Today is Ram Navami. When I looked at my previous post about the same festival I found out that it was on 19 April last year. I had done a very short post on Ram Navami back then. A post that concerned mainly with me, the festival and the famous Ram Bank of Varanasi. There were no pictures in that post.
It’s a gazetted holiday today. What the official calendar proposes, the private sector disposes. So, I’m at work today. Festivals are backgrounded once a person is uprooted. When I talked to another uprooted person (Remember the kashidrohi?) he too did not have the idea of today’s festival on the first bench in his mind. I told him about it being Ram Navami and about a temple that has a bank in it. That piqued his interest and he wanted to know some more. So, we talked about Ram Ramapati Bank.
Entrance to Ram Ramapati Bank, Kashi
For a person who has never been to the temple, it’s nearly impossible to locate it. One, because within the dense network of galis in even a Banarsi of another locality may lose his way and even google map is not a big help in there, and two, because it does not look like a temple from the outside. It is inside a house and is managed by the members of a family. If one knows what to look for and where, this temple-cum-bank can be reached very easily because it’s very close to the world famous Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. As one enters Vishwanath Gali from Dashashwamedh Road and walks for a few paces, one reaches the famous (locally) Kunju Sao‘s shop.
Just opposite to that shop runs the gali that leads one to the temple with a bank. One has to walk for a couple of minutes before one reaches a bridge house. The bridge spans the gali. A couple of houses after crossing the bridge there’s an opening to the left and a flight of stairs leading to the temple.
I googled the name of the bank and reached its website: ramramapatibank.com/Home.html
The website has the following information about the origin of the bank:
“Ram Ramapati Bank was established 83 years ago by Shri 108 Baba Swaminath’s disciple Sri Baba Sattram Das in 1926 (samvat 1983)” (Translation mine).
The bank accepts deposits in the form of hand written pages filled with the name of Shri Ram, or Lord Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayan. The first deposit is of His name written 125000 times with the ink and on the page provided by the bank, following the terms and conditions laid down by the bank. The believers from all over the world have reported benefits arising thereof.
The hindustantimes website provides the following information about the bank:
The family members work in other professions and contribute their own money to keep the bank running. …The bank even provides free-of-cost paper bundles and a pen to its account holder for writing Lord Ram’s name.
The address of the bank, as given on its website, is:
Ram Ramapati Bank
D 5 /35, Tripura Bhairavi
Dashashwamedh, Varanasi 221001
Contact No. (0542) 2392488
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