You Can Pick Up Art, Learn A Foreign Language & Browse A Library Stocked With Rare Books At This Institute

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Looking for places where you can productively spend your free time? Built in 1938, Golpark’s Ramakrishna Mission Institute Of Culture has a host of things to keep you busy.

The General Library

The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture at Golpark, Kolkata, is a branch of Belur’s Ramakrishna Mission and offers a range of philanthropic, educational and cultural activities. If you’re looking to rekindle your reading habit, the enormous library might just be your refuge. It was planned by a group of experts under the leadership of BS Keshavan, the first librarian of the National Library of India. Not only does it stock thousands of books, rare archives and journals, this is the place to come to if you wish to access their extensive database of lectures and music recitals recorded and archived through the years. This library has three wings, the General Library, Children’s Library and Junior Library; all with different membership rules, fees and privileges. Adults can access the General Library with an annual fee of INR 240 only or acquire a lifetime membership for INR 3,000.

Classes & Courses

Ramkrishna Missio offers many foreign language courses — communicative {basic one for 6 months}, advanced certificate, and junior and senior {three years long}. You can choose from French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Urdu, Italian, Arabic, Ancient Greek, Latin, Portuguese, Persian, and Russian. They also offer courses for Indian languages like Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Sanskrit. The courses come for a monthly tuition fee of INR 150 onwards {plus an admission fee of INR 530+}, depending on course and language. If you love art and want to study more about it, Ramakrishna Mission has a 10-month  certificate course {INR 1,500} on the Appreciation of Indian Art with a faculty that includes art historians, critics, artists and renowned professors from art schools. The course takes place every year from July to March, thrice a week from 5.30 to 7.30pm. At the end of the course, to procure your certificate, you have to do is submit a short dissertation. The admission starts from June and takes 100 students on a first-come-first-serve basis. They also offer a two-year long advanced painting course once a week {Saturday or Thursday} from 11.30am to 1pm. The course starts from January and goes on till December for two consecutive years {at INR 1,700 per annum}. You can pick up pencil sketch, still life, pen and ink sketching, composition, print making, copy work, monochrome painting, watercoluor, oil, acrylic, tempera, and pastels.

Museum and Art Gallery

If you want to stroll around and look at paintings, the building houses a museum and art gallery where not only can you see masterpieces by very eminent artists, you can find relics associated with the lives of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. The art gallery also hosts an annual exhibition where they showcase the best paintings created by their fine arts students. The Institute also has a publication department, a Centre for Indological Studies and Research and hosts music performances, lectures, seminars, symposia, scripture classes, study circles etc. Keep tabs here.

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