It was a beautiful morning last December, I and Siddhartha, my husband started from my house on a cab for Rashbari Garden House, Belur. Little did we know we were not just travelling we were going to make memories to last a lifetime. Rashbari Garden House is a temple complex and a new addition to the heritage properties now turned into luxury hotels/resorts of Bengal. As we reached the gates of the mansion,we saw everything was locked, not even a single person could we see. What we saw was a series of temples with the backdrop of river Ganga and that was enough to give us chills that morning.
We were quite uncertain about how we would be received in Rashbari Garden House, Belur. We did our full research about the place depending on the numerous blog posts available on the internet. Since the place where I stay with my husband is quite near to Belur, we planned for a day trip. I got the number Of Mr Shubhajit Datta from the Facebook page of Rashbari Garden House, Belur and I also contacted few travel bloggers who had recently been there for a trip.
But when I called Mr Shubhajit Datta from Twin Tour who is now in charge of this “Bagan Bari” just a day before we had planned the trip, he said they don’t allow day trips inside the complex and also it won’t be possible to arrange an overnight stay in the mansion. I called him again and after much persuasion, he finally agreed. I was a little surprised that since they had turned this heritage property into luxury hotel why did I need to request so much. Anyway, alls well that ends well and our visit was confirmed next day. I would suggest you make a call prior to your visit and avoid sudden arrival.
We stood outside the gate for around 15 minutes trying to figure out from which way to enter. Then I had to call Mr Shubhajit Datta again and he said he is sending someone fast. After around 5 minutes a boy came and unlocked the gates. He looked like a caretaker and received us well. He asked us to sit and rest for some time in the cafe as he got our registration and other things ready. By the time we reached and entered lunchtime was almost approaching and he said it won’t be possible to prepare lunch but he could arrange some tea and snacks. The staff there was very courteous and made sure we had a comfortable stay.
Rashbari Garden House Temple Complex- a brief detail
To begin with a little history the Rashbari Garden House, Belur was founded by Shri Purna Chandra Dawn, the eldest son of Shri Shiv Krishna Dawn of Jorasanko in the year 1890. It has been a commendable work of one of Atanu Dawn one of the youngest members of the family who undertook the task of renovating this mansion. The temple complex consists of a Nabaratna Temple, nine pinnacled temple dedicated to Radharaman Jeu, a Naat Mandir along with a Raasmancha and Six aatchala Shiv temples, a popular pattern seen in the temples of West Bengal.
When we were there only one of the Shiv temple was opened and we offered our prayers. There is a clock tower supported on twelve Corinthian pillars located in between the eight Shiv temples and also two Nahabat khanas on either side, out of which one is restored and the other one is in quite a deplorable state.
When I looked at the Raasmancha and the two Nahabat Khanas I could see a great resemblance to Jewish architecture. Raas Mahotsav and Janmashtami are celebrated on a grand scale in the temple complex. When we visited the caretaker told us that the two-storied building on the left of the temples where we checked in is renovated.
There is another structure renovated in the centre named “Uttarayan” and you can enter the backyard of the complex through this. The backyard is extremely beautiful with a garden and lawn by the bank of the river Ganga. Sid and I spent most of our time enjoying the fresh December breeze there. Inside the Uttarayan are the Baithakkhana, where I engaged sometime in taking selfie-moments.
Day Trips and picnic can be arranged inside the complex but we were told in these cases photography isn’t permitted. While we were there we saw few ladies were enjoying a picnic party on the open field in front of the Shiv Temples.
How to reach there-
Since we stay in Madhyamgram, Kolkata we took an Ola Cab to reach the location. The bill was Rs 545 and it took around one hour to reach the place as the location was in a congested area. You can also take a ferry ride from Kuthi Ghat in Boranagar to Belur Math and from Belur Math, you can take either an e-rickshaw or just walk for 10-15 minutes to reach the property.
The whole mansion was empty, Sid and I were the only guests and guess what they asked us to choose whichever room we want. So we selected the best one on the second floor with a beautiful view of the river Ganga and the entire temple complex (The room we stayed was Rs 3500 for a night). After some time a guy came to call us to come down and enjoy the Puja Bhog.
Since we didn’t have any breakfast they served us tea and the Bhog that consists of Lucchi and Alu shobji. Such a beautiful gesture. We filled our tummy and spent some time in the lawn. It was just 1:00 pm and the same guy suggested that we must visit the Belur Math which is just around a distance of 15 minutes walk from there. At around 2:00 pm, Sid and I visited the Belur Math which was at a stone throw distance. We spent a splendid time there besides the Ganga. It was also the first time I had visited the Belur Math.
When we returned the evening arati was going on in the Radharaman Jeu temple and lots of ladies from the vicinity had gathered around. I too participated in the arati and had such an exalted feeling. The idols of Radha and Krishna seemed full of life. We returned back in the evening and immediately offered Tea and hot pakoras, which we had ordered before we left for Belur Math.
They took the order for dinner and the rest of the time we spent in the lawn again. It was chilling cold but even the cold air felt like it was touching our soul. such was the ambience of the place. We could hear sounds of chants and temple bells from a distance as the whole place was surrounded by temples. It was so full of bliss. We had our dinner at around 9:30 pm and it was quite lavish. So many dishes that I was almost full halfway. Nevertheless, I had it all as I wanted to taste everything that was served.
I woke up the next morning, it was bright and beautiful. After having tea in our rooms, we went for breakfast at around 9:00 am. The normal check out time was at 9:00 am but since they had no more guests for the day, they asked us to take our time and spend a few more hours.
They also asked us for lunch but the breakfast was so filling that we had no more space left. Finally, we checked out at 1:00 pm. The caretakers and other people around the complex were very well-mannered and made great efforts to ensure we had a comfortable stay. It was one of the most pleasant stays within the city. We are also planning to attend the Raas Festival, hopefully, next year.
This year I also visited the Itachuna Rajbari with my friends and you can read all about my trip here-
Hope you liked reading about Rashbari Garden House, for any further query you can contact on their Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/rashbarigarden/
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