Belur Math or Belur Muth is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal. It 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. The serene campus of belur math on the Ganga includes temples dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, in which their relics are enshrined, and the main monastery of the Ramakrishna order. The place has been sanctified by the stay of Swami Vivekananda and most of the monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna who spent several years here. Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi also visited this place on several occasions. The room in which Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi has been preserved here. The headquarters of the worldwide twin organizations known as Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission are also situated here.
Belur math is a place of pilgrimage for people of different religious faiths. This place of religious importance is visited by people from all over India and abroad. The main gate of belur math leads to the Ramkrishna Sarada Mandir. Swami breathed his last breath on 4th July, 1902 at this place. His memorial lies within the Math. His commodities are carefully kept in his room and is displayed to the people. belur math has also provided other things such as an art college, an industrial school and charitable dispensary. belur math is free from bigotry and sectarian rational and is 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.
This shrine is situated at Belur Road on the banks of the river Hooghly, in Howrah. Belur Math is the international headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission which is 16.5km from Dakshineswar across the Hooghly (Ganga). It was founded in1899 by Swami Vivekananda, the world famous yogi and disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa.
Swami Brahmananda (1863-1922), whose place among the sixteen monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna is only next to that of Swami Vivekananda, was the first President of the Math and the Mission. The temple, which stands on the spot where Swami Brahmanandas body was cremated, was dedicated in 1924.
Originally conceived by Swami Vivekananda, this temple was dedicated on 14 January 1938. It enshrines the sacred relics of Sri Ramakrishna. Architecturally, this temple has an important place among the modern temples of India.
To the southeast of the old shrine stands Swami Vivekananda’s room. In this room, the great Swami lived, and here he attained Mahasamadhi on 4 July 1902. Most of the articles preserved in this room were used by him at different places and times.
The Old Shrine
It is situated to the north-east of Sri Ramakrishna Temple. This was the original shrine, where daily worship was conducted from January 1899 till the new temple was consecrated. This shrine awakens the hallowed memory of Swami Vivekananda and other direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna who used to worship, meditate and sing.
Swami Vivekananda Temple
The Swami Vivekananda Temple stands on the spot where Swami Vivekananda's mortal remains were cremated in 1902. Consecrated on 28 January 1924, the temple has in its upper storey an alabaster OM (in Bengali characters). Beside the temple stands a bel (bilva) tree in the place of the original bel tree under which Swami Vivekananda used to sit and near which, according to his wish, his body was cremated. On 4 July 1902 at Belur Math, he taught Vedanta philosophy to some pupils in the morning. He had a walk with Swami Premananda, a brother-disciple, and gave him instructions concerning the future of the Ramakrishna Math. He left his body (died) in the evening after a session of prayer at Belur Math. He was 39. Vivekananda had fulfilled his own prophecy of not living to be forty-years old.
The Samadhi Enclosure
The earthly remains of seven of the sixteen direct monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna were cremated here. Their names are engraved on the marble plaque which stands on this spot.
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport to Belur math is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose international airport, kolkata.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Belur math is Howrah junction. From Howrah local trains to Howrah-Burdwan line touches Belur Station.
By Road: Buses are available from Howrah station. Other vehicles are also available to reach this place. Ferry services are available from many Ganges ghats of Kolkata to Belur Math.