I love all the bright colors. This looks like an amazing place with a vibrant energy!!

      ReplyDelete
    6. This place looks absolutely amazing. Your post really captures the beauty through your photos! I've never heard of these festivals before but they sound wonderful, too!

      ReplyDelete
    7. This place is amazing - from the history to the private bathing ghat, I would want to experience it all!

      ReplyDelete
    8. This looks like a beautiful place to stay. Amazing detail and fascinating history too! And you included so much helpful information in the article - thank you :)

      ReplyDelete
    9. I'd love to stay here should I ever get to visit India! I like the fact that it has a private garden and ghats by the Ganges. It must be beautiful at sunset.

      ReplyDelete
    10. Such a great article, and it looks absolutely incredible! I really want to visit India, have been wanting to go for years haha. I should really start planning a trip soon, and would definitely visit Rashbari garden house:)

      ReplyDelete
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