Madan Mohan Tarkalankar

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Madan Mohan Tarkalankar
Born 3 January 1817
Bilwagram, Nadia
Died 9 March 1858
Occupation Poet, Sanskrit scholar

Madan Mohan Tarkalankar (Bengali: মদন মোহন তর্কালঙ্কার) (3 January 1817 – 9 March 1858) was a Bengali poet and Sanskrit scholar. He also developed Bengali text-books for children. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Akshay Kumar Datta and Tarkalankar were the first "to envisage texts that would build the character of the new generation without sacrificing literary sensitivity. Virtually, the entire mental make-up of the late nineteenth century Bengali society was structured through these text books."[1] He, along with his friend Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, set up the Sanskrit Press and Depository, a print shop and a bookstore.[2]

Early life[edit]

The son of Ramdhan Chattopadhyay of Bilwagram in Nadia district, he was a classmate of Ishwar Chandra Vidysagar at Sanskrit College, Kolkata, and later studied at Hindu College. He was conferred the title of Kabyaratnakar by his teachers and professors because of his exceptional poetic talents. His friends conferred the title of Tarkalankar.[3]

While still a student he composed two volumes of poetry, namely Rasatarangini and Vidyaratna.[3]


He taught at Fort William College and Krishnanagar College, before joining Sanskrit College, as professor of literature in 1846. He went to Mushidabad as judge-pandit in 1855 and was promoted as deputy magistrate in 1855. He established a printing press in Kolkata and published many old Bengali and Sanskrit books.[3] Basabdatta is one of his important works.

Bethune’s school[edit]

In the 19th century, the educated elite or middle class did not send their daughters to school. John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune first achieved success in this respect with the support of Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee, Ramgopal Ghosh and Madan Mohan Tarkalankar. He also wrote the first modern Bengali primer, Sishu Siksha(completed in three parts), for the school, and his two daughters (Kundamala and Bhubanmala) were amongst the first students of the school.[4] He taught in the school without any remuneration.[3]


  1. ^ Majumdar, Swapan, Literature and Literary Life in Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, pp112-113, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.
  2. ^ Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar#Teaching career
  3. ^ a b c d Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), 1976/1998, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (Bengali), p391, ISBN 81-85626-65-0
  4. ^ Acharya, Paramesh, Education in Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p87, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.