Chandannagar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Chandernagar)
Jump to: navigation, search
Chandannagar
চন্দননগর
Chandernagor (French); Chandernagore (English)
City of Kolkata Metropolitan Region
Chandernagore Strand Park
Chandernagore Strand Park
Chandannagar is located in West Bengal
Chandannagar
Chandannagar
Coordinates: 22°52′N 88°23′E / 22.87°N 88.38°E / 22.87; 88.38Coordinates: 22°52′N 88°23′E / 22.87°N 88.38°E / 22.87; 88.38
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Hooghly
Metropolitan Region Kolkata
Area
 • Total 19 km2 (7 sq mi)
Elevation 9 m (30 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 166,867
 • Density 8,800/km2 (23,000/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 712136, 712137
Telephone code 033
Lok Sabha constituency Hooghly
Vidhan Sabha constituency Chandannagar
Website http://heritagechandernagore.com/

Chandannagar, formerly spelled as Chandernagore, is a Corporation city and former French colony located about 35 kilometers (22 mi) north of Kolkata, in West Bengal, India. It is headquarter of a subdivision of same name in Hooghly District. It is one of the 7 municipal corporations in West Bengal. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. Located on the Hooghly River, the city has been able to maintain a unique identity different from all other cities and abide by her own characteristics. The total area is 19 square kilometers (7.3 sq mi), and had a population of 166,867 at the 2011 Census. Chandannagar is connected to Kolkata by railway, roadways and Hooghly river and it takes about an hour to reach there by car.

Origin of name of Chandannagar[edit]

The name Chandannagar is possibly derived from the shape of the bank of the river Ganges which is bent like a half moon (in Bengali, Chand means moon and Nagar implies city). Some local people say that once, the place was the major hub of the trade of Sandal (Bengali-chandan). In some old documents the spelling of Chandannagar was Chandernagore which probably came from Chandra Nagar. To mention, Chandra is the Bengali of Moon. One more reason behind the name is, in Chandernagore there is a temple of Goddess 'Chandi'. So it might come from there. But earlier people knew the place by the name Farasdangaor "Francedonmgi" as it was a French colony (Bengali: Farasi means French, danga means land).

History[edit]

The capture of the position of Chandernagore in 1757 by the Royal Navy.

Chandannagar was established as a French colony in 1673, when the French obtained permission from Ibrahim Khan, the Nawab of Bengal, to establish a trading post on the right bank of the Hughli River. Bengal was then a province of the Mughal Empire. It became a permanent French settlement in 1688, and in 1730 Joseph François Dupleix was appointed governor of the city, during whose administration more than two thousand brick houses were erected in the town and a considerable maritime trade was carried on. For a time, Chandannagar was the main center for European commerce in Bengal.

Chandannagar waterfront c. 1850

In 1756 war broke out between France and Great Britain, and Colonel Robert Clive of the British East India Company and Admiral Charles Watson of the British Navy bombarded and captured Chandannagar on 23 March 1757. The town's fortifications and many houses were demolished thereafter, and Chandannagar's importance as a commercial center was eclipsed by that of Calcutta situated down river. Chandernagore was restored to the French in 1763, but retaken by the British in 1794 in the Napoleonic Wars. The city was returned to France in 1816, along with a 3 sq mi (7.8 km2) enclave of surrounding territory. It was governed as part of French India until 1950, under the political control of the governor-general in Pondicherry. By 1900 the town's former commercial importance was gone, and it was little more than a quiet suburb of Calcutta, with a population of 25,000 (1901). But it was noted for its clean wide thoroughfares, with many elegant residences along the riverbank.

Like the other three French occupied colonies of India, Chandernagore was under Pondicherry. There was only one Governor for the entire French India. He lived in the principal city of Pondicherry, from time to time he would visit the colonies. There was one Administrator under the Governor in each colony. Though there were courts and magistrates here, a separate judge used to come from Pondicherry for session trials. There was a High court in Pondicherry for filing an appeal. The Collectorates, the Education Department, the Housing Department etc. were all under the said department of Pondicherry. One Inspector from France used to come here every year for inspecting all the affairs. The French Consul who lived in Calcutta had no connection with the administration of Chandernagore.

Formerly the government kept a troop of sepoys to help maintenance of peace in the town. It is known that Chandernagore had two divisions of infantry during 1743-45. Under the terms of the treaty it had no alternative but to keep not more than 15 soldiers.

The laws of this place were not separate, laws were the same in regard to all the colonies and they were drawn up by the Minister of the Interior of France. In the councils of Depute and Senateur of France there was one representative elected by the citizens and representatives of French India in each.

Though no Indian ever got a place in the Councils of Depute and Senateur, the citizens of Chandernagore had the right to be elected to those seats.

A Municipality was created here on 1 August 1880. Charles Dumaine became the first Mayor.

There was a post called 'Notaire' like the Registrar of British India. All the deeds as for testament, sale and purchase, debts and dues were registered by him.

The judicial system even passed a few death sentences here. An instrument called 'guillotine' was used to carry out capital punishment. The guillotine instrument was used here for the last time on 22 July 1895. Two persons of this place named Sk. Abdul Panjari and Hiru Bagdi were sentenced to death for the first time on 26 January 1883.

Battle of Chandannagore[edit]

Merger with India[edit]

India became independent from Britain in 1947. In June 1948 the French Government held a plebiscite which found that 97% of Chandannagar's residents wished to become part of India. In May 1950, the French allowed the Indian government to assume de facto control over Chandannagar, officially ceding the city to India on 2 February 1951. De jure transfer took place on 9 June 1952.

On 2 October 1954 Chandannagar was integrated into the state of West Bengal.[1]

Places of tourist interest[edit]

The Chandan Nagar strand.
French Cemetery.
Sacred Heart church.
Inscription on Chandannagar Gate
Nandadulal Jiu mandir.
The French Governor's palace presently housing the Chandannagar Museum

Chandannagore Strand[edit]

The tree-shaded promenade along the river is about 1 km (0.62 mi) in length and 7 meters (23 ft) in width, and there are many buildings of historical importance along the way. It is a popular spot for local people and tourists alike, who love to stroll along enjoying the breeze and watching the small boats sail by. Along the Strand one can find the Vivekananda Mandir (a meditation centre protruding into the river Ganges).

Chandannagore Museum and Institute (Institut de Chandernagor)[edit]

One of the oldest museums of the region. It boasts a collection of French antiques (such as cannons used in Anglo-French war, wooden furniture of the 18th century, etc.) which are difficult to find anywhere else in the world. The institute still teaches French through regular classes. Jogendra Nath Sen, resident of Chandannagar who died in France fighting in the World War I. His personal items were sent to his brother in India who later donated them to the Intitut de Chandernagore in Chandannagar.[2]The Museum is closed on Thursday and Saturday.

The Sacred Heart Church of Chandannagar (l'Eglise du Sacré Cœur)[edit]

The church is situated near the Strand. It was designed by French Architect Jacques Duchatz. The church was inaugurated by Paul Goethals 27 Jan. 1884.[3] The church stands for over two centuries to mark the beauty of the architecture during the French period — a good place to visit for the historians and tourists alike. The remains of the Church of St. Louis is also an attractive tourist spot.

French Cemetery[edit]

The French Cemetery contains 150 tombs and is located on the Grand Trunk Road opposite Lal Dighi (a large lake). Amongst the remarkable people buried there, one can find the tomb of Duplessis, the founding father of French Chandannagar and also the one of pioneering meteorologist Henry "Storm" Piddington, who is mentioned in Amitav Ghosh's novel The Hungry Tide.[4]

The Patal Bari or the underground house

Chandanangar Gate[edit]

Constructed in 1937, to mark the Fall of Bastille, the gate has the French Revolution slogan "Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality and fraternity)" etched on it.[5]

The Underground House (Patal-Bari)[edit]

The building is another beautiful example of the advancement in the knowledge of architecture and the aesthetic sense of the people of those earlier days. Its lowest floor is submerged in the River Ganges. The Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore frequently visited the place and appreciated a lot about the building. He felt that the place influenced him to a large extent and broadened his intellectual capabilities. He mentioned Patal-bari in many of his famous novels. The famous social reformer Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar also stayed in the building. The house was owned by the zemindars of nearby Bansberia.

Nandadulal Temple[edit]

Nandadulal Temple built in 1740 by Indranarayan Roychoudhury presents an excellent example of ancient Indian sculptures. There are many fascinating temples devoted to Kali, Shiva and other deities which show marks of brilliant craftsmanship and artistic taste.

Nritya Gopal Smriti Mandir[edit]

Built by Sri Harihar Sett, and donated to the people of Chandannagore. This building still serves as a theatre hall and a library. It was first of its kind in the entire locality. It has one of the largest collections of books in French, English and Bengali in the district.

Bishalakshmi temple[edit]

The temple is situated near Brahmin para, Boubazar in the western part of railway station. The history of this ancient temple is not known properly. The deity is worshiped regularly by the local people.

Chandernagore Heritage Museum[edit]

Archival materials on the history of Chandernagor and relics of Rabindranath Tagore are available at the Chandernagore Heritage Museum which is located in the vicinity of the Barabazar Auto Stop. (Please note that access to the archive is limited only to research scholars).

Radhanath Sikdar Himalayan Museum[edit]

The Radhanath Sikdar Himalayan Museum at Ananda Cottage, Bagbazar, sports a fine display of mountaineering equipment and the history associated with such artefacts.

KMDA Park[edit]

The KMDA Park located West of Chandernagore Railway Station is a popular park and picnic spot. It was made open to the public in 2002 and since then it has served thousands of people who come here for picnics, particularly in the winter months.

Roads and transport[edit]

By road
Chandannagore is 37 km (23 mi) by road from Kolkata via G.T. Road or Delhi road. Taxis and private cars in Kolkata are easily available to approach Chandannagore.
By rail
Local trains from Howrah through Howrah Burdwan Eastern Railway main line run very frequently (peak frequency one train every 10 or 12 minutes). Many important express and passenger trains halt here. The distance from Howrah by rail is approximately 33 km (21 mi) and it takes about 50–55 minutes in all stop local trains.
By air
Nearest airport is at Kolkata (Kolkata Airport), which is airlinked with all major Indian and international cities. Chandannagore is only 40 km (25 mi) by road from the airport. Please check Flight Schedules from the airport.
By water
Government of West Bengal (West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation) operates river services across river Hooghly (the Ganges) and also between Chandannagore and Kolkata and Belur.

Heritage and culture[edit]

Jagaddhatri Puja is a major socio cultural event in this region.

Oldest Jagaddatri Puja of Chandannagar. Goddess is called as "Adi Maa".
Lighting in Chandannagar during Jaggadhatri Puja 2016.

History[edit]

The ancient history of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar is unknown even today. It is wrongly believed that Indranarayan Chowdhury introduced the Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar in manners similar to Raja Krishnachandra of Krishnanagore. The time of beginning of Jagadhatri Puja in Krishnanagore was 1762. Indranarayan Choudhury died in 1756. So Indranarayan Choudhury by no means introduced the Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar. The beginning of Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar probably dates back earlier than 1750. Indranarayan Choudhury performed the Jagadhatri puja at his own house in Chandannagar, at the time Krishnachandra used to come to borrow money from Indranarayan Choudhury. The father of Krishnachandra had started the puja of Jagadhatri at Krishna Nagar due to missing out once on the puja of Durga by being locked up in British prison.[6] Once Krishnachandra's ship could not reach Krishna Nagar in time for Jagadhatri puja due to weak winds. So he performed on day of nabami the puja at the Ghat of Nichupoty. Seeing in this the wish of the Goddess to be established as a puja in Chandannagar too, he left funds for its yearly worship on a permamnent basis. n 1780 Bengal Gazette of James August Hickey was the first newspaper of this country. The newspaper was silent about the Jagaddhatri Puja. But the 'Friends of India' published a report on the community Jagaddhatri Puja in 1820. The date of the community Jagaddhatri Puja in Chandernagore was 1790. In those days Robert Clive called Loxmigonj of Chandernagore the 'Granary of Bengal'. The Jagaddhatri Puja at Chaulpotty (Rice Market) in Loxmigonj is probably the historic example of the ancient community Jagaddhatri Puja. The Jagaddhatri Puja of Chandernagore bridges the past and the present.

Jagaddhatri_Puja_Baghbazar_Area_Chandannagar

One of the main attractions of the Jagaddhatri idol of Chandernagore is the ornamental decoration of the goddess with sola and the beautiful canvas of mats with paintings at the back of the image. Also the procession is second longest in the world after Rio de Janeiro's.[7]

Procession Tableau
The lightgates of Chandan nagar in West Bengal, India. Chandan nagar is famous for its light gates that are used during Durga Pooja and Jagadhatri Pooja.

Education[edit]

Chandernagore Govt. College

List of boys' schools[edit]

  • Chandernagore Sri Aurobindo Vidyamadir (English medium)(WBBSE, WBCHSE)
  • Adarsa Shikshalaya (WBBSE, WBCHSE)
  • Kanailal Vidyamandir (English & French Section)(WBBSE, WBCHSE)
  • Durga Charan Rakshit Banga Vidyalaya (WBBSE, WBCHSE)
  • Prabartak Vidyarthi Bhaban (WBBSE)
  • Ganges Gurukul[8] (Coed)(ICSE + ISC)
  • Khalisani Vidya Mandir (WBBSE)
  • Narua Siksha Niketan (WBBSE)
  • Modern Public School, Bhakunda (co ed)
  • Chandannagar St. Paul's
  • Rishi Aurobindo Bal-Kendram, Vidyalanka (Co-Ed)
  • Vivekanand Wisdom Mission (Co-ED)
  • Chandannagar Banga Vidyalaya (WBBSE, WBCHSE)

List of girls' schools[edit]

  • St. Joseph Convent[9]
  • Krishna Bhabini Nari Shiksha Mandir (WBBSE, WBCHSE)
  • St. Anthony's High School (WBBSE)
  • Lal Bagan Balika Vidyalaya (WBBSE)
  • Ushangini Balika Vidyalaya (WBBSE, WBCHSE)
  • Prabartak Nari Mandir (WBBSE)
  • Indumati Girls High School (WBBSE)
  • Khalisani Nari Siksha Mandir (WBBSE)
  • Ganges Gurukul[8] (Coed)(ICSE + ISC)
  • Bholanath Das Balika Vidyalaya
  • Modern Public School, Bhakunda (co ed)
  • Rishi Aurobindo Bal-Kendram, Vidyalanka (Co-Ed)

LIST OF CO-ED SCHOOLS[edit]

  • St Thomas


List of colleges[edit]

  • Chandannagar Govt. College (University of Burdwan)
  • Khalisani Mahavidyalaya (University of Burdwan)
  • Institute of Education (P.G.) for Women, Chandannagar (University of Burdwan)
  • Women's Polytechnic College

Gallery[edit]

The temple dedicated to Swami Vivekananda on Strand road

Geography[edit]

A view of the River Hooghly from the Strand Road

Chandannagar is located at 22°52′N 88°23′E / 22.87°N 88.38°E / 22.87; 88.38. It has an average elevation of 10 metres (33 ft).

Chandannagar consisted of mainly three parts Khalisani (west), Gondalpara (south) and Boro Kishanganj (north). There are about 30 localities (para) and more than 100 sub-localities. Of them some are Gondalpara, Nutan Telighat, Barasat, Tematha, Hatkhola, Daibokpara, Padripara, Lalbagan, Barabazar, Bagbazar, Fatokgora, Khalisani, Nabagram, Palpara, Urdibazar, Luxmigunj, Panchanantala, Taldanga, Haridradanga etc.

The G.T. Road runs through the middle of the city. The Delhi road runs marking the western limit of the city. Bajra, Bandhagram etc. are some of the village like areas near the borders of the city.

The city is bordered by Chinsurah in the north, Bhadreshwar in the south, the Hooghly river in the east and Dhaniakhali in the west

Demographics[edit]

As per 2011 Census of India Chandannagar had a total population of 166,867 of which 84,009 (50%) were males and 82,858 (50%) were females. Population below 6 years was 11,826. The total number of literates in Chandannagar was 139,005 (89.65% of the population over 6 years).[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bondyopadhyay, Biswanath. Dictionary of Historical Places, Bengal, 1757 – 1947. Primus. p. 135. ISBN 978 93 80607 41 2. 
  2. ^ Ghorai, Jayeeta (17 July 2015). "Leeds remembers its forgotten Indian war hero" (Kolkata). The Times of India. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Bhattacharya, Narendranath. Hooghly Jelar Purakirti. West Bengal State Archeology. p. 65. 
  4. ^ Banerjee, Sudeshna (23 October 2013). "Restoration at French Cemetery" (Kolkata). The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Datta, Rangan (4 March 2012). "Next Weekend you can be at Chandannagar" (Kolkata). The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Charleston, June McDaniel Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies College of (9 July 2004). Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls : Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal. Oxford University Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-19-534713-5. 
  7. ^ "French connection: Jagaddhatri's homecoming to Chandernagore - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Ganges Gurukul, ICSE, Co-Ed English Medium School". www.gangesgurukul.co.in. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  9. ^ "Official Website of St. Joseph's School". Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "2011 Census – Primary Census Abstract Data Tables". West Bengal – District-wise. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 15 June 2016l. 
  • 9. Archival Papers on Merger with India [Chandannagar Heritage Archive]
  • 10. Old Photos of Chandannagar [Chandannagar Heritage Archive]
  • 11. Old Map [Chandannagar Heritage Archive]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]