History Revisited: Swami Vivekananda’s house

No matter how hip Kolkata tends to become with every passing day, the heritage houses of the city never get withered of their charm and glory. The ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda at Simla Street, a must visit for all proud Kolkatans, bears testimony to this glorified past.

The Ramakrishna Mission initiative to restore the original birthplace materialized on 1st of October, 2004, while the then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam inaugurated the house along with a cultural centre and a library for the public.
Obviously the revamp has deleted many flavours of the past like the garden surrounding the 30 kothah land, but the architectural features are intact. This is the very same place where Swami Vivekananda was born on the 12th of January, 1863, to Bishwanath Dutta and Bhubaneshwari Devi. And it is the same premises that witnessed the childhood of the great religious preacher.

The front gate opens to a tranquil world where Swamiji comes alive in all his portraits. The marble stairs lead you to an exquisite album, which narrates the tale of the leader in the making. The red arrows guiding the way gradually make you explore layers of history, so carefully rescued from the ravages of time.

While at Swami Vivekananda’s house do not miss:

  • The ancestry of Swami Vivekananda with the engraved pictorial representation of seven sages
  • The Dutta family tree
  • The clock which stopped at 5 minutes to 7, beside the place where Swamiji was born
  • The Shiva Lingam, which is the exact replica of Varanasi Vireshwar
  • Clay model of Swami Vivekananda engrossed in meditation, oblivious of a snake
  • Swami Vivekananda’s boxing gloves, horse riding stirrup etc, depicting ample instances of his interest in boxing, rowing, horse riding and fencing.
  • The original relics of his dresses
  • The clay model of Swamiji at his studies, enthralled by the vision of Sri Chaitanya
  • The room from where Swamiji used to give alms to the poor
  • A series of ‘hookahs’ from Swamiji’s father’s times
  • The portrait of Sri Ramakrishna by the Austrian painter Frank Dvorak, inspired by a dream vision also exudes an aesthetic charm.
  • Do not forget to browse the little notes added to every artifact showcased in the house. Each note tells a tale of those times.

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