Belur Math is the temple where faith meets with spiritual peace. It is an institution not only to bring the sense of God but also this institution develops the brain how to stand at one’s own feet, how to be independent?
Belur Math in Howrah is located on the bank of Ganga River. It is regarded as ‘a Symphony in Architecture’. This temple is one of the architectural wonders of our country that represents the idea of Universal Faith and Universal Brotherhood.
Belur Math was conceptualized by Swami Vivekananda and his followers, the renowned disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansadeva who took Hinduism to the Western world. The simple idea and vision of Sri Ramakrishna Deva has inspired millions. Ramakrishna Mission stands as an excellent work of the Great Monk and his brother disciples who pledged to serve the humanity selflessly.
Belur Math is located on the banks of Ganga River. The 40 acre of temple complex includes temples dedicated to Lord Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. The campus of Belur Math also has a museum containing artefacts related to the history of Ramakrishna Mission, the cenotaph and epitaph of Swami Vivekananda and his brother disciples and the house facing the Ganga where Swami Vivekananda spent his last few days.
The architecture of the temple of Belur Math is the combination inspired from the architectural design of different religious faiths- Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. The main gateway of the temple is modelled on the high temple entrances of South India with a hint of Buddhist style.
The central dome of the main temple is a replica of European architecture from the Renaissance period while the floor is made in shape of the Holy Cross of Christians. The other three umbrella shaped domes are inspired by the thatched roof styles of Kamarpukur village of West Bengal, the birth place of Sri Ramakrishna.
The exterior walls of this monastery are adorned in Ajanta (Ajanta Cave) styled architecture with different figurines of celestial beings of Hindu Religion. The windows and balconies remind the Rajput and Mughal architecture of early medieval era and late medieval era.
The temple is mainly built of chunar stone and cement. The height of the temple is 112.5 feet and covers a total area of 32,900 sq ft.
There is a large Natmandir or congregation hall attached to the main temple building with Greek styled pillars on both side and embellished with decorations inspired from the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai.
There is a beautiful pathway for doing parikrama or circular rounds around the main sanctum sanctorum that is built like the Buddhist chatiyas. There is a golden pot placed on the top of the central dome underneath a full-bloomed lotus. With Belur Math gives us an amalgamation or sangam of global architecture, which replicate the vision and idealism of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. If you want to visit to Belur Math it is easy to reach there. From airport or from Howrah Station, take a cab or public vehicle that will take you to Belur Math via Vidyasagar Setu. And if you are residing inside Kolkata, take the buses which are going to Dakshineshwar Temple.