The Ramakrishna Triangle- Where to Visit In and Around Belur Math



The first step to travel starts from the hometown itself. My hometown is also home to the worldly known “Symphony in Architecture”, Belur Math. Situated at an equal distance from both Belur Math and Dakshineswar Temple, my house is easy to access.


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The Ramakrishna Triangle: An eclectic blend of architecture forming an ecclesiastical hierarchy. A Trinity of Three Excellent Vintages and achieving spiritualism through services to humankind.


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    The Ramakrishna Triangle: Why and Where?

    Ramakrishna Triangle, as the name suggests, refers to the architectures that are connected to Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Belur Math, the primary attraction here, is a blend of various architectural forms, courtesy Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda is a World known name for preaching brotherhood, was a disciple of Shri Ramakrishna. While the other vertices being the Dakshineswar Temple initiated by another disciple, Rani Rashmoni. Rani Rashmoni was also known for her benevolence amongst the people. The third vertex of the triangle is Adyapeeth, initiated by another Shri Ramakrishna devotee, Annada Thakur.

    These three vintages stand on either side of the Ganges (river Hooghly), at Belur and Dakshineswar of West Bengal, India. All of the architectures are connected both connected by road and waterways. And the premises, especially Belur Math, practices and adheres to services to mankind. 



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    বহুরূপে সম্মুখে তোমার, ছাড়ি কথা খুঁজিছ ঈশ্বর,

    জীবে প্রেম করে যেই জন, সেই জন সেবিছে ঈশ্বর

    "Bohurupe sammukhe tomar, chhari kotha khunjichho Ishwar,

    Jibe prem kore jei jon, sei jon sebichhe Ishwar"



    [Where are you looking for God, when he is in front of you in every living being, in many different forms? Those who serve mankind (and any other living being) are serving God]



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    Belur Math: Symphony in Architecture

    A true symphony in architecture (Source: Wikipedia). The main entrance of the temple has a facade influenced by Buddhist styles in the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi and the main entrance of the Ajanta Caves. The structure which rises over the entrance is modeled on the Hindu temples of South India with their lofty towers. The windows and balconies inside the temple draw upon the Rajput (Hindu) and Mughal (Islamic) style of north India. The central dome is derived from the European architecture of St. Maria-Del-Florence in Italy built during the Renaissance period. The three umbrella-like domes on the top built in Rajput-Moghul styles give an idea of thatched roofs of the village Kamarpukur. The Natmandira, the spacious congregational hall attached to the sanctum, resembles a church, especially of St Peter's Church in Rome. The pillars in a line on both sides are according to Doric or Greek style. The beam above is held by decorative brackets similar to the Meenakshi Temple at Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The elaborate designs on the pillars resemble the Orissa style. The hanging balconies above the Natmandir and the windows show the effect of Moghul architecture used in the Fatehpur Sikri. The broad parikrama path for doing circular rounds on all sides of the Garbhagriha (Sanctum Sanctorum) is built like Buddhist chaityas and Christian Churches. The latticework statues of Navagraha figures are etched on semi-circular top of outside the temple. The golden kalasha is placed on the top of the temple and has a full-bloomed lotus below. The architecture of the big dome and of the other domes show a shade of Islamic, Rajput, Bengali terracotta and Lingaraj Temple styles. The entrance doors on both east and west of the temple having pillars on both sides are like the elegant gateways of the Manmandir in Gwalior Fort. Ganesha and Hanuman images, representing success and power are carved above them.


    Credits: Belur Math



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    Swami Vivekananda is known for his speech on the Universal Brotherhood of all Religion and the same is reflected in the architecture of Belur Math. Before its construction of the Math, he traveled far ends of the country to serve the poor and sick; he also visioned building an institution inspired by different architectural monuments. Thus Belur Math is thus an amalgamation of the different architectural forms of different religious faith.


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    A true symphony in architecture (Source: Wikipedia).



    Other institutes include Ramakrishna Museum (which exhibits Panchabati’s Kalpa Taru) Swami Vivekananda temple, Sarada Devi Temple and Brahmananda Temple, all aligned in series along the Ganges riverside. Other important buildings include the handicraft products showroom and the Advaitya library is situated before entering the premises of the Math.



    mandarmani @doibedouin
    mandarmani blog @doibedouin
    Ma Sarada Mandir and Ramakrishna Sangraha Mandir




    The breezy riverside also provides the view of the other Gangetic shore and the launches and boats ferrying passengers to Dakshineswar.

    mandarmani @doibedouin
    mandarmani blog @doibedouin
    Riverside views with Bally Bridge in the background.






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     The Math celebrates Durga Puja annually and the Kumari Puja attracts many people. Other occasions include Buddha Jayanti and Christmas Eve. Daily activities include the Sandhya arati which is really soothing to the ears.


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    Reaching There and Journeying Around: Belur Math, Dakshineswar and Adyapeath


    The journey to Dakshineswar from Belur Math can either be done through the bus route or by ferry, the choice is yours. By bus Belurmath-Garia is available every 15 min. And by ferry, launch services are available every 30 min. However, frequent boat rides are available (locally known as Bhut Bhuti). The ferry journey would include the river views of Bally Rashbari dedicated to Lord Krishna and known for the grand celebration of Rashmela in the month of November. Another ancient building of the area locally known as Bally Deshbandhu Club is also, a delight to the eyes. The building is dedicated to the great leader of modern Bengal, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. You would be going underneath the twin bridges of Nibedita and Vivekananda Setu on your ferry way to Dakshineswar. Adyapeath is near at hand. 



    The view by the Ganges is breathtaking and hence I would suggest a ferry-ride rather than by road.
     




    mandarmani @doibedouin
    mandarmani blog @doibedouin
    Belur Math as viewed from the Ganges






    Bally Bridge

    Dakshineswar: The Abode of Dakshinewsari

    Dakshineswar temple was built by Rani Rashmoni in the traditional ‘Nava-Ratna’ or nine spires typical of the then Bengal architecture. The temple is surrounded by twelve shrines of Lord Shiva. The roof of the temple spires have been grooved artistically bearing a striking resemblance to the Pirhas. It is a three-story, south-faced temple. A narrow verandah is erected later, which serves as an audience-chamber and it is attached to the sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), which houses the goddess Dakshina Kali, famously known as Bhavataraini. A huge spacious Natmandir (Dancing hall) has been erected in front of the temple.



    Dakshineswar


    The tomb of Dakshineswar Temple




    Adyapeath

    Adyapeath is a little detour from the Dakshineswar main temple. This is also a part of the Ramakrishna Sangha. The temple premises include a number of small temples surrounding the Naatmandir which opens for arati at a specific time of the day. The timings are from 10 am to 11 am in the morning and 7 pm to 8 pm in the evening. During the Durga Puja i.e. matripaksha the respective timings prepone by 30 minutes.

    Adyapeeth Natmandir


    Adyapeeth Gate


    Where to Stay

    Rashbari Garden House is well connected to all three vertices of the triangle and itself a beauty and deserves to be called as the centroid of the triangle.



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    7 comments

    1. Amazing Tips Jayashree,
      We appreciate your work and information. Thank You For sharing this useful post really this post is Awesome tips for travel to The Ramakrishna Triangle. Thanks for sharing. Keep Sharing.

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    2. I used to live in Kolkata when I was very little, and I had visited these sites a few times with my parents. Thanks to your post, not only was I able to recollect but also relive some of those memories.

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    3. What a beautiful name for a city! “Symphony in Architecture!” I certainly see why! So enchanting!

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    4. The architecture is truly stunning- especially at night when the sun casts a golden glow on everything!!!

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    5. Such majestic buildings... looks like a truly captivating place to explore. Love the tranquil river scenes too. Thanks for the inspiration and great tips :)

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    6. India really has so many fascinating regions. I learn of new ones daily and yes, the architecture is just amazing.

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    7. I would have chosen the ferry too, I'm happy you opted for it and added some photos from the ride. I really hope to visit India one day, it seems amazing.

      ReplyDelete


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