Belur Rasbari in Howrah district of West Bengal is located close to Belur Math and just opposite to Kuthi Ghat in Baranagar on the other side of the Ganges. This Rasbari was founded by Purna Chandra Dawn, eldest son of Shiv Krishna Dawn of Jorasanko on 21st Jaistha, 1297 and according to Gregorian calendar it was in June, 1890.
The temple complex houses a nabaratna (nine pinnacled) temple dedicated to Radharaman Jiu, naat mandir along with a beautiful Rasmancha, six aatchala (eight roofed) Shiv Mandir facing the Ganges and two Nahabatkhanas on either side, of which one is renovated. There is also a clock tower in the temple complex.
The temple complex also had several bighas of land which now has been utilised for providing heritage homestay thereby converting Belur Rasbari into Rasbari Garden House. The achievement goes to Atanu Dawn, whom I met almost a year ago and, from him came to know of this homestay. At that time only the cafe has been completed and I sat with him and enjoyed a beautiful experience. He told me about his plan to convert it into homestay and providing picnic and day out facilities. All this things are in a separate area connected with the temple complex. Several new structures have come up including a cafe with tiled roof and a two storied building just close to it from where can see the Ganges.
I visited the Rasbari a number of times and saw the renovation work going on. I enjoyed a memorable experience when I attended the Rash festival (Kartick purnima) last year (2018). The idols of Radharaman Jiu were taken out of the main temple and placed on a throne inside the Rasmancha. A month long fair was also held during that time.
At present two furnished bed rooms with attached bathroom in the first floor along with two four bed rooms are ready to welcome guests Several of the old structure are being renovated including the guest house. One can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Ganges by sitting on the lawn and may witness the puja of Radharaman Jiu.
I was told apart from homestay, picnic and day out facilities are also being offered to the guests and there is also a catering facility where delicious vegetarian food is served. To stay there during the special days like the Rash festival, pancham dol (the fifth day after Dolyatra) and Janmastami and to witness the festival will definitely be a memorable experience.
With this homestay, Rasbari Garden House has joined other heritage homestays like Baithakkhana Amadpur, Bawali Rajbari Itachuna Rajbari and Balakhana Heritage Homestay, Maheshganj Estate, Nadia to name a few.
Date of posting: 23rd January, 2019.