Jamuna River (West Bengal)
River Jamuna at Charghat
|Districts||North 24 Parganas, Nadia|
|- location||Haringhata, Nadia, West Bengal, India|
|- location||Charghat, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India|
History & course
The Jamuna river is regarded as one of the earlier distributaries of the Hooghly River. It is said that the Hooghly River divided into three streams at Tribeni in Hooghly district : the present Hooghly River (also known as Bhagirathi), the Saraswati River which flows south-west beyond Saptagram and the Jamuna River (which flowed south-east). However, in the course of time, the connection between the Hooghly and the Saraswati silted up and it caused the Jamuna River to emerge out as a separate river.
It originates near the Haringhata Farm in southern Nadia district. As a whole, the river is characterized by sharp bends and meandering courses. It flows through the towns of Haringhata, Nagarukhra, Gaighata, Gobardanga, Machlandapur and Charghat and finally merges with the Ichamati River. During its flow, it passes through several landmarks such as the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, West Bengal, Gaighata Burning Ghat, Gobardanga Grameen Hospital, Gobardanga Children's Hospital, Gobardanga Rajbari etc.
Formation of oxbow lakes and tourism
During its course, Jamuna has created several oxbow lakes. The most famous of these lakes is the Kankona Baor in Gobardanga. In Bengali, the word Kankon means an open mouthed bangle, which is worn by ladies. The shape of this water body resembles a Kankon. Hence this oxbow lake has been named as Kankona Baor. It is a beautiful lush green place with scenic as well as touring potential. There are many historical places surrounding it. Some of them include the Zamindar's house, the bamboo fort of Titumir, the famous Chandi Temple where Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Raja Rammohan Roy performed the first widow marriage etc. People visit this lake regularly in order to experience the thrill of fishing and boating and to enjoy the scenic beauty which comprises fresh vegetation, mustard fields and coconut trees.
Though being a major river, the Jamuna is one of the highly polluted river of the North 24 Parganas district. Many adjoining areas of the river have been identified as areas where groundwater is affected by arsenic contamination. This led to the possibility of a low cost river water treatment plant utilizing water from Jamuna-Ichamati at Gaighata to be considered. However, this is not considered feasible because the Jamuna river is highly polluted. Costs would considerably increase because of installation of a chemical treatment plant to remove pollutants, and the volume of water in the river in summer season is not sufficient.
Influence in Bengali literature
While mentioning Tribeni and the surrounding areas in his Manasamangal, Bengali poet Bipradas Pipilai gave an account of the river. As the merchant ship of the trader Chand Sadagar proceeded to the sea, he passed through Tribeni and Saptagram and the tri-junction of the Hooghly, Saraswati and Jamuna. He wrote: ''Ganga aar Saraswati, Jamuna bishal oti'' (The Ganges and Saraswati, the Jamuna so large), implying the vastness of the river during that time.