Bansberia is a town and a municipality in Hooghly district in the state of West Bengal, India. It is under Mogra/ Chinsurah police stations in Chinsurah subdivision. It is at the western end of the Kalyani Bridge, and a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. Bansberia is 4 km from Bandel on the Bandel-Katwa branch line.
Bansberia was one of the main villages of ancient Saptagram, once the main port and commercial complex in the area. The temples of Ananta Vasudeva and Hangseshwari are famous here. The Vasudeva temple is constructed in the traditional ekaratna style with curved cornices and an octagonal tower. Hangseshwari temple has a unique architectural style. There are thirteen minars, each shaped like a lotus bud, and the inner layout follows the human anatomy.
Zafar Khan Ghazi Mosque and Dargah situated at Tribeni in Hughli district, West Bengal, India, are considered to be among the earliest surviving Muslim monuments in Bengal. According to an inscription, the mosque is dated 698 AH (1298 AD). Tribeni (junction of three rivers viz, the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the Sarasvati - hence the name) was an ancient holy place of the Hindus. The Muslims conquered it during the early phase of their conquest of Bengal. The mosque is an oblong structure measuring 23.38 by 10.53 metres (76.7 by 34.5 ft) externally. It is the earliest surviving example of the brick-and-stone style introduced by the Muslims in Bengal in place of the traditional Hindu style of laying rectangular cut stones one upon another without mortar. The stones used in the mosque were originally materials from temples, as evidenced by figures of Hindu deities carved on some pieces. The original structure has suffered reconstruction a number of times.
There are five arched entrances in the east wall. The arches are supported by stumpy hexagonal stone piers. The mosque represents the multi-domed oblong type developed by the Muslims in Bengal in which the number of domes on the roof equals the number of entrances in the east wall multiplied by those on either sides. The north and south walls have two doors each. There are thus ten domes roofing the mosque. The interior of the structure is broken into two longitudinal aisles and five short bays by means of stone pillars, creating ten equal compartments. The brick-built domes rest on stone pillars and pointed arches with brick pendentives at the corners.
The silhouette of the successive pointed arches has added to the spaciousness and grandeur of the mosque interior. Corresponding to the five entrances in the east, there are five mihrabs in the west wall contained within multifoil arches. The mihrab wall shows sparse decoration within panels. The cornice and the parapet of the structure are straight. The mosque follows the Bengali type with only the prayer chamber without court, riwaq and minaret. A significant feature of the mosque interior is that a brick wall up to the level of the arch-spring has closed the bay at each end, north and south, across the middle. These are the only parts of the mosque which show terracotta ornamentation. The southern part is in a fair state of preservation and shows a panelled composition. The central panel is broken into two halves vertically by means of rosettes within square frames - the lower depicting a swinging creeper with luxuriant leaf age and the upper two half-arch motifs with a finial in the thick of shrubs and foliage. The flanking panels are similarly disposed and ornamented. All the panels depict multifoil arches with finials. The vegetal motifs betray local influence and speak of the Muslim adaptive spirit.
The ornamentation of the northern bay wall is in ruins, but surviving traces show its dissimilarity from the southern. The composition here shows two small vertical panels each containing a multifoil arch with a finial from which hangs a chain ending in a round pendant. What is significant about these bay walls is that they are completely incongruous with the mosque interior but their ornamentation resembles that in the Bagha mosque (1524) in Rajshahi district.
Only yards away to the east of the mosque, beyond an open courtyard, stand two square rooms aligned east-west side by side, the western housing two graves - those of Zafar Khan Ghazi and his wife and the eastern showing four graves on a masonry platform. The walls are built of old temple materials - rectangular stone pieces - and the rooms are without a roof and open to the sky. They are entered through a central door in the north wall flanked on either side by a rectangular shallow niche with a trefoil arch above. The northern door of the western room is made up of a Hindu frame as shown by carved Hindu figures. The eastern room shows sculptured scenes from the ramayana and the mahabharata. There are other stone sculptures fixed at the plinth on the outer face. The structure neither conforms to a Hindu temple nor to a Muslim tomb. What is probable is that it was built on a makeshift plan with reshuffled temple materials. The unsettled nature of Muslim occupation of the region at the time supports such a suggestion. [Himadri]
Festival : Kartikeya is also worshipped in West Bengal, and Kolkata (the capital of the state) on the last day of the Hindu month of 'Kartik'. However, the popularity of Kartik Puja (worshipping Kartik) is decreasing now, and Lord Kartik is primarily worshipped among those who intend to have a son. In Bengal, traditionally, many people drop images of Lord Kartik inside the boundaries of different households, who all are either newly married, or else, intend to get a son to carry on with their ancestry. Lord Kartik is also associated to the Babu Culture prevailed in historic Kolkata, and hence, many traditional old Bengali paintings still show Kartik dressed in traditional Bengali style. Also, in some parts of West Bengal, Kartik is traditionally worshipped by the ancestors of the past royal families too, as in the district of Malda. Kartik Puja is also popular among the prostitutes. This can probably be linked to the fact that the prostitutes mostly got clients from the upper-class babu-s in old Kolkata, who all, in turn, had been associated to the image of Kartik (as discussed above). In Bansberia (Hooghly district), Kartik Puja festival is celebrated like Durga puja of Kolkata, Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar for consecutive four days. The festival starts on 17 November every year or on 16 November in case of a leap year. Some of the must-see Puja committees are Bansberia Kundugoli Nataraj, Khamarapara Milan Samity RadhaKrishna, Kishor Bahini, Mitali Sangha, Yuva Sangha, Bansberia Pratap Sangha and many more.
As of 2001census, Bansberia had a population of 104,453. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Bansberia has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 58% of the literates being males and 42% of being females. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
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