Home > Calcutta Heritage, General, Howrah, Rasbari FAM > Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

Also see: First visit of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

My first visit to Rasbari was almost a year back and things have changed a lot. The clock tower have been renovated and the clock has started ticking.

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The lit up Rasbari Garden House Complex, Belur, Howrah

The number of two beaded rooms have increased from two to four. The old white pavilion shaped building remains the same with the two for bed rooms and the big drawing room.

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The Ras Mancha, Radharaman Jew Temple at the Purna Chandra Daw Thakurbari

This time the visit was different from my first solo trip, as this time we were a gang of six. The same gang that have been on a Familiarization Trip to Bari Kothi, Azimganj.

History of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

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Lit up Clock Tower, Rasbari Garden House

Rasbari Garden House in Belur, Howrah is the latest addition to the heritage hotels or homestays of West Bengal.

But it is different, it is not just a heritage homestay but a entire temple complex overlooking the might Hooghly River.

It also doubles up as a picnic spot and a day out gateway and even serves as a pilgrimage for Kolkatans.

The Purna Chandra Daw Thakur Bari temple complex, centred around the Radharaman Jew Temple, dates back to the late 19th century and was built by Purna Chandra Daw of Jorasanko Daw family.

Apart from the nine pinnacle temple of Radharaman the temple complex houses a Ras mancha, 6 aat chala Shiva temples, two domed pavilions, a flat roofed pavilion and a welcome gateway crowned with a clock.

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Lit up Ras Mancha, Rasbari Garden House

There are also a couple of guest houses and servant quarters. The Rasbari was once the hub of activity of the Daw family, with the Ras festival as the prime centre of attraction.

Over the years several members of the Daw family have left for Kolkata and other greener pastures, in different parts of the country and abroad.

But the temple continued to function, but it lacked its former glory. The years of utter neglect has taken its toll with several of the structures crumbling down.

But the new generation of the Daw family have different ideas. Atanu Daw has tied up with Twins Tour, run by the twins Subhajit and Abhijit Datta, they specializes in walking tours covering traditional households in north Kolkata.

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Lit up Shiv Temples of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

With the advice of the twins, Atanu Daw plans to turn the century old Daw Rasbari into Rasbari Garden House providing homestay, picnic and day out facilities not only for Kolkatans but also for tourist visiting Kolkata.

Rooms and Facilities at Rasbari Garden House

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Residence part of the Rasbari Garden House

Presently the Rasbari Garden House hosts two four bed rooms and four two beds rooms. The two four bed rooms are housed in the white pavilion styled guest house of the Rasbari. The guest house also contains a large sitting area laid out with antique furniture.

The four double bed rooms are housed in the nearby three storied building. The first and second floor contains two rooms each. The rooms have a simple layout with large beds, in the process offering lot of open space.

The ground floor of the three storied building houses the dinning hall, capable of serving about 12 – 16 guest. Apart from the dinning room there is a titled roofed cafe usually used for evening tea and snacks. The lawn by the river side are provided with tables and chairs where guest can simply sit and enjoy the activities on the Hooghly Ruver.

Food at Rasbari Garden House

Being a temple complex food served at the Rasbari Garden House is usually veg, however fish is served on special request but meat is totally off the menu. The food served are unique and the century old recipes are carefully collected from traditional Bengali families of Kolkata.

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Left to right: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Rasbari Garden House, Belur

A usually breakfast consist of luchi and white potato curry along with a sweet. Lunch consists of rice, dal and several veg curries including alu posto, kach kalar kofta, etc. The lunch ends with chutney and sweets. Dinner is similar with a choice between rice or roti or both and with two fish dishes. One Katla fish and another prawns / pabda / paarsee, etc.

Activities at Rasbari Garden House

Located at the banks of the Hooghly River the Rasbari Garden House at Belur is a place ideal for relaxing. One can sit on the banks of the river for hours over cups of tea or coffee and watch the fishermen casts their nets.

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View from the Belur – Dakshineswar ferry at the Belur ferry ghat

For those who want activity, a visit to the near by Belur Math is a must (timing 6:30 am – 12 pm and 3:30 pm – 8:30 pm). The more active ones can opt fro a ferry ride from Belur to Dakshineswar.

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Panoramic view of Belur Math from Belur – Dakshineswar ferry

The Belur Math ferry ghat is about 20  minutes walk from the Rasbari Garden House. The route passes through the Belur Math. The ferry takes about 20 minutes to reach the Dakshineswar ferry ghat.

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The sun sets behind the Rasbari Gaerden House, Belur, view from Belur – Dakshineswar ferry

The ferries are usually not crowded and one can move about the ferry to get the right photograph. The ferry will sail past the Belur Math on the left, next will be the Rasbari Garden House. The ferry offers a panoramic view of the entire complex and are totally different from those within the complex.

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Beneath the Vivkanand Setu (Bally Bridge)

There are several other temple complexes and ghats along the river and  Finally the ferry passes beneath the twin bridges of Nivedita Setu and Vivkanand Setu (Bally Bridge) and finally docking at the Dakshineswar ferry ghat.

A meandering road lined with makeshift stalls leads to the temple entrance. Photography is allowed inside the temple complex but totally restricted inside the main temple complex. Even entry with mobile is prohibited.

There are a quiet a few vantage points for photographing the temple from outside the main complex and the river bank provides a great view of the Vivkanand Setu (Bally Bridge)

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Lit up Dakshineswar Temple from the Dhakineswar Ferry Ghat

Note:

  • Fare ₹ 11 per head for a one way journey
  • Ferries depart every 30 mins
  • The journey takes about 20 mins
  • The last ferry leaves Dakshineswar at 7:00 pm, plan you journey accordingly

Ras Festival at Rasbari Garden House

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Idol of Radha Krishna at Ras Mancha

Being a Radha Krishna temple Ras happnes to be the prime festival of the Purna Chandra Daw Thakur Bari. The festival happens in mid november and stretches over a week attracting hundreds of locals.

The original idol of Radha Krishna, known as Radha Raman, is housed inside the Radharaman Jew Temple. On the day of the Ras the idol is taken out and displayed at the Ras Mancha.

The Krishna or Raman idol is made of black stone and the Radha is made of an alloy of eight metals (asta dhatu). For security reasons the original idol is displayed in the Ras Mancha only on the day of the Ras. For the week long festivities a replica of the idol is displayed at the Ras Mancha.

The week long festivities attract a huge local crowd both inside and outside the temple complex. The complex is cleared only at 9:00 pm, so if you are looking for solitude do avoid the festive time.

For people who want to enjoy the festivities this is the time to visit the Rasbari Garden House, and enjoy the endless street food opportunities from the innumerable food stalls that line the approach road to Rasbari. No stalls are house inside the temple complex.

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A sweet shop, Ras Fair, Rasbari Garden House, Belur

From a varieties of phuchka (pani. dahi, jelly and chocolate) to ghugni and from varieties of deep fried pokaras to a amazing assortment of sweets and the options are simply unlimited.

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Ice Cream Pokora

But the centre of attraction was the ice cream pokora. One inch cube ice cream of different flavours were coated with a combination of bread crumbs, grounded corn flakes and some secret ingredients which the shop keeper didn’t want to mention.

They were quickly fried in high temperature oil and served with chocolate or butterscotch sauce. No wonder they sold like hot cakes.

Although food stalls were the centre of attraction there were several other stalls selling costume jewellery, key chains and toys for kids.

Overall the festive atmosphere was something to be enjoyed and presents a sharp contrast against the solitude of the Rasbari Garden House.

Quick Facts of Rasbari Garden House

Location: Next to Belur Math (Google map location)
Charges:
      1. Night Stay: Double Bed ₹ 3500. Four Bed ₹ 4000. Complimentary Breakfast
      2. Food: Veg meals ₹ 400 Fish Meal ₹ 600
      3. Day Trip: 9 am – 5 pm. Rs 1500 per person for a minimum of 4 persons
      4. Visit: Rs 150 per person. Complimentary tea. No photography allowed
      5. Picnic: Picnic fecilities are available for large groups, charges on request
      6. Destination Wedding: Destination wedding is also available, charges on request
Contact: Subhajit Datta – 9051525307 and Avhijit Datta – 9836040344
Note: Information provided are as on Nov 2019

Ras Bari Group

Our team at Rasbari Garden House, Belur

Special Thanks:

  1. November 27, 2019 at 12:55 AM

    A great post – most interesting!

  2. April 16, 2020 at 9:36 PM

    Interesting post

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