and features are important. Swami Sivananda laid the foundation stone of the Belur temple
on March 13, 1929, the birthday of Ramakrishna. It was in 1934 alone that Swami
Akhilananda made the proposal to meet all the expenses of the temple through the
a devoted student of his, Miss Helen F. Rubel also known as Bhakti. The actual work could
then only be taken up. A survey of the site of the temple showed that the foundation stone
laid by Swami Sivananda had been slightly misplaced. So, on July 16, 1935, the auspicious
day of Snana Yatra, Swami Vijnananda ceremoniously moved the stone to a proper position.
The construction work was actually started on March 10, 1936. Shri
G. Paul, a famous Calcutta sculptor, executed the image of Ramakrishna Paramahansa in
Samadhi pose in white Italian marble. Shri Nandalal Bose, the great artist had helped by
giving certain ideas, which were incorporated. He had designed the rectangular white
altar, curved in the middle like the Damaru (hourglass shaped drum) of Shiva topped by a
huge lotus in full bloom.
Around the sanctum is a passage for Circurnambula- tion.
Over the arches of this passage could be seen the stone presentation of the nine planetary
deities as they are usually found in the Orissa temples. Shri Nandalal Bose designed them.
The prayer hall is 152 feet long, 72 feet wide and 48 feet high. The total length of the
whole structure is 233 feet from north to south. There is a fairly well kept lawn to the
cast of the temple flanked by a narrow road with some flowing trees. There is another lawn
along the protective wall of the Ganga which flows southward and just by the river there
are three temples dedicated to Swami Brahm- ananda, the holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda.