The first temple

The day of 21st August 1994 would thenceforth be a date to commemorate for the villagers of Ichapur tucked away in the interiors of the district of Hooghly in West Bengal when a centre of the Ramakrishna Order was established at the birthplace of one of the most notable apostles of Sri Ramakrishna - Swami Ramakrishnananda (Sashi Maharaj). The barren land became the laboratory of workmanship under the able guidance of the first President of the centre, Swami Nirliptananda ji Maharaj.


Initial dwelling huts of the Chakravatry families

The first phase consisted of rehabilitating the Chakravarty family (descendants of Swami Ramakrishnananda ji) where ten families were shifted from existing mud huts to newly built brick houses with hygiene amenities like drinking water and proper latrines. Their family deities Manasa, Sitala and Simhavahini were re-installed with due solemnity in a newly constructed temple for the purpose. The rehabilitation process was completed in May 1995 when Srimat Swami Gahanananda ji Maharaj, then Vice President of the Order handed over

Rehabilitation of house along with Temple

possession of the newly built houses to the members of the Chakravarty family.


With the rehabilitation work over, focus shifted to the building up of the Ashrama with monastic members and non-monastic workers and volunteers. There was neither electricity nor any proper facilities of drinking water, roads and buildings to stay. Rooms with asbestos shaded roofs (turning into ovens during summer months) which housed monastic and non monastic workers with snakes and rhodents for company, folding cots to sleep at night under the open sky to beat the tropical summers, lanterns and hand fans were some glimpses of what people were subject to.


The buildings that took shape

The first couple of solar lanterns procured were objects of wonder to local villagers enthralled at the sight of sunlight being captured during the day to be used at night. From such days throught the continuous efforts of the President of the centre, electricity was brought into the Ashrama premises as well as the entire village.


From the two asbestos shaded huts, new buildings with necessary amenities (out of which 6 are two-storied) like those named

The charitable dispensary in the initial years

Ramakrishnananda Dham, Turiyananda Dham, workers' quarters, students' home, guest house, Annapurna Bhavan, Dispensary etc. took shape.


Healthcare activities initiated through a small charitable dispensary with medicines donated by physicians grew rapidly to include mobile medical unit for reaching out to more and more of the needy, expanding the capacity of the dispensary and conducting of health camps. The Ashrama with assistence from the Government played a pivotal role in co-ordinating of leprosy eradication programme in two adjoining blocks of Arambag sub-division.


Present campus

Other welfare activities began too. The area being prone to floods, food and articles began to be distributed to the affected during times of such calamity. Drinking water and sanitation projects in the local villages, conducting self-employment programmes, free coaching to poor but meritorious students, rpoviding healthy and nutritious tiffin, uniforms, distribution of milk to children on a regular basis were added to the activities over the years.


The universal temple

Foundation stone for a new universal temple was laid in 2003 by Srimat Swami Atmasthananda ji Maharaj, then Vice President of the Order. The new temple took shape and was consecrated on 3rd April, 2009.