Places to vist - Berhampore বহরমপুর Zone

The name Berhampore is an English transliteration of the vernacular name Bahrampur, the derivation of which is explained as follows by Mr. Beveridge [ Old places in Murshidabad, Calcutta Review 1892 ] - "Berhampore (Baharampur) seems to be a corruption of the Hindu name of the place Brahampur (ব্রহমপুর), i.e. the city of Brahma. Brahmapur (ব্রহ্মপুর) is the name which the original mouza, or village, bears on the collector's revenue-roll. Probably the name comes from the place having been a settlement of Brahmanas. One of the bathing places in the river is called Bipraghat or Brahman's ghat. The name does not appear to be in any way connected with the Muhammedan name Bahram. There is a place about 5 miles to the north-east and on the high road to Murshidabad, which has the very similar name of Baharamganj. Probably this has the same origin as Berhampore, though it may be connected with Bahram Jang, a son of Muhammad Raza Khan, otherwise Muzaffar Jang".

William Finch who travelled (1608-1611) in Northern and Western India during the reigns of the Emperors Akbar and Jahangir, in his travelloge writes about Berhampore :
[February] 8, ten Kos[1]to Bramport [Burhānpur], where I pitched my tent in the Armenians yard, not being able for money to get an house, the town was so full of souldiers. Some 2 Kos short of this city lyeth Badurpore [Bahādurpur], a fair city, and between these two cities the camps of Can-Canna[2] under tents, 2 Kos in length (having some fifteen thousand horse, two hundred faire elephants, an hundred peeces of ordnance of all sizes) on the north side. On the other side, within twentie or thirtie Kos, lay Amberchapon[3], an Abashed [Arabic Habashi, an Abyssinian] and generall of the King of Decans forces, with some ten thousand of his owne cost, all brave soldiers, and some forty thousand Decanees; in so much that the city of Bramport had certainly been lost, had not the Prince Sultan Pervis and Rajaw Manisengo [Rāja Mān Singh] come instantly down with great forces. For at this time he had sent to the Can-Canna to yeeld up the city upon composition, deeming him not able to hold it against him. This city is very great, but beastly, situated in a low, unholsome aire, a very sickly place, caused especially by the bad water. On the north-east is the castle on the rivers bank (comming from Surat), large and well fortified. By the castles side in the river lyeth an elephant of stone, so lively that a living elephant, comming one day to drink, ran against it with all his force and broke both his teeth. The head is painted red in the fore-head, and many simple Indians worship it. Some two Kos forth of the city is Can Cannas garden, called Loll bag [Lāl Bāgh], the whole way thereto being under shadie trees, very pleasant.

References :
  • Early travels in India, 1583-1619 (1921) - Sir William Foster C.I.E
  • [1]The kos is an ancient Indian unit of distance that has been in use for over three thousand years; evidence exists from Vedic times to the Mughal period, and even now elderly people in rural areas refer to distances from nearby areas in kos. A kos is about 2.25 miles. Back
  • [2] Khān-khānān, the highest military title. It was borne at this time by Mīrza Abdurrahīm (Mirza Abdul Rahim Khān-i-Khānā), son of Bāirām Khān, Akbar's celebrated general. He was in charge of the operations against the Deccan kings, with head-quarters at Burhānpur. Back
  • [3] Malik Ambar (an Abyssinian by birth) was a chief minister and generalissimo of Akbar. Back

Berhampore the headquarter of the district and situated on the eastern bank of the Bhagirathi, is 9 km south of Murshidabad and 187 km (by rail) north of Calcutta. It is connected with the latter by the Lalgola branch of the Eastern Railway the alighting station being called Berhampore Court. Out of the several buildings, the finest one is of the Krishnath College to the south of the barracks, established in 1853. This College was formerly known as the Berhampore College and the present name has been given to it, in memory of Raja Krishnath Roy(রাজা কৃষ্ণনাথ রায়), the husband of Maharani Swarnomoyee(মহারানী স্বর্ণময়ী), who had died in 1844. The College has an imposing building and a fine clock tower. The roof of the College is of expensive wood shingles. Berhampore town is an early possessor of water-works which it owes to the generosity of the late Maharani Swarnomoyee, who in 1894, undertook to furnish it with a supply of filtered water. Being the land of business and administrative function, Berhampore at present is a fully grown up area (24°,10' North latitude to 88°,15' East longitude).

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Krishnath College (কৃষ্ণনাথ কলেজ)

The history of Krishnath College (কৃষ্ণনাথ কলেজ), styled after England's Oxford University, is a part of the history of western education in Bengal and, in a wider sense, forms a chapter in the history of social and cultural progress of Bengal in the 19th and 20th centuries. Long, before 1853, the year of the birth of this Institution, the objective conditions were ready for the foundation of a college at Berhampore for imparting western education. During the thirties and forties of the last century the people of Murshidabad felt the impulse of the Renaissance which had its start in Calcutta with the foundation of the Hindu College in 1817 AD. For two decades the idea of western education had struck root; attempts and experiments had been made; but the aspirations of the people remained unrealized. When at last, in 1853 AD, a College was founded at Berhampore, and was named "Berhampore College". When the College was started in 1853, the rate of fees were Rs 2 for the College classes and the first school class and Re 1 for all the other classes. The foundation of the present college building was laid by Sir Cecil Beadon the then Lieutenant Governor, on Wednesday, the 29th July, 1863.
[Location Map - Krishnath College, Berhampore : 24°05'29"N 88°14'45"E]

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Krishnath College School (কৃষ্ণনাথ কলেজ স্কুল)

The School was part of "Berhampore College", established in November, 1853 AD. It first started in the building now known as the Manindra Hostel (or Main Hostel). In 1909 a portion of the Jail compound (now the Borstal School compound) was allotted and given over to the school authorities for the construction of the present school house. The foundation stone was laid by the Hon'ble Sir Edward Norman Baker, K.C.S.I., the then Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, on the 9th of August, 1909. In August 1911, the school was formally opened byLord Fraser William Duke, the then officiating Governor of Bengal who, also presided over the Prize distribution ceremony held on that day and distributed the prizes.

The School is a magnificent two storyed building with as many as 30 rooms one of which is the Hall on the 1st floor. The Hall is unique of its kind, measuring 115 ft 10 in x 40 ft 5 in x 25 ft 5 in, and can accommodate about 800 people. The School premises occupy only 4 bighas of land almost sandwiched between the Jail compound on the north and the west and Grant hall Road and Manindra Road on the south and the east.
[Location Map Krishnath College School, Berhampore : 24°06'01"N 88°15'03"E]go top

The Berhampore Cantonment

The barracks round the Square Field at Berhampore [Location Map - Square Field, Berhampore : 24°05'N 88°15'E] , which is a lawn of about 40 acres, and which is one of the most beautiful in Bengal, were erected in 1767 AD. Each side of the Square field is 402.36 metres (161894 sq metres in area). Berhampore was selected as the site for a cantonment in October 1757, After the destruction of the fortifications at Cossimbazar and the decisive victory of Robert Clive's troops at Plassey. Mr. John Brohier who was deputed for the purpose, arrived at Cossimbazar on the 5th of October, 1757, and reported that the principal part of the factory at Cossimbazar had been burnt down and that the fortifications of the factory were incapable of being repaired effectually. He suggested the construction of a fort, and also submitted the plan of a citadel and fortifications with which he considered it necessary to enclose the place. According to his estimate 12,000 tank diggers and 5,000 coolies (or porters) were required to ram the ground, clear away rubbish, fill up tanks, bring in brush wood, serve brick layers and do other things.

The Sanad given by Mir Jafar granted to the Company 133 acres of land; but the Directors in England declined, at that time, to sanction the works. Later on, sanction being given, the barracks were commenced in 1765, and completed in two years (1767 AD), at a cost of £ 302,270. The Barracks were at that time looked upon as the Northern Frontier Station of the Bengal Army. It was found that the price of materials were three times as much as in Calcutta. In 1768 the Chief of Murshidabad appointed a committee to inquire into the exorbitant charges which had been made; and three covenanted officials were suspended, for overcharges amounting to two lacks of rupees. On Western side of the Square field, near the banks of Ganges, were the quarters of high ranking officers (presently the District Magistrates bungalow). On the eastern side were the soldiers quarter on a three storied building. The other officers stayed on the northern and southern part of the field. The barracks were constructed under Chief engineer Colonel Archibald Campbell of The British East India Company.

The plan of a fort was subsequently abandoned, the importance of Murshidabad sinking with the rise of Calcutta. As the need for a strong garrison disappeared troops were removed, and in 1857 there were no European troops to check the mutinous outbreak, only two guns and a battalion of native infantry, the 19th, and a battalion of irregular native cavalry. The European troops brought from Rangoon to check the mutiny were quartered in the barracks and were not finally withdrawn until 1870. In those days the Civil Court and Treasury buildings were about a mile to the south-east of the barracks. These are now occupied only by the Sessions Judge's Court and record-rooms.

The Cantonment of Berhampore will always be remembered as the scene of the first overt act of the Indian mutiny of 1857 AD. It must be remembered that there were no British troops in Berhampore cantonment at that time, and none anywhere nearer than Calcutta. The native troops at Berhampore, in February, 1857, were the 19th Bengal Infantry; a corps of irregular cavalry, and a battery of artillery with native gunners. "There were in the morning no apparent signs of disaifection, but, before the evening had passed away, Adjutant M. Andrew carried to the quarters of Colonel Mitchell a disquieting report, to the eifect that there was great excitement in the Lines; that when their percussion-caps had been served out to them for the morning's parade, the men had refused to take them, and that they had given as the ground of their refusal the strong suspicion they entertained that the cartridges had been defiled".[4] Under the guidance of Colonel Charles Macgregor, the Nawab Nazim Feradun Jah (ফেরাদুন জাঁ) of Bengal threw the weight of his influence into the scales on the side of order and peace, and the the mutiny of a regiment which might have been converted into the rebellion of a Province, was suppressed. Later The 19th Regiment was marched down to Barrackpur, to be there disbanded as a punishment for the outbreak.

Already, before the disgrace of the mutiny of 1857 was forgotten, Berhampore was the theatre of another display of rebellion in 1859. This time it was not our native troops that had revolted, but a section of the British Army. In May, 1859, one of these regiments, the 5th European Regiment (1st or 2nd Battalion, The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers), stationed at Berhampore, broke into open rebellion.
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Bisnupur Kalibari (বিষ্ণুপুর কালিবাড়ী)

Bisnupur Kalibari
Bisnupur Kalibari
The Kali temple, situated a mile to the South of Cossimbazar, near to Berhampore, was built byKrishnanand Hota, the gomasta of The East India Company. It is situated on the banks of the old bed of the Cossimbazar river. Every Tuesday and Saturday a large number of devotees attend to offer Puja.
[Location Map - Bisnupur Kalibari, Berhampore : 24°06'38"N 88°16'05"E]
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Grant Hall (গ্র্যান্টহল)

Grant Hall
Grant Hall
The town hall of Berhampore, founded in honor of Sir John Peter Grant (1859-1862), the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, is vested in Trustees, one of whom was Babu Dinanath Ganguly, the veteran lawyer of the Berhampore Bar. The house, which was converted into the Grant Hall, belonged originally to Mr. J. Marion, Superintendent of the Nizamat Palace. During the earthquaqe of 1897 AD, the Old building was destroyed and a new one was rebuilt in 1911 AD. In 1903 AD, Edward Recreation Club (এডওয়ার্ড রিক্রিয়েশন ক্লাব), and library was formed upon the Initiative of Maharaja Sir Manindra Chandra Nandy (মহারাজা স্যার মনিন্দ্র চন্দ্র নন্দী) of Cossimbazar and the Maharaja of Lalgola, Raja Rao Jogendra Narayan Roy (রাজা রাও যোগেন্দ্র নারায়ন রায়) with other notable personalities of berhampore, like Baikuntha Nath Sen (বৌকুন্ঠনাথ সেন), Banabihari Sen (বনবিহারি সেন), Radhika Mohan Sen (রাধিকামোহন সেন), Nilmoni Bhattacharya (নীলমণি ভট্টাচার্য), Ramoni Mohon Sen (রমনীমোহন সেন), Kedar Nath Chowdhury (কেদার নাথ চৌধুরী), Domon Prasad Mukherjee (ডোমন প্রসাদ মুখোপাধ্যায়), Jogendra Nath Mukherjee (যোগেন্দ্রনাথ মুখোপাধ্যায়), and Dinanath Ganguly (দীননাথ গঙ্গোপাধ্যায়). Raja Rao Jogendra Narayan Roy donated for the construction of this Club House. After Independence, in 1947 AD the Club House was named after the Maharaja of Lalgola as Jogendra Narayan Miloni (যোগেন্দ্র নারায়ণ মিলনী). The Library of this Club was the oldest one, and had a collection of about 15000 books. The total area of the enclosure is 1.5 Bigha. There was a Tennis court on the northern side of the compound.
[Location Map - Grant Hall, Berhampore : 24°05'59"N 88°15'07"E]
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Congregational Church

The Berhampore branch of the London Missionary Society was founded in 1824 AD, when Mr Micaiah Hill was sent from Calcutta. Mr. and Mrs. Hill opened seven schools for Hindus, and two for Mohamedan boys. One was started by Mrs. Hill for girls. In 1827 Mrs. Hill opened a second girls school. Mr. Hill had opened three native chapels and three preaching stations. For some part of 1827 Mr. and Mrs. Hill were assisted by Mr. Gogerly. On January 7th, 1829, large new chapel was completed. To provide funds for a church, in 1838, Mr. Hill planted mulberry extensively, and kept silkworms, which were tended by the orphans. In 1838 Mr. Hill left, and Mr. Lessel took his place. Hill returned in 1842, and the two worked together until 1847, when Hill was transferred to Calcutta. In 7th September, 1847 Mary the wife of Micaiah Hill died at the age of 57. In 1849 James Bradbury came to Berhampur; in 1853 Samuel John Hill, son of Micaiah, came to the scene of his father's labours. In 3rd Frebruary, 1849 Micaiah Hill died on the river near Benaras aged 59 Years.

From 1879 to 1883 the orphanage was managed by Mrs. Phillips. Miss Bloomfield arrived in 1883, and the work among women was further developed. She was shortly after joined by Miss Robinson. Between 1890 and 1895 the Mission in Murshidabad district was much strengthened by the addition to the staff of the Reverend Andrew Sims and Alfred Joyce, Miss Tuck,Miss Cockerton, and Miss Nicholas, M.D. (In February 17th, 1897 Reverend John Alfred Joyce and Miss Nicholas, M.D., got married). There were also three native pastors: Kali Prasanna Mukerji, of Berhampur; Paul Biswas, at Jiaganj; and Surendra Kumar Ghose at Murshidabad. In 1896 the Berhampur orphanage was a thing of the past. A Christian community of sixteen households lived on the "magazine" land, low, damp, and with bad drinking water.

The present Church was erected in 1925-26 AD on the foundation of the old London Missionary Society (L.M.S.) English Chapel built in 1829 AD by Reverend Micaiah Hill. That Chapel having collapsed in consequence of the earthquakes of 1897 and 1918, the memorial tablets erected in the earlier building have been re-erected in this Church.
[Location Map - Congregational Church, Berhampore : 24°05'58?N 88°15'13"E]
The inspection of the project for erecting this church was due to the faith and self-sacrifice of Reverend Kali Prasanna Mukherji, M.A. Pastor from 1893 till his death in 1921. A service of re-dedication of the foundations took place on December 15th 1924 AD during the pastorate of the Reverend Paul Biswas (died 1926 AD). The present building was opened for worship on january 1st 1927 during the pastorate of the Reverend Surendra Kumar Ghosh, B.A. (died 1936 AD). Names of other pastors of the English or Bengali Congregations that worshipped in the earlier building here and in the original L.M.S. Bengali Chapel in the 'magazine village' which was ruined by the 1897 earthquaqe are :
1824   Reverend Micaiah Hill Died 1849 AD
1832   Reverend James Paterson Died 1854 AD
1838   Reverend Thomas Lessel Died 1884 AD
1849   Reverend James Bradbury Died 1892 AD
1853   Reverend Samuel John Hill Died 1891 AD
1861   Reverend George Shrewsbury Died 1913 AD
1868   Reverend Nanda Lal Doss Died 1916 AD
1875   Reverend William B. Phillips Died 1896 AD
1881   Reverend Chandra N. Banerji, B.A. Died 1897 AD
Reverend Kali Pada Banerji  
1891   Reverend William G. Brockway, B.A. Died 1929 AD
1892   Reverend Andrew Sims, B.A.  
1892   Reverend John Alfred Joyce (Jiaganj) Died 1927 AD
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Berhampore Cemetery

Berhampore Cemetery
Berhampore Cemetery
Berhampore Cemetery
Berhampore Cemetery
The Berhampore cemetery contains the tombs of military men and their family. Unfortunately, many of the epitaphs have entirely disappeared. To the east of the cemetry lie the tombs of the burma state pensioneres who died at Berhampore. In the enclosure are several monuments and tombs, and among which are the following :
  1. Captain James Skinner - 1773 AD (the oldest monument)
  2. Captain John Friend - 1787 AD
  3. Frederick W.S. Griffiths - 1791 AD
  4. Danniel Robinson Leckie, who was Registrar of the Dewani Adalat of Murshidabad City and died in 1792 AD
  5. Neil Rainy - 1793 AD
  6. Caroline Brown - 1798 AD
  7. John Wilson - 1803 AD
  8. Captain Lambert - 1805 AD
  9. Adam Frere - 1811 AD
  10. Colonel Mitchel - 1833 AD
  11. Captain R. Boileau Pemberton, who died at Berhampore, as Governor-General's Agent, on 26th June, 1840 AD
  12. Colin Shakespere - Of the Civil Service died on 6th April, 1835 AD at the age of 64.
  13. George Thomas, the Irish Adventurer of Rajputana
  14. Henry Creighton of Goamalti, the explorer and antiquary of Gour. He was the first to make drawings of the ruins of Gour.

Henry Sherwood child of Mary Martha Sherwood, who died of whooping cough, is burried here. It is often said that Henry was the original hero of The History of Little Henry and his Bearer. She frequently named the heroes and heroines of her books after her late children. Henry Sherwood was born in 1805 at Dinajpore and died at Berhampore on July 22nd 1807, when he was only 19 months old. The tombstone inscription read "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven". In another part of the graveyard there is a graveyard of two children, Martha and Mary Jackson, who died in a strom near Jangipore on 12th May, 1815. There was also a tomb of a child, with a beautiful marble tree and with an inscription "Sleep on dear child and take thy rest, the lord calls those first whom he loves best", which no longer exists. Creighton and William Grant of Chandny, whose grave lay side by side, were both friends. Creighton dying on 2nd October, 1807, and Grant on 23rd. Probably they left Gour together for Chandny a factory situated on the Pagla River 3 miles from Gour. In Grant's tomb inscription it was written that he left Rs 40,000 for the purpose of supporting Christianity, and for translating the Scriptures into the Eastern languages. He died at the age of 38 and Creighton at 44.

David Drummond ডেভিড ড্রামন্ড (1785 - 1843 AD) the Scottish Poet, came to India in 1813 as an "Interloper". He lived at Berhampore for a short time during the month of November 1813, with his friend Mr. Christie. Berhampore at that time was known as "Berhampore Cantonment", since the township was not developed.. During Drummond's stay he wrote an Elegy [5] (এলিজি) of 168 lines, with 42 stanzas, and at last it was written - "Written in the Military officer's burying ground, at the cantonments of Berhampore, Bengal". The oldest Cemetery of Berhampore is the Berhampore Cemetery, and is quite probable that the Elegy was written here. The elegy starts as ::
[Bengali Translation]
The raging sun at length, has reached the West
তাপিত ভাস্কর ক্রমে পশ্চিম দিগন্তে উপনীত
And faintlier now his burning darts are hurl'd;
ধীরে নম্র হয় তার ক্ষিপ্ত তীরগুলির প্রতাপ,
But, proudly rolling to his cave of rest,
তবু অহংকারে দীপ্যমান ওই বিশ্রামের গুহা
His red brow threatens, as it leaves, the World!
পৃথিবী ছাড়ার আগে রক্ত ভুরু আতঙ্ক ছড়ায়।

In this Elegy Drummond also protested against the aggressive mentality of the British, he wrote ::
[Bengali Translation]
How long, O'er these bright regious of the sun,
সূর্য করোজ্জ্বল এই দেশের উপর কতদিন
Shall reign the dreary midnight of the mind ?
আধিপত্য করবে বিষন্ন চিন্তা মধ্যরজনীর ?
How long her course shall pale delusion run ?
কতদিন তার দত্ত চালাবে এমন প্রবঞ্চনা
And time-chained ignorance in brute mankind?
মানুষকে কালবদ্ধ অজ্ঞতা করবে মেধাহীন ?

David Drummond left "Berhampore Cantonment" on December, 1813. In 1814 he was appointed as the teacher of the Dhurmotollah Academy (ধর্মতলা একাডেমি). Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was given formal education at this School of David Drummond, during his childhood. After staying in India for 30 years on April of 1843, at the age of fifty-six, David Drummond, interloper and schoolmaster, slept the sleep that knows no waking, to such a life, at least, as that through which he had passed. He was burried at the South Park Street Cemetery, Calcutta.
[Location Map - Berhampore Cemetery : 24°05'52"N 88deg;15'51"E]

References :
  • Henry Derozio the Eurasian Poet, Teacher and Journalist - By Thomas Edwards
  • Murshidabader Kobitacharchar Dhara - By Sayed Khaled Nawman   [মুর্শিদাবাদের কবিতাচর্চার ধারা - সৈয়দ খালেদ নৌমান]
  • [5] An Elegy is a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation especially for one who is dead. Back


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Armenian Church

There were many important Armenian merchants and traders in the flourishing settlements of Saidabad (Cossimbazar). The Armenians played a very significant role in Bengal trade and politics from at least around the early 17th century. Their presence was a common feature in all the important centres of trade and manufacture, cities and ports.

An Armenian colony was established here in 1665 AD, by virtue of a royal farman issued by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, granting the Armenians a piece of land in Saidabad, a suburb of Murshidabad. Khojah Petrus Arathoon was the head of the Armenian community in Calcutta and was held in high esteem by his compatriots for his benevolence and his charities. Khojah Petrus built the Saidabad Armenian Church in 1758 AD at his own expense and in memory of his parents. The cost of building the Church was two lakhs and thirty six thousand rupees.

Another prominent Armenian merchant who lived in Saidabad was Manatsaken Sumbat Vardon. He was the founder of the Armenian College established in 2nd April 1821. Manatsaken Vardon departed this life at Saidabad on the 13th October 1827 at the age of 55 years having been born in Julfa (Armenian Quarter) Ispahan on the 6th September 1772. He was buried in the church in Saidabad.

The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1758 AD and the last service was held there in 1860 after which the church remained closed for nearly a century because the Armenians left towards the end of 1860 due to the decline of commerce and trade. Successive caretakers looked after it, the last being the late Mr. Mathevos Carapiet who served there between 1908 and 1952. His wife Mary, continued to look after it until her death in 1968 AD. On the 5th December 2006 the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Virgin Mary of Saidabad was reconsecrated by His Eminence Archbishop Aghan Baliozian.
[Location Map - Armenian Church, Saidabad : 24°07'21"N 88°15'23"E]go top

Saidabad Palace (সৈদাবাদ রাজবাড়ী)

This palace belonged to Maharani Swarnomoyee (মহারানী স্বর্নময়ীর), the queen of Raja Krishnath of Cossimbazar. Maharani Swarnomoyee spent her last days here, before her death on August 25, 1897. Recently restoration work was carried on this building. Once the District library was located here, now a portion of it houses the Berhampore Town Library.
[Location Map Saidabad Palace, Saidabad : 24°07'22"N 88°14'56"E]

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Kunjaghata Palace (কুঞ্জঘাটা রাজবাড়ী)

The Kunjaghata Palace at Saidabad, belonged to Maharaja Nanda Kumar's (or Nuncomar) son-in-law Jagat Chand. The Maharaja and his family stayed at the Kunjaghata Palace in 1755 AD and his personal belongings, including his letters, shawl and sword are preserved here. The original residence of Nanda Kumar was at Bhadrapur in the Birbhum District. He may have lived occasionally at Kunjaghata after his daughter Sumani's marriage. The structure of this building is ruined to an extent with the evolution of time. The Palace also contains several valuable documents and records during Nanda Kumar's rule. The Palace had an unique Durga Dalan (place where Goddesses Durga is worshiped). The palace has Hindu icons of Lord Shiva, Goddesses Lakshmi, Narayan and Krishna in its temples.

The chief objects of interest at the Raj Bari are several farmans and an original painting ofGouranga (name of Krishna in Puranic literature). Raja Prataparudra is said to have a picture of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu drawn during the lifetime of the Master. Raja Prataparudra of Puri, had ordered a likeness of Chaitanya to be painted in water-colours, in which the King himself is represented as lying prostrate before his great religious master. This picture was made sometime between 1512-1533 AD and is said to have been carried to Nadiya by Srinivasa Acarya, Crivasa. From his descendants, it passed to the family of Raja Nanda Kumar. Nanda Kumar was disciple of Radhamohana Thakura the great-great-grandson of Srinivasa Acarya. The painting possessed the unique historical importance of having been made during the lifetime of Lord Gouranga 475 years ago, and was an object of the history of the rise and progress of the great Vaisnava movement in Bengal and Orissa. On the painting it can be seen King Prataparudra (রাজা প্রতাপরুদ্র) of Puri, bowing to Chaitanya. Gadadhara (গদাধর) reading Gita along with Advaitacharya (অদ্বৈত আচার্য), Nityananda (নিত্যানন্দ), Crivasa (শ্রীবাস), Rupa (রূপ), Sanatana (সনাতন) and yavana Haridasa (যবন হরিদাস) standing at a distance.
[Location Map Kunjaghata Palace, Saidabad : 24°07'38"N 88°15'8"E]

References :
  • Chaitanya's life and Teachings, Chaitanya-charit-amrita translated into English (1922) - By Jadunath Sarkar
  • Chaitanya and His Companions (1917) - By Rai Sahib Dinesh Chandra Sen

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Karnasubarna (কর্ণসুবর্ণ)

The famous Chinese traveler Xuanzang, earlier referred to Hiuen Tsang(হিউয়েন সাং), mentioned in his travelogues about Lo-to-mo-chi Rakta-mrittikā Mahavihara (রক্তমৃত্তিকা মহাবিহার), an important centre of learning of Vajrayani Buddhists. It has been identified with Rajbari Danga (রাজবাড়ীডাঙ্গা) at Jadupur, District Murshidabad. The archaeological site of Rajbari Danga, is 2.4 Km from Karnasubarna (কর্ণসুবর্ণ) railway station earlier known as Chiruti (চিরুটী) on the Azimganj-Katwa section of Eastern Railway. The site was first excavated by archaeologists of Calcutta University in 1962 under Dr S.R. Das. The mound at Rajbari Danga is 503,500 sq ft in area. Amongst the findings, the most significant one was a monastic sealing bearing the legendShri Rakta-mrittikā Mahavaiharik arya bhikshu samghasya of the community of venerable monks residing in the Rakta-mrittikā Mahavihara. The other significant findings are terracotta figurines and ornamental stucco mouldings including human heads. The other sites close by have been excavated atRakshashi Danga রাক্ষসীডাঙা (measuring 700 feet in circumference),Sanyasi Danga সন্ন্যাসীডাঙা,Bhimki Tala ভীমকিতলাin 1929-30 by K.N. Dixit of the Archaeological Survey of India and Nilkuthi Mound. According to Amal Roy, the superintendent of the state archaeology department team camping at Rakshashi Danga, "None of them has been fully explored...".

Karnasubarna was an ancient capital of King Gaureshwar Shashanka (শশাঙ্ক), the king of Gaudaগৌড়. The town is also associated with Lord Gautama Buddha, who stayed at Karnasubarna for seven days. To commemorate the sanctifying presence of the Buddha, a Buddhist Vihar was built in the front courtyard of the King's palace. Emperor Ashoka also enshrined the Buddha's presence at Karnasubarna with an Ashoka Stupa, the Emperor's legendary stone landmark. The Buddhist Vihar of Karnasubarna was also consecrated with the Ashoka Stupa.

Hiuen Tsang (হিউয়েন সাং), the famous Chinese pilgrim and a Buddhist scholar who travelled India extensively during the period from 629 AD to 645 AD during the reign of Harshavardhana, mentioned in his famous travelogue ie,Si-yu-ki সি-ইউ-কি (the Buddhist record of western countries) that he had visited the capital city of Karnasubarna in the year 638 AD and saw in his own eyes the palace, the Rakta-mrittikā Mahavihara and a Buddhist Stupa said to be built by King Ashoka. The travel account left by Hiuen Tsang is an important source of Indian history. Early history of Bengal is still shrouded in obscurity for want of historical resources. As such travel account of Hiuen Tsang appears to be a very important resource to the historians.


Download Hiuen Tsang's Route Map :: hiuen-tsang-route-map.pdfgo top

How to Reach

Located on the Katawa - Azimganj rail line, Karnasubarna is best reached via Berhampore. It is best to take a local bus to Khagra Ghat Station, followed by a local train ride to Karnasubarna (earlier Chiruti চিরুটী) Station.
 By Road : One can also hire a car and take the route from Berhampore Uttar Para more (turn left) Jadupur More.
Berhampore Bus stand to Uttar Para more - 2 Km
Uttar Para moreto Jadupur more - 9.8 Km
 By Rail : Berhampore Bus stand Khagraghat Station Karnasubarna Station (Chiruti) Rajbari Danga.
Berhampore Bus stand to Khagraghat Station - 4.5 Km
Khagraghat Station to Karnasubarna Station (Chiruti) - 11 Km
Karnasubarna Station (Chiruti) to Rajbari Danga - 2.4 Km.

[Location Map - Karnasubarna (Chiruti) Station : 24°01'35"N 88°10'40"E].
Download Route Map :: karnasubarna-map.pdf
References :
  • Bengal District Gazetteers, Murshidabad - By L.S.S. O'Malley (1914)
  • A history of Murshidabad District (Bengal) With Biographies Of Some Of Its Noted Families (1902) - By John Henry Tull
  • History of the Armenians in India from the Earliest Times to the Present Day - Mesrovb Jacob Seth (1897)
  • Studying Early India: Archaeology, Texts and Historical Issues - By Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya
  • Indian Archaeology - 1962-63 A Review, Edited by A Ghosh, Director General of Archaeology in India
  • Si-yu-ki, Buddhist records of the Western world (1884) - By Hsuan-tsang ca.596-664 translated By Samuel Beal 1825-1889.
  • The literature of Bengal - By Romesh Chunder Dutt (1895)
  • [4] A History of the Sepoy War in India, 1857-58 - By John William Kaye (1875) Back
  • A Statistical Account of Bengal - By William Wilson Hunter, Herbert Hope Risley, Hermann Michael Kisch

Page Updated : April 25, 2013 11:15 pm