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Bardhaman district,West Bengal

Bardhaman district (Pron: bɔrd̪ʰomaːn) (also spelled as Burdwan or Barddhaman) is a district in West Bengal. The headquarters of the district is Bardhaman, and it houses the cities of Durgapur and Asansol. In Medieval history, this area was known as Sharifabad.[citation needed]
It is the seventh most populous district in India (out of 640).

History

During period of Jahangir this place was named Badh-e-dewan (district capital). The city owes its historical importance to being the headquarters of the Maharajas of Burdwan, the premier noblemen of lower Bengal, whose rent-roll was upwards of 300,000. Bardhaman Raj was founded in 1657 by Sangam Rai, of a Hindu Khatri family of Kotli in Lahore, Punjab, whose descendants served in turn the Mughal Emperors and the British government. The East Indian Railway from Howrah was opened in 1855. The great prosperity of the raj was due to the excellent management of Maharaja Mahtab Chand (died 1879), whose loyalty to the government especially during the “Hul” (Santhal rebellion) of 1855-56 and the Indian rebellion of 1857 was rewarded with the grant of a coat of arms in 1868 and the right to a personal salute of 13 guns in 1877. Maharaja Bijaychand Mahtab (born 1881), who succeeded his adoptive father in 1888, earned great distinction by the courage with which he risked his life to save that of Sir Andrew Fraser, the lieutenant-governor of Bengal, on the occasion of the attempt to assassinate him made by freedom fighters of Bengal on 7 November 1908.

Mahtab Chand Bahadur and later Bijoy Chand Mahtab struggled their best to make this region culturally, economically and ecologically healthier. The chief educational institution was the Burdwan Raj College, which was entirely supported out of the maharaja’s estate. Sadhak Kamalakanta as composer of devotional songs and Kashiram Das as a poet and translator of the great Mahabharata were possibly the best products of such an endeavour. Pratap Chandra Roy was the publisher of the first translation in the world to translate Mahabharata in English (1883–1896).The society at large also continued to gain the fruits. We find, among others, the great rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and Kala-azar-famed U. N. Brahmachari as the relatively recent illustrious sons of this soil. Batukeshwar Dutt an Indian revolutionary and independence fighter in the early 1900s was born on 18 November 1910 in a village Oari in Burdwan district. He is best known for having exploded a few bombs, along with Bhagat Singh, in the Central Legislative Assembly in New Delhi on 8 April 1929. The city became an important center of North-Indian classical music as well.

Places Of Intrest

  • The Shrine of Sarvamangala, said to contain the remnant of Sati’s body, the umbilicus, is situated here. Aside this, there are quite a number of temples and Sivalingams.
  • The Curzon Gate was built in honour of the visit of Lord Curzon.
  • The palaces and gardens of the maharaja Golapbag. Golap Bag, or the Garden of Rose, of Bardhaman, is a favourite tourist haunt. It is the botanical and zoological garden established by the King Bijoy Chand Mahatab in 1884. Famous botanist Dalton Hooker came there and listed 128 types of trees. At present there are numerous mango, casuarina, eucalyptus and other trees in the garden. The University of Bardhaman also takes classes in the complex. Distance from railway station is about two and half km.
  • At Nawab Hat, On the Burdwan-Siuri NH, some 4 kilometers from rail station, is a group of 108 Siva lingam temples built in 1788 popularly known as 108 Shiva Temple. Rani Bishnukumari (queen of Burdwan) ordered to build this temple. Here each year a week-long festival is celebrated on the occasion of “Maha-Shivratri”.
  • Shrine and Pir Bahram and Sher Afghan.
  • Meghnad Saha planetarium: Bardhaman have a planetarium named after India’s scientist Meghnad Saha. It is the second planetarium of the state after Kolkata’s “Birla planetarium”.
  • Ramana Bagan: It is the forest office of Bardhaman sub-division. It is at east side of Golapbag. This forest is pointed as sanctuary. This is also called deer park. Deers, tigers, crocodiles, and different kinds of birds make this place beautiful.
  • There is a science museum in Burdwan called the “Science Center” situated at Golapbag Road near Burdwan University. It offers insight into the animal kingdom, the environment, application of laws of physics etc.
  • Tomb of Sher Afghan: The Tomb of Sher Afghan, the last of the Afghan jagirdars in Bardhaman, is located at Pir Beharam near Rajbati (Burdwan Royal Palace). Sher Afghan married Nurjahan. He revolted against Mughal Samrat and to control this, Mughal Samrat Jahangir had sent Kutubuddin. Both died at war in 1610 AD and both were buried at the burial ground of Pir Baharam. Distance from railway station is about two and half km.
  • Konkaleswari Kali Mandir: The ashram is situated in Kanchan-Nagar is an icon of skeleton with a famous Kali temple. The goddess is made of stone and the temple is 200 years old.
  • The Holy shrine as a Shakti Peeth
    The Konkaleshwari Temple is revered as one of the sacred shrines of Shakta sect (Shaktism) of Hinduism. It is believed that the shrine is a Shakti Peetha, an abode of Parashakti that originated when the body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi fell down, when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered throughout in sorrow. There are 51 Shakti Peeth in South Asia connecting it to the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit. Each temple has shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava. Sati Devi’s lips are believed to have fallen there. The Shakti is addressed as “Phullara” and the Bhairava as “Vishvesh”. The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati’s self immolation is the story behind the origin of Shakti Peethas. It led to the development of the concept of Shakti Peethas and there by strengthening Shaktism. Enormous mythological stories in puranas took the Daksha yaga as the reason for its origin.