Baranagar and Dakshineswar are two adjacent towns at the northern fringes of Kolkata, West Bengal. Both towns have a rich cultural heritage.
Baranagar (Bengali: বরাহনগর BAW-rah-(hoh)-naw-gohr) is on the banks of the Hooghly River. In the 17th century, Dutch merchants set up a residence here and made it a large business hub at that time, and the center of the jute industry. It has become a major industrial centre for the manufacture of agricultural and industrial machinery, chemicals, castor oil, several jute products, matches, and numerous cotton-processing companies.
Dakshineswar (Bengali: দক্ষিণেশ্বর DOHCK-khih-nehsh-shawr) is home to one of the most important religious shrines for Hindus and people from all over the world visit Dakshineswar Kali Temple every day in numbers. Along with the Kali temple, there are other important Hindu temples like the Adyapeath temple, Sarada Math and so on. Because of the large number of temples in the town and the Hooghly River, a distributary of the Ganges, flowing by, it is also regarded as a twin of Varanasi by the locals.
Baranagar and Dakshineswar have a well transport chain for travelling the tourist spots and going different sides of the towns.
The Calcutta Chord Link Line Chord Link of the Kolkata Suburban Railway has stops at 1 Dakshineswar and 2 Baranagar Road.
The North–South Line 1 of the Kolkata Metro runs along the CC Link Line, with stops at Dakshineswar, Baranagar and Noapara.
There are several state highways and other roads, like Barrackpore Trunk Road (SH 1) and the Belghoria Expressway. They intersect at Dunlop Flyover, a large viaduct.
There are a set of parallel bridges across the Hooghly River - Vivekananda Setu and Nivedita Setu - between Dakshineswar and Bally. Between Naihati and Bandel, there only is a railway bridge. Numerous ferry ghats connect the two banks of the Hooghly River.
- 3 Dakshineswar Ghat. You can enjoy a 20-30 minutes boating ride from Dakshineswar to Belur Math. Sunset on the Hooghly river behind Vivekananda Setu from the bank is superb. In winter you will enjoy the most with the set of dusk and chill wind blowing over your body.
- 4 Kuthi Ghat, Baranagar. A palace on the banks of river Hooghly, established by Dutch merchants in the 17th century, as Dutch Kuthi, one of the heritage sites of Kolkata. The place was named "Kuthi Ghat" after the palace.
You can find auto stands at Dunlop, Bonhooghly, Ananya, Tobin Road, Banerjeepara, Kuthi Ghat and Noapara.
- 1 Adyapeath Temple, Dakshineswar, ☏ +91 33 2564-6999. A three-pinnacled temple dedicated to Goddess Adya.
- 2 Alambazar Math. Second monastery of Ramakrishna Order. Swami Vivekananda first put up here after coming back from abroad.
- 3 Baranagar Math. First monastery of Ramakrishna Order. After the death of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda and some of his other disciples permanently started to live here. Here, they decided to establish Belur Math for the first time.
- 4 Kacher Mandir (Glass Temple), 1, Pran Krishna Saha Ln.
- 5 Kripamayee Kali Temple (Joy Mitra Kalibari). A navaratna (nine-pinnacled) temple of Goddess Kali worshipped as Kripamayee (she who is merciful). There are twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- 6 Mahamilan Math, 7/7, PWD Road. The Annapurna Temple and the Omkarnath Temple are two attractions here.
- 7 Pathbari Temple. A place where Chaitanya Mahaprabhu set his foot on his way to Puri in the early 16th century.
- 8 Sri Sarada Math, Dakshineswar, ☏ +91 33 2564 5411. Daily ritual worships are performed here by the nuns. The birthdays of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, and other personalities are celebrated here, besides the Hindu festivals. Religious discourse and lectures are also done regularly.
Dakshineswar Kali TempleEdit
- 9 Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Rani Rashmoni Rd (local: Dakshineswar Chord Link ; metro: Dakshineswar 1 ), ☏ +91 33 2564-5222. 6:00AM-12:30PM and 3:00PM-8:30PM. Free.
A huge temple complex with the famous Hindu navaratna (nine-pinnacled) temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is worshipped here as Ma Bhavatarini. The temple complex was was inaugurated by Rani Rashmoni in 1855. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was the head and only priest of this temple from 1856 to 1886. He spent most of his life in the Nahavat-Khana chamber of the temple complex.
After Ramakrishna's death, the temple complex had been taken over by the then-Government of Bengal, later the Government of West Bengal. It attracts thousands of worshipers around the year, especially on the day of Shyama Puja, Shiva Chaturdashi, Pôila Boishakh, Akshaya Tritiya, New Year's Day and Kalpataru Utsava.
Beside the main temple, there are twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva along the Hooghly River, a Radha-Govinda temple, a bathing ghat and a shrine dedicated to the temple's founder. There's a complex of trees north of complex called panchavati, which consists of banyan (vata), peepal (ashvattha), neem (nimba), amla (amlaki) and wood apple (bilva). This is where Ramakrishna performed his advaitic sadhana in 1865.
- 10 Nivedita Setu (Second Vivekananda Bridge). A cable-stayed bridge over the Hooghly River. It runs parallel to and around 50 m (160 ft) downstream of Vivekananda Setu. ₹60.
- 11 Vivekananda Setu (Bally Bridge). The 880 m (2,890 ft) long rail-cum-road bridge was built in 1932 as Willingdon Bridge and later renamed Vivekananda Setu. Free.
- 1 Baranagore Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama High School (BRKMAHS), 37, Gopal Lal Tagore Rd, Baranagar, ☏ +91-33-2556-3817, fax: +91-33-2556-3817, firstname.lastname@example.org. Founded by Yogindranath Tagore (the disciple of Swami Brahmananda) in 1912. This institution celebrates many cultural programmes throughout the year. Many people come to watch those cultural events every year.
- 2 Narayani Cinema Hall, 15, Surya Sen Rd.
- 3 Sonali Cinema Hall, 140, BT Rd.
Throughout the year many cultural festivals like Durga Puja and Kali Puja are well celebrated here. Baranagar is famous for Durga Puja in Greater Kolkata. Every winter, "Ajanta Circus" is held at Sinthi Circus Maidan.
- 1 Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Baranagar. Founded by the statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in 1932, the institute is often considered one of the foremost centres in the world for training and research in statistics.
- 1 Chandrani Pearls, 153/1, BT Rd (Baranagar Chord Link ), ☏ +91 033 25789025. 10:30AM - 9PM. Ornaments of pearls.
Eat and drinkEdit
Major food chains include Wow Momo (140, BT Rd). Major cafe chains include Cafe Coffee Day (BT Rd). You also can get lassi in several sweets shops, in Anandamayee Sweets many kinds of lassi like mango, dahi etc. are available. In the Alambazar area, you could get lassi in a sweet shop. In the Dunlop area, near Baranagar railway station and Sonali cinema hall, several fruit juice shops are available. You can also visit "Dunlop Coffee House" for coffee.
- 1 Anandamayee Sweets, 209, BT Rd, ☏ +91 2577 0120. 7AM - 10PM. Traditional Bengal sweets, curd (in Bengali "doi"), ice cream, dhokla, lassi.
- 2 The Cric World, 44/51, BT Rd, ☏ +91 09830415213. Noon - 11PM. Multicuisine restaurant.
- 3 Dhaka Birayani House, 144, BT Rd (near Baranagar Road railway station), ☏ +91 09903968610. 11AM - 10:30PM.
- 4 Food Village, 144r, BT Rd (near Baranagar Road railway station), ☏ +91 09903943648. Noon - 10:45PM.
- 5 Ganguram Sweets, 269/2, BT Rd (near Baranagar Police Station), ☏ +91 09831736332. 7AM - 10PM.
- Haldiram's Confectioners, 140, BT Rd (near Baranagar Road railway station), ☏ +91 033 25780815. 9AM-2PM & 5-9PM.
- 6 New Sher-e-Punjab Hotel, 131, BT Rd (near Indian Statistical Institute), ☏ +91 07890101313. 11:30AM - 10:45PM.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Mid-range||₹1000 to ₹3000|
- 1 Debalay Guest House, 1, TN Mukherjee Rd, Dakshineswar, ☏ +91 70441 74570. Check-in: noon, check-out: 11AM.
- Young Corner, ☏ +91 09331821441.
- Medicine World, Gopal Lal Tagore Rd, ☏ +91 09674617538, +91 09339395012.
- Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy Seva Samity, 156, Maharaja Nanda Kumar Road, ☏ +91 09088948931.
- 2 Baranagar Fire Station, 282, Deshpran Shasmal Ave, ☏ +91 33 25102102.
- 3 Baine Hospital, 123/1, Gopal Lal Tagore Rd, ☏ +91 09674873262.
- 4 Baranagar State General Hospital, 108, AK Mukherjee Rd, ☏ +91 33 2873-0916.
- 5 Baranagar Matri Sadan, 10/2/F, Deshbandhu Rd E, ☏ +91 33 2577-6595.
- ESKAG Sanjeevani Hospital, 87, Deshbandhu Rd E, ☏ +91 8335045888. 9AM - 5PM.
- 6 Indian Institute of Psychometry (ISSP), 117, BT Rd, ☏ +91 33 2577-2696. 11AM - 5PM.
- 7 Indian Institute for the Orthopedically Handicapped (NIOH), BT Rd, Bonhooghly, ☏ +91 033 25310729. 9AM - 5PM.
- 8 Baranagar Police Station, 47, BT Rd, ☏ +91 33 253193000.