West Bengal (PART-XVI)
One of the oldest districts of West Bengal and the ancient Sanskrit learning centre, Nadia is an important part of the religious and cultural history of the state. The traditional city of Krishnanaagar is the headquarters of Nadia District. Apart from tourism, agriculture is another main source of revenue for the district. Ancient temples, mosques historic forts and magnificent handcrafts make Nadia District a great tourist destination. Nadia has gained as a tourist destination from the advent of Bhakti movement and Sri Chaitanya.
The geographical boundary of Nadia district comprises Bangladesh in the East,Bardhaman and Hugli district on the West,Murshidabad district on the North and North West and North 24 Parganas towards South and South East. Situated on the main rail route connecting Howrah/Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri(NJP) including parts of North Eastern states, the Nadia district can easily be accessed by rail. The major railway stations are Nabadwip Dham,Ranaghat and others with regular trains to Kolkata/Howrah/NJP/Guwahati. The proposed International Rail Link connecting India and Bangladesh will pass through Nadia District with Gende as the last railway station at Indian Border. Bifurcated by National Highway-34 on the North and East, the district can also be accessed by road from other parts of the country.
Places to visit:
Nabadwip lies on the western side of the river Bhagirathi at a distance of about 20 K.M. from Krishnagar and it is associated with birth of Lord Sri. Chaitanya and the advent of the Vaishnab religion in Bengal. Sri. Chaitanya was not only a religious leader preaching Vaishnab ideas and Bhakti cult but also a social reformer in the 16th Century. Nabadwip was the capital of Lakshman Sena, the famous ruler of Sena dynasty, who ruled from 1179 to 1203. There are a number of temples and pilgrimage centres. Dwadas Shib Mandir built in 1835 with the exquisite floral designs attracts a large number of pilgrims. The images and idols of Lord Sri. Chaitanaya in a few other places are also regarded with reverence.
Mayapur is situated on the opposite of Nabadwip across the river Bhagirathi. Some Schools of thought claim this place to be the actual birth place of Lord Sri Chaitanya
The ISKCON temple of A.C.Bhaktivedanta, the Saraswat Adwaita Math and the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math are the important temples at Mayapur. During Holi (DOL) festival Rashyatra Mayapur presents itself as a center of harmony, amity, fraternity and festivity.
Shantipur had been a seat of Sanskrit learning and literature, Vedic texts and scriptures since ninth century. It is located in the Ranaghat Sub-division of the district and is about 18 K.M. away from Krishnagar. The Topkhana Mosque was built by Fauzder Gazi Mohammad Yaar Khan in 1703 – 1704 during the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This mosque consists of a big dome and eight minars.
The Shayam Chand Temple built in traditional "Aatchala" manner, the Jaleswar Temple with its exquisite terracotta designs and the Adwaita Prabhu Temple are the noteworthy temples of Shantipur. The weavers of Shantipur have made themselves famous throughout India by their professional aptitude in making "Tant Saree". Fulia a township very close to Shantipur, is the birth place of Poet Krittibas, composer of Bangla Ramayan.
Palashi is a place of great historical interest. It is situated at a distance of about 50 K.M. from Krishnanagar. The famous Battle of Plassey was fought here on 23rd June, 1757 between the last independent ruler of Bengal, Nawab Siraj Ud-Daula (1756-1757) and the British forces under the command of Lord Clive.
This battle marked the advent of the British rule in the erstwhile Bengal and in India as a whole. A memorial stone to mark the victory of the British was erected here in 1883. The structure which stands even today was built at a later period of Lord Curzon.
Krishnanagar is the district headquarters situated on the bank of river Jalangi. Krishnanagar is named after Raja Krishna Chandra Rai (1728 – 1782). The Rajbari built here during the reign of Raja Krishna Chandra Rai is a prominent place of tourist attraction though the remnants of the past glory have been eroded and only a dilapidated structure of the exquisite places with carving on its inner walls exists today.
|Clay models of Ghurni|
Krishnanagar was the birth place of the noted Poet, Composer and Playwright Shri. Dwijendra Lal Roy (1863 – 1913) whose contribution to Bengali Literature needs no mention. The Christian Missionaries attached much importance to Krishnanagar. The Protestant Church was built here during 1840s . The Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in 1898. The origin of famous clay models of Krishnanagar is Ghurni. The clay model artists of Ghurni have won international repute and fame for their excellence in clay modelling.
A forest covering about 67 Hectares is located at Bethuadahari which is situated at a distance of about 22 K.M. from Krishnanagar. This forest is actually an extended Deer Park. The forest was established in 1980 to preserve the bio-diversity of the central Gangetic alluvial zone. A census of 1998 reveals a population of 295 deer in this forest and other wild life includes Python, Jungle Cat, Porcupine, Monitor Lizard, Snake and a variety of birds (around 50 species).
Ballal Dhipi is located near Bamanpukur Bazar on way to Mayapur at a distance of about 25 K.M. from Krishnanagar. The excavation work was started here by the Archaeological Survey of India in the early 1980s, It revealed a unique structural complex covering nearly 13,000 Sq. meters. Centering around a mound (Dhipi) having a height of 9 metres.
This complex identifies itself with the Vikramsila Vihar. Experts say that this side of Stupa (Vihar) of eighth / ninth century was perhaps a seat of learning and pilgrimage up to the eleventh century.
Image Courtesy: https://www.google.co.in/search?q
Image Courtesy: https://www.google.co.in/search?q