Belur Math and Ramakrishna Mission are global, non-political, non-sectarian spiritual organizations that have been engaged in various forms of humanitarian and social service activities for more than a century.
Belur Math is the headquarters of the famous Ramakrishna Math and Mission. It was founded by Swami Vivekananda, the main disciple of Ramakrishna ‘Paramahamsa’. Belur Math is one of the important institutions in Kolkata and the core of the Ramakrishna movement.
Inspired by the ideals of abandonment and service, monks and believers of Belur math and missionaries serve millions of men, women, and children without caste, religious or ethnic distinctions because they saw the eternal God.
Overview of Belur Mth
Belur Mth or Belur Muth is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, the main disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
It is located on the west bank of the Hooghly River in Belur, West Bengal. For people of different religions from all over the world, this is a place of pilgrimage. Even people who are not interested in religion come here to seek peace.
The quiet Belur mth campus on the Ganges includes temples dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, its cultural relics, and the main monastery of the Ramakrishna Order.
The residence of Swami Vivekananda and most of the monastery disciples of Sri Ramakrishna stayed here for several years, making this place holy. The Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi also visited this place many times.
The room where Swamiji obtained Mahasamadhi was kept here. The headquarters of the global twin organization known as Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission is also located here.
Belur mth is a place of pilgrimage for people of different religions. People from India and abroad have visited this place of religious importance. The main entrance of Belur mth leads to Ramkrishna Sarada Mandir.
Swami made his last breath at this place on July 4, 1902. His memorial is located in mathematics. His merchandise is carefully kept in his room and displayed to people. Belur Mth also provides other services such as art schools, industrial schools, and charity pharmacies.
Belur mth is not bound by paranoia and sectarian rationality and has a modern sense. The Math and Mission are committed to opening a new era in which there is no difference between caste, creed, and class.
History of Belur Mth
Swami Vivekananda (Swami Vivekananda) and a small group of Western disciples arrived in Colombo in January 1897.
He established two math, one in Belur, which later became the headquarters of Rama Krishna Mission, and the other in Mayavati in the Himalayas, Himalayas, in the Champawat district of Uttrakhand, hence the name “Advaita Ashrama”.
The main purpose of these monasteries is to train young people so that they will eventually become “Samyanasi the missionary of Ramakrishna” and train their workers. In the same year, charity activities began and the famine was reduced.
The days of Parivrajaka, the wandering monk before he visited the religious parliament, took him through many places in India and visited several architectural monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri Palace, Divan Ey · Palaces in Haas, Rajasthan, ancient temples in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and other places.
During his travels in the United States and Europe, he encountered buildings of modern, medieval, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural importance.
It is worth noting that Vivekananda incorporated these ideas into the design of the Belur Mth temple. Swami Vijnanananda, the brother monk of Swami Vivekananda and one of the disciples of the math preached by Ramakrishna, his life in front of the math.
The middle is a civil engineer who designed the temple based on the ideas of Vivekananda and Swami Shivananda. Therefore, the then president of Belur Math laid the foundation on May 16, 1935. This huge building was handled by Martin Burn & Co. This mission declares Belur Math as an architectural symphony.
What are some important features of the Belur Mth?
1. In the temple’s Garbha Greha, a marble statue of Sri Ramakrishna was carved on a marble lotus platform with Brahmi Hansa engraved on it. His sacred relics are kept on the platform.
2. Behind Garbha Greha above God’s Shayan Kaksha (recumbent room), there is a Bhandaar (Holy Item Shop) attached. However, the kitchen where Boga (the cooked food to be cooked) is located in another place behind Garbha Greha.
3. The canopy above the gods was made by a carpenter from Sarkiah (4 km south of Belur Math) using special teak wood shipped from Myanmar (Burma).
4. Garbha Greha is placed on a concrete foundation board with an area of 27 square meters and a thickness of more than 1 meter.
5. Thick stone slabs, bricks, and concrete were used on the walls of Garbha Greha, and only chunar sand and stone were used for cladding.
6. Surki (brick dust) was prepared locally and sand was collected from Magra (near Panduah) in Hooghly district.
7. The dome is made of Chinar stone, brick, and cement concrete. Galvanized iron bars have been used to resist tensile hoop stress.
8. The floor of the Garbha Mandira and the Nat Mandira has been laid on with white and black marble stones respectively.
9. The Nat Mandira and the Garbha Mandira are structurally separate. They are attached by an expansion joint that is not easily visible to visitors.
10. All the doors and windows of Garbha Mandira and the Nat Mandira are made up of choicest teak wood imported from Burma (Myanmar). The work was done by Chinese carpenters and the fittings were procured from a Bombay (Mumbai) based company at concessional rates.
11. Lampstands (made of copper) on the temple platform were cast by a local artisan.
12. The estimated cost of the temple was six lakh rupees (1935), but on completion (1938), the actual cost came to around eight lakh rupees.
13. Almost the whole expenditure of construction of the temple was borne by the generous donations from two disciples from the USA.
Quick Read: Hanuman Garhi History, Folklore and Facts
How to Reach Belur Mth?
Belur Math is located in the northern part of Howrah, about 4 km from Howrah Railway Station. Therefore, all modes of transportation can be used from outside Howrah Train Station and bus station.
Tourists can travel by car, bus or taxi. From Howrah, you can take bus 54 to Belur. The local train also goes to Belur Math.
However, it is more convenient to take the bus, car, or taxi to the door of math. Although, it takes about half an hour to get there from the train station or bus station.
What are the places to visit near Belur Mth?
- Ramakrishna Museum
- Swami Brahmananda temple
- Holy Mother’s temple
- Swami Vivekananda Temple
- Sri Ramakrishna Temple
What are the Timings at the Belur Mth?
|April to September
|6:00 AM to 11:30 AM
|6:00 AM to 11:30 AM
|October to March
|6:00 AM to 11:30 AM
|6:00 AM to 11:30 AM
|Ramakrishna Museum (Tuesdays to Sundays) April to September
|08:30 AM to 11:30 AM
|04:00 PM to 6:00 PM
|Ramakrishna Museum (Tuesdays to Sundays) October to March
|08:30 AM to 11:30 AM
|03:30 PM to 05:30 PM
Since Swami Vivekananda put the relics of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa here and conceived a unique temple to accommodate, Ramakrishna Temple in Belur Math is an international pilgrimage site.
To pay tribute to Sri Ramakrishna’s versatility and omnipotent sacred personality, he envisioned a great mansion that combined various architectural features of monuments around the world.
Swami Vivekananda thought that the math will embody the distinctive features of different religious beliefs so that everyone who comes to the Ramakrishna temple will feel at home and aware of the principle of universal brotherhood.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can we stay at Belur Math?
Yes, but to stay in these guest houses you need to have prior permission from the Math Authority. Around 500 monks stay in Belur Math. Belur Math has 3 guest houses outside the campus of the Math. One guest house is meant for staying of Foreigners who visit Belur Math from abroad and the rest are for Indian devotees & public.
Why Belur Math is famous?
Belur Math is the international headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission. It was founded in 1899 by Swami Vivekananda, the world-famous yogi, and disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. The Belur Math shrine represents a church, mosque, and temple when viewed from different angles.
How do I join Belur Math as a monk?
To join Belur math as a monk you must undergo a training period of 3 years as pre-probationer, 2 years of training as a probationer at the Training Centre of Belur Math, the Head Quarters of Ramakrishna Order. He will become a Brahmachari with a new name and the prefix ‘Chaitanya”.
Who was Ramkrishna Paramhansa Dev?
Ramakrishna Paramhansa was one of the leading Hindu spiritual leaders in 19th century Bengal, nay entire India, Ramakrishna Paramhansa was born as Gadadhar Chattopadhyay on February 18, 1836, in Kamarpukur, in Hooghly district of West Bengal.
How can I get Diksha from Belur Math?
Mantra Diksha is given only by one or two designated senior-most monks of RK Math (President / Vice President of Belur Math) and as and when such a monk visits the branch (maybe a once or twice in a year), you can get intimated.