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TEMPLES IN SIKKIM

TEMPLES IN SIKKIM

BELUR  MATH

JUST OUTSIDE KOLKATA, On the west bank of the Hooghly river, is Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission. The order was established in 1897 by the dynamic, reformist Hindu crusader, Swami Vivekananda  Ramakrishna Paramhansa’s foremost disciple. The modern temple ‘ within the sprawling complex was built in 1938 and embodies Ramakrishna philosophy, based on the unity of all faiths. The ground plan is in the shape of a cross, the windows have arches reminiscent of Mughal buildings, the gate shows Buddhist influence, and Hindu architectural motifs decorate the façade. Smaller temples and dormitories for the monks belonging to the order surround it. The place is spotlessly clean, and the atmosphere contemplative and calm. Today, the Mission has centres across the world.temples and dormitories for the monks belonging to the order surround it.

The place is spotlessly clean, and the atmosphere contemplative and calm. Today, the Mission has centres across the world.temples and dormitories for the monks belonging to the order surround it. The place is spotlessly clean, and the atmosphere contemplative and calm. Today, the Mission has centres across the world.temples and dormitories for the monks belonging to the order surround it. The place is spotlessly clean, and the atmosphere contemplative and calm. Today, the Mission htemples and dormitories for the monks belonging to the order surround it. The place is spotlessly clean, and the atmosphere contemplative and calm. Today, the Mission has centres across the world.as centres across the world.

DAKSHINESHWAR

NORTH OF Belur Math, on the east bank of the Hooghly river, stands the temple of Dakshineshwar, one of Bengal’s most popular pilgrimage spots. The temple, built in 1855 by a rich and pious widow, Rani Rashmoni, was initially opposed by orthodox religious interests as she was not a Brahmin (the highest Indian caste). No Brahmin was therefore willing to he the temple priest. Only Ramakrishna Paramhansa then still a boy, agreed, and philosophy of the essential oneness of all faiths. His room in the temple complex is still preserved in its original state. The impressive whitewashed temple is set on a high plinth and topped by nine cupolas. The roof, with its line of rounded cornices, stands out impressively against the sky. Inside the sanctum is an image of Bhabatarini, an incarnation of the goddess Kali. Within the large compound, strung along the river bank, are 12 smaller temples, each dedicated to the god Shiva. Crowds of pilgrims visit the Dakshineshwar temple daily, lending the sprawling temple complex a cheerful, bustling atmosphere.

 SHYAMA RAYA TEMPLE IN BISHNUPUR

BISHNUPUR, CAPITAL OF the Mallabhumi kingdom between the 17th and the mid-18th centuries, is renowned for its elaborately adorned terracotta temples, made of the local red clay. The most imposing of these is the Shyama Raya Temple, built in 1643. It is richly decorated with scenes from Lord Krishna’s life as well as episodes taken from the epic Ramayana. Other motifs in the temple include scenes of hunting, boating and military processions.

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