"VISIT TO DAKHINESHWAR TEMPLE AND BELUR MATH" Kolkata (Calcutta) Travelogue by pravdr

Kolkata (Calcutta) Travel Guide: 695 reviews and 2,322 photos


On the banks of holy Ganges right from its origin near mt kailash in the himalayas to its meeting the bay of bengal are situated spiritual centres and temples.

One such place in Kolkata is the Dakhineshwar temple and right across the river the Belur math.

Belur math is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna mission http://www.sriramakrishna.org .sri ramkrishna parmahansa and Swami Vivekananda are the foremost monks who brought its philosophy to the fore.

It is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world, professing different religious faiths.

The Ramakrishna Order stands as a symbol of the eternal truths of religion tested and embodied by Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda and their message of harmony of religions, divinity of the soul, renunciation and service.

The Dakhineshwar temple however is unique temple of its kind.

This temple is associated with one of India's greatest religious philososphers - Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (Gadadhar Chattopadhyay - 1836-1886)

The Dakhineshwar mandir is decorated with portraits of all faiths and cultures - you’ll get to see pictures of Rama Laxmana, Radha in meditation for Krishna, a marble image of Buddha and Jesus Christ dragging Peter who is about to be drowned in the sea

The Goddess installed in this temple is named Dakhineshwari Bhabatarini.


Rani Rashmoni devi built the dakhineshwar temple after goddess annapurna appeared in her dream and directed her to do so.

She patronized Shri Ramkrishna Paramhangsha as the guardian of the Dakhineshwar temple. She held high the aspects of Hinduism which was the result of her spiritual attitude.

Sixty bighas in the village of Dakhineshwar by the river Ganga was bought in 1847.Half of it was the graveyard for the muslims and the other half was the cremation ground for the Hindus.thus the foundation of synthesis of all religions was established the moment the temple land was bought.later on espoused by sri ramakrishna paramahansa.

Mackintos and company of calcutta got the contract for construction of bathing ghats and embankment for 1lac and sixty thousand rupees.

On either side of the Ghat were built six Shiva temples, i.e. twelve in all along the River Ganges and each temple was given a distinct name. The real Shiva is Jogeshwar Shiva and the rest eleven are his protectors and are called Rudras.

The Kali temple is crowned on the top by nine jewelled minarets

Kali made of dark stone stands with her foot on the heart of her husband Shiva whose body is of white marble. Kali is adorned with varied ornaments and clothed in the famous indigenous handloom silk. She is a goddess with four hands - she holds a kharga and the cut head of a demon, with her right hand she blesses. She wears a necklace of skulls.


This bridge should not be confused with the howrah bridge which is a cantilever suspension bridge.this is a span bridge.

It is a double corridor bridge road and rail connecting dakhineshwar with bally.

It is an important connector to NH6 to mumbai and NH2 connecting Delhi.

Its presence is most conspicuous on the banks of Dakhineshwar.

When going towards belur math by boat you cross the bridge and if lucky u can also hear the rumble of the train above adding to the atmosphere.


As you leave the embankment jetty at dakhineshwar ghats. the picture changes dramatically.

When on the ghats you are one of the many in the sea of devotion and humanity while in the river you actually see the ghats and appreciate their rich cultural heritage and tradition.

The backdrop of the dakhineshwar spires illuminated in the seeting sun with the sea of devotion on the ghats is a sight to behold.


the most ideal times to visit belur math are early morning wherein the early morning nip on the hooghly is so pleasant or in the evening.

Free from bigotry and sectarianism, rational and modern in outlook, the Math and the Mission are committed to the task of ushering in a new age in which distinctions of caste, creed and class do not exist, we reach fullness in God

the Belur Math premises include the main monastery, several temples and the Headquarters of the twin organizations of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission

The consecration of the Math was performed by Swami Vivekananda on 9th December 1898 and the monastery was housed at this place from January of the following year.

The places to see inside the math are

The main attraction at Belur Math is the temple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa

The Old Shrine To the north-east of Sri Ramakrishna Temple is situated Math Office and the Old Shrine. This was the original shrine where daily worship was conducted till the new temple of Sri Ramakrishna was consecrated

Swami Vivekananda's Room To the south-east of the old shrine stands the building where Swami Vivekananda stayed

Swami Brahmananda's Temple

Holy Mother Sarada Devi's Temple

Swami Vivekananda's Temple The temple stands on the spot where Swami Vivekananda's mortal remains were cremated.

Samadhi Enclosure The earthly remains of seven of the sixteen direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna were cremated here

Ramakrishna Museum

A bigger show room - Saradapitha - is situated outside the main gate near G.T. Road where Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature and other articles are sold

Inside the Math premises, Pallimangal (integrated rural development project) runs a show-room for the sale of its training products.


When leaving at belur math i was deeply ensconed in thoughts thinking about the great men who lead the ideological philosophical and religious movement.

Such men lead a simple life welth of knowledge is what they have they leave behind a legacy which inspires many generations.

It made me imagine about the times of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Kolkata in those days.no doubt the thinking prowess of saints like Swami Vivekanada was way beyond their times.

These centres make your pilgrimage worthwhile by putting your mind at ease.
making you think about a holistic approach towards life and pray to the eternal spirit that abodes inside each of us.

  • Page Updated Jul 28, 2005
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