Belur Math, sprawling over forty acres of land on the western bank of the Hooghly (Ganga), in Howrah district, an hour’s drive from Kolkata, is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world professing different religious faiths.
Belur Math, sprawling over forty acres of land on the western bank of the Hooghly (Ganga), in Howrah district, an hour’s drive from Kolkata, is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world professing different religious faiths. Even people not interested in religion come here for the peace it exudes.
It was at Belur Math that Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the foremost disciple of Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), lived the last years of his brief life. He consecrated the grounds in 1898 by worshipping the urn containing the sacred relics of Sri Ramakrishna, which he himself carried on his shoulders to the place of worship. On that occasion he uttered these prophetic words about Belur Math: “The blazing light of universal harmony that will emanate from here will flood the whole world.” On another occasion he said that “the power that will have its rise from here [Belur Math] will flood the whole world and turn the course of men's lives into different channels; from this place will spring forth ideals which will be the harmony of Knowledge, Devotion, Yoga, and Work ... all true seekers of spirituality will in course of time assemble here.” True to that prophecy, Belur Math has become the hub of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement.
The MONKS’ QUARTERS : Apart from the main Monks’ Quarters, there are a few other buildings in which the monks and novices stay permanently. These quarters are out of bounds for visitors and even to lay devotees.
MATH OFFICE : This is the main office of Belur Math. Situated behind the main temple, it is the nerve centre of all the activities concerning worship in the temples, annual celebration of Durga Puja and other festivals, maintenance of the premises, maintenance of monks, taking care of devotees, distribution of prasad, etc. Pranami (offerings) for worship and contributions for the maintenance of monks are received at the Math Office.
SACRED SHRINES : The imposing sandstone temple which enshrines the sacred relics and a beautiful marble statue of Sri Ramakrishna is one of the most unique temples built in modern times. It combines the architectural features of a Hindu temple, Buddhist cave, Christian church and Islamic mosque. There are also smaller temples dedicated to Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda and Swami Brahmananda.
How to reach:
The nearest airports are Bangalore (222 km) and Mangalore (194 km).
The nearest railway station is Hassan, which is 40 kms from Belur. It is connected to other prominent junctions like Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.
There are regular buses from Bangalore (222km), Halebid (16km), Hassan (40 km), Hospet (330km), Mangalore (124 km) and Mysore (149km) to Belur. There are tourist taxis that can be hired to take you from Hassan to Belur.