Barpeta

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Barpeta
Tatikuchi
Satra Nagari
city
Gorokhiya Gosain Than
Gorokhiya Gosain Than
Barpeta is located in Assam
Barpeta
Barpeta
Location in Assam, India
Coordinates: 26°19′N 91°00′E / 26.32°N 91.0°E / 26.32; 91.0Coordinates: 26°19′N 91°00′E / 26.32°N 91.0°E / 26.32; 91.0
Country  India
State Assam
District Barpeta
Elevation 35 m (115 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 41,175
Languages
 • Official Assamese
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 781301
Vehicle registration As-15-X-XXXX
Website barpeta.nic.in

Barpeta (Pron: bə(r)ˈpeɪtə / bə(r)ˈpi:tə ) is a town in Barpeta district, India and is district headquarters. The city is located 90 kilometres (56 mi) north west of Guwahati and is one of the major cities in Western Assam.

Etymology[edit]

The word Barpeta derives from "Bar" meaning big and "Peta" meaning pond. Thus Barpeta means "land of big ponds", as in pre-modern times Barpeta was full of large ponds. A nearby town is Sarupeta, the word which exactly means opposite to the former.

History[edit]

Main article: Kamrup region

In ancient times, Barpeta was part of Kamapitha division of Kamarupa. Medieval invaders continue to call Western Assam as Kamrup. In colonial and post-colonial times, it became part of Kamrup district till 1983, when new district of Barpeta was carved out.

Barpeta has been a place of great religious importance. Known by various names like Tatikuchi, Porabhita, Mathura, Vrindavan, Choukhutisthan, Nabaratna-Sabha, Icchakuchi, Pushpak Vimana, Kampur and Barpeta. It was Koch King Naranarayan who founded Barnagar (Sorbhog). The present District formed an integral part of the Koch-Hajo and the Ahom Kingdom till British Administration took over. From the ancient period Barpeta witnessed the rule of the Varmans (380-654) the Salasthamas (655-985) the Palas (985-1260) the Kamatas (1260-1509) & the Koches from 1509. During the Kamata & Koch rule major historical development took place. During this period large number of local feudatory-chiefs who are primarily land lords called ‘Bhuyans’ ruled the region. Number of villages constituted a ‘Chakla’ placed under a Bhuyan was patronised by the Kamatas. These Bhuyans arrived from eastern part of India like Kanauj, Gauda and Bengal who in passage of time became general Assamese caste and accepted the Vaishnava faith under influence of Shrimanta Sankardeva.

Koch King Naranarayan established his temporary capital at Barnagar. Here he met Shrimanta Sankardeva and his renowned disciple and sub-sequently accepted Vaishnavism when Sankardeva was invited by the monarch to Koch- Bihar. It was during king Naranarayan’s regime at Barnagar the great saint established Satra at Patbaushi to spread his Socio-religious faith. The Koch rule ended with annexation by the Mughals. The valiant Ahom fought a number of battles against the invading Mughals. Some of the well-known battles were fought at Jakhlikhana, Bhabanipur and Bhatekuchi. Ahoms were defeated and Mughals took over the Administration and systematised the entire revenue administration. Kamrupa became a Sarkar, which was divided into Parganas. Barpeta, Khetri, Bajali, Barnagar, Bahbari and Bijni became Parganas. A Gomasta was appointed to run the ‘Tapa’ and a number of Tapas became a Pargana. For administrative convenience the Parganas were divided into Taluks, lats and villages. Parganas were placed under Barbaruas and Choudhuries. Taluks remained under Talukdar. They were assisted by Thakurias, Patwaries, Kakati, Gaon barika etc. who kept the revenue accounts. Judges in Parganas were called Shikdar, whereas Amin and Kanango were responsible for land-survey, assessment and collection of revenue.

With the advent of Shrimanta Sankardeva, this region turned into a religious place dotted with numerous satras and in fact Barpeta town came to be called ‘Boikunthapuri Dham’. As a part of providing patronage to various religious-places irrespective of religions, the Ahom rulers provided a large number of land-grants to the Satras. Dr. Maheswar Neog in his edited work” Prasya Sasanawali” has mentioned a large number of land-grants during the region of Shiva Singha, Rajeswar Singha, Lakshmi Singha, Gaurinath Singha and Chandra Kanta Singha. Grants were made to Muslim-Darghas of Shah Madar at Baushi, Shah Fakir at Barnagar, Panch Peer at Khetri, Syed Shahnur Dewan Fakir at Bhella, where Chandra Kanta Singha granted 100 bighas la khiraj land. Grants were made to Devalaya also. These grants were made in copper-plate inscriptions which are invaluable source of history. Widespread destruction of life and property took place when the Maans invaded from Myanmar. Even the Barpeta Satra was razed to the ground during this invasion. To restore peace British army entered Barpeta to drove-off all the invaders. With the advent of British rule Mouzadari system came into effect. In 1841 Barpeta became a Civil Sub Division and John Batlor became the first administrator. As a part of policy of exploitation, land-revenue rates were suddenly enhanced which resulted in a number of peasant unrest in between 1893-94 particularly in Bajali and Sarukhetri area. Large number of arrests was carried out to foil attempts of unrest. The Lachima up rising is one such shining example of peasant revolt against British rule. Raijor Sabha constituted during this period raised the banner of revolt.

During the struggle for independence large number of people participated and was jailed. Madan Chandra Barman and Rauta Koch were first martyrs to sacrifice their lives during Quit India Movement of 1942. Some of the important Congress leaders who lead the Freedom-struggle are Umesh Chandra Brahmachari, Dhaniram Talukdar, Ganesh Lal Choudhury, Debendra Nath Uzir, Akshay Kumar Das, Bongshidhar Choudhury, Nanamohan Mazumdar, Golak Pathak, Sonaram Choudhury, Dr. Jinaram Das, Biswanath Das, Praneswar Das, Ambikagiri Raichoudhury, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury, Madhusudan Das, Upendra Chandra Das, Janardan Das Debendra Sharma, Naranarayan Goswami, Kabiraj Ghanashyam Das, and Chandraprava Saikiani. Mahatma Gandhi visited Barpeta in 1934. So did Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937.[1]

Geography[edit]

It is located at 26°19′N 91°00′E / 26.32°N 91.0°E / 26.32; 91.0.[2] It has an average elevation of 35 metres (114 feet). It is 44 km away from Manas National Park. Three rivers - Chaulkhowa, Mora Nodi (Dead River) and Nakhanda, both of which are tributaries to Brahmaputra run through the town.[3]

Forestry[edit]

Barpeta is the gateway to Manas National Park, one of the largest forests of Assam and one of the few tiger reserves of India. It is also famous for the various temples in the district.

Climate[edit]

Barpeta has subtropical climate, with chilly winters and hot humid summers.

Climate data for Barpeta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.8
(83.8)
32.2
(90)
38.4
(101.1)
39.0
(102.2)
37.0
(98.6)
38.3
(100.9)
36.5
(97.7)
36.2
(97.2)
35.8
(96.4)
34.3
(93.7)
31.0
(87.8)
28.1
(82.6)
39
(102.2)
Average high °C (°F) 23.6
(74.5)
26.2
(79.2)
30.0
(86)
31.2
(88.2)
31.2
(88.2)
31.7
(89.1)
31.9
(89.4)
32.2
(90)
31.7
(89.1)
30.3
(86.5)
27.6
(81.7)
24.7
(76.5)
29.36
(84.87)
Average low °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
12.0
(53.6)
15.9
(60.6)
20.0
(68)
22.7
(72.9)
24.9
(76.8)
25.6
(78.1)
25.6
(78.1)
24.7
(76.5)
21.9
(71.4)
16.7
(62.1)
11.8
(53.2)
19.34
(66.82)
Record low °C (°F) −2.7
(27.1)
−0.5
(31.1)
6.1
(43)
11.1
(52)
16.2
(61.2)
20.4
(68.7)
21.4
(70.5)
22.1
(71.8)
17.7
(63.9)
10.6
(51.1)
5.5
(41.9)
−0.7
(30.7)
−2.7
(27.1)
Rainfall mm (inches) 11.9
(0.469)
18.3
(0.72)
55.8
(2.197)
147.9
(5.823)
244.2
(9.614)
316.4
(12.457)
345.4
(13.598)
264.3
(10.406)
185.9
(7.319)
91.2
(3.591)
18.7
(0.736)
7.1
(0.28)
1,717.7
(67.626)
Avg. rainy days 1.8 2.9 5.8 13.1 17.0 19.6 22.3 18.5 15.2 7.4 2.8 1.3 127.7
 % humidity 79 65 57 68 75 81 83 82 83 82 82 82 76.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 226.3 214.7 220.1 201.0 192.2 132.0 124.0 161.2 138.0 204.6 231.0 232.5 2,277.6
Source: World Meteorological Organization

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[4] Barpeta had a population of 41,175. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Barpeta has an average literacy rate of 80%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 54% of the males and 46% of females literate. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Culture[edit]

Main article: Kamrupi culture
Kirtan Ghar

Barpeta is well known for Vaishnavite Thaans and Neo Vaishnavite Satras scattered all around the town and adjoining areas, important aspect of towns tourism sector. Bell and Brass metal industry of Barpeta is known country wide.The traditional fireworks industry of Barpeta is well known over the state for its quality.

Place of Interest[edit]

A good number of Satras were founded by these great saints and scholars that are considered regio-cultural institutions or monasteries that had a deep impact on the Social, political, economy etc.of the region. Although the Satra institutions were established for the propagation of Vaishnavite faith but with passage of time these institutions gradually transformed into open universities to become all-embracing socio-cultural centers covering numerous subject including education, music, dance, sculpture, drama, fine-art, Ivory-works etc. Some of the important satras are:

Barpeta Satra[edit]

The Satra located at the heart of the city attracts devotees from all over the state particularly during Holi when Doul festival is organised and anniversaries of various Vaishnava Gurus. The buildings within the Satra premise are architectural achievements in its own right.The Kirtan Ghar is considered to be the largest in Assam. The Three Guru Asanas are placed in this buildings in honour of Srimanta Sankardeva, Shri Madhavdev and Shri Badula Ata. The two Satradhikars sit behind the Asanas to hold Nam-Prasangas regularly. Numerous buildings are located within the premise covering an area of 20 Bighas.

Patbaushi Satra[edit]

The Satra at Patbaushi was established by Shrimanta Sankardeva. His Vaishnava faith was spread by the guru’s able disciples Shri Madhav Deva, Shri Damodar Deva and Shri Hari Deva. It was from this satra that Srimanta Sankardeva spread his faith, literature, music art-forms, culture and work-culture to its fullest form. Here the guru spent 18 years of his life with remarkable achievement including completion of the ‘Kirtan Ghosa’ and composition of 20 number of invaluable Borgeets. Some of the items used by these Gurus and Sachipat puthis are well-preserved here. The Satra is located about 2 km north of Barpeta town.

Ganakkuchi Satra[edit]

This satra was founded by Sri Madhab Deva for which the land was purchased by Shrimanta Sankardeva for 1 Tola (about 10gm) Gold and nominated his close disciple Shri Madhab Deva as the satradhikar to stay here to spread his faith and he went on to stay here for 18 long years. Some of the items used by the guru and Sachipat puthis are well-preserved here. The Satra is located within the Barpeta town area.

Jania Satra[edit]

This Satra was established by Sankardeva’s disciple Shri Narayan Das Thakur Ata. He composed a large number of devotional songs here. This Satras located at a distance of 8 km from Barpeta in Barpeta Jania Road.

Sundaridiya Satra[edit]

The Satra was established by Shri Madhab Deva after leaving Ganakkuchi Satra. The first satradhikar of Barpeta Satra Sri Mathura Das Burha Ata initially come to this Satra and became a disciple of Shri Madhab Deva. It was here that Paal Nam and Beer Nam or Thiya Nam was created by sri Madhab Deva. A large number of items used by the guru including Sachipat-puthis are preserved here.

Baradi Satra[edit]

This satra was also established by Sri Madhab Deva and stayed here for a very short period.Baradi Satra is the”Adi Satra” of Madhab deb.The Sankarite culture spread far and wide from Baradi making it a centre for learning. The place is located about 2 km east of Barpeta town.Holi”fakua”is one of the most holly festival of Baradi Satra.

Satra Kanara[edit]

Established by Sri Sri Narayan Das Thakur Ata. This Satra is damaged by natural calamities. Floods creates problem for running the Satra. As a result the original habitants of this place shifted to Gajia and Ganakkuchi in Barpeta. The Satra is located at a distance of 16 km from Barpeta.

Markaz[edit]

Barpeta District Head Markaz, Howly, is also one of the leading Markazs in Barpeta district. For the Muslim community, this is the only centre for ethnic education.[citation needed] Howly Head Markaz has some branches in all Barpeta district as Barpeta Town Markz Mosque, Barpeta Road Zame Mosque, Majgaon Markaz, Bhella Zame Mosque, Mandia Zame Mosque, Gomafulbari Tittle Madrassa, Balikuri Zame Mosque, Keotkuchi Zame Mosque.

Transport[edit]

Town is well connected with nearby towns and cities with buses and other modes of transportation. The nearest railway station, airport and port is Barpeta Road, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport and Dhubri respectively.[5]

Politics[edit]

Barpeta is part of Barpeta (Lok Sabha constituency).[6] Indian president Fakaruddin Ali Ahmed was an MP from the Barpeta constituency. Syed Abdur Rouf, A.F Golam Osmani and other prominent persons represented Barpeta in the constitutional assembly.[7] There 7 nos of Assembly Constituency in the district. Those are Jania,Baghbar,Sorbhog,Sarukhetri,Bhabanipur,Chenga and Barpeta .[8]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]