Barahnagar Path Bari - Radha Krishna Temple at Kolkata
A place related to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu within five kilometers of Shyambazar is gradually leading to oblivion! Baranagar Patbari...
"Dekha hoy nai chokkhu melia / Ghar hote shudhu dui pa felia / Ekti dhaner shisher upore ekti shishir bindu!"
- Rabindranath Tagore
[We seldom cared to see the beauty at a few paces from our doorstep; a tiny dewdrop glittering on a waving stalk of rice!]
The Bengalis often love to move out. They are the all time champions when it comes to a trip to Darjeeling, Puri, Rajasthan and so on. Let a vacation come, and hold-alls would be packed, tickets booked and resthouses reserved.
Nevertheless, we have shown considerable indifference to what lies very close to our doorsteps; in fact little has changed since Rabindranath had wrote those widely quoted lines. Barahanagar Pathbari Mandir is such a place, only a few minutes walk from Sinthee More and Tobin Road crossings on the Barrackpore Trunk Road (B. T. Road) and a mere four-five kilometers from the Shyambazar Five Point Crossing.
A Brief History of Baranagar Pathbari Radha Krishna Temple, Kolkata
The history of this place would take us back almost five hundred years. On his way to Puri, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was moving along the Ganges downstream from Panihati, till a sweet reading of the Bhagavata entered his ears. He looked for its origin, to find a brahmin in his tiny cottage reading the text, his cheeks flooding with ecstatic tears. Shri Chaitanya resided at the hut for three days, consulted philosophy with the brahmin, listened to his reading of Bhagavata, and rendered him the title of Shri Bhagavatacharya. The place boasts in keeping the wooden sandals of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The place remained undiscovered untill some two hundred years back, a Vaishnavite Saint named Ramdas Babaji rediscovered it and set up an ashrama or hermitage there. At his death bed, he had commanded his disciples to chant the holy names. Since then, for twenty four hours round the clock, they have been chanting the sacred name of Hare Krishna .
Apart from this the ashrama also takes pride in its library, the largest of the Vaishnavite ones of the state. It boasts a collection of almost all the original manuscripts of Shri Chaitanya's first desciples, including Rup Goswami and Sanatan Goswami.
How to Go to the Barahnagar Path Bari?
Board any bus from the Shyambazar Five Point Crossing / Dum Dum Chiriamore that is going to Sinthee More. Alight there. If you are not a North Kolkatan, you would definitely be puzzled by the huge congregation of auto rickshaws. Ask which one is bound to Banerjee Para. Alight at the Jhulan Tala stop. Now ask someone the direction, the ashram is only a few paces from there.
If you are coming from Barrackpore / Dunlop More / Barahanagar Rail Station, reach Sinthee More by bus or auto.
From Dakshineswar, you can either come to Dunlop More or hire a cycle rickshaw to get you directly to Pathbari. You can get a rickshaw from Dunlop More as well. Nevertheless, it would cost you more than going by bus or auto. The average rickshaw fare from Dunlop and Dakhsinswar from Sinthee More must not exceed 15-20 rupees; but you can never tell for sure what they are going to claim once they recognise you to be a newcomer to the locality!
Miscellaneous Information about Baranagar Patbari, Kolkata
The ashram remains open all day long. Nevertheless, the temples and the library timings are 7 a.m. to 12 noon and 4 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. [Except on their Festival Days].
It is difficult to find good hotels or restaurants close to the ashram, so better have a nice meal befoe you set out. If you cannot, take some refreshments in Sinthee More / Dunlop More / Dakshineswar.
*Parking place is availble inside the premises.
*You can also visit the Mahamilan Math near Dunlop on your way.