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Serampore

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Serampore
শ্রীরামপুর
Srirampore
Sreerampur
City / Urban Agglomeration
Mahesh Rath Yatra.jpg
Nickname(s): Frederiknagore (1755 to 1845)
Serampore is located in West Bengal
Serampore
Serampore
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 22°45′N 88°20′E / 22.75°N 88.34°E / 22.75; 88.34Coordinates: 22°45′N 88°20′E / 22.75°N 88.34°E / 22.75; 88.34
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Hooghly
Named for God Sri Ram-Sita Temple at Dey Street, Sripur, Serampore
Government
 • Body Municipal
 • Chair Person Amiya Mukherjee
 • MP Sreerampur LokShabha (Kalyan Banerjee/ AITC)
 • MLA Sreerampur & Champdani VidhanSabha (Dr. Sudipta Roy/ AITC) & (Abdul Mannan/ INC)
Elevation 17 m (56 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City / Urban Agglomeration 181,842[1]
 • Rank 254[1]
 • Urban 14,035,959[1]
Demonym(s) Seramporians/Seramporebasi
Languages
 • Official Bengali, English Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 712201 to 7122xx
[712201 to 712208, 712223 & 712249 (City Proper)]
Telephone code +91-033
Vehicle registration WB 15 / WB 16
Sex ratio 941 females/1000 males /
Literacy Rate 88.73 %
Lok Sabha constituency Sreerampur
Vidhan Sabha constituency Sreerampur & Champdani
Website www.seramporemunicipality.net.in//

Serampore (Bengali: শ্রীরামপুর) (also called Serampur, Srirampur, Srirampore, Shreerampur, Shreerampore, Shrirampur, Shrirampore, Srerampore) is a famous and historical city in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the headquarter of Serampore subdivision. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority.[2] It is a pre-colonial town (city) on the west bank of the Hooghly River. It was part of Danish India under the name Frederiknagore from 1755 to 1845.

Origin of name of 'Serampore'(শ্রীরামপুর)

It is probable that the name 'Srirampur' originated either from 'Sripur', 'Sri Ram' or both, or it could originate from 'Seetarampore' as there was a very famous 'Ram-Seeta' temple. Serampore City was grown up joining by Mahesh, Ballavpur, Akna, Sripur, Gopinathpur, Manoharpur, Chatra, Rajyadharapur, Naoga, Sheoraphuli, Shimla - sataghara villages. Here some aristocratic localities came up, namely Goswamipara, Lahiripara, Mukherjeepara, Bhattacharyapara, Chakravartipara, Beniapara etc., whose inhabitants were Brahmins of different groups and sects.

History

The city is several centuries old and has witnessed both the growth and decline of the feudal system, the coming of the Danes and their settlement and then a cultural renaissance (known as the Bengal Renaissance) initiated by the British following the construction of the east Indian railway, along with subsequent industrial development.

There were three main phases in the process of urbanisation of Serampore:

  1. The Pre-urbanisation phase (the period before 1755);
  2. The Urbanisation phase (from 1755 to 1854); and
  3. The Industrialisation phase (1854 to 1947).

Before the Mughal era, the region between the Saraswati and Hooghly rivers was a thriving local community.

After this there arose the need for local artisana along with "service class" people who came from the neighbouring villages and settled on granted land. In this way, colonies such as Patuapara, Kumarpara, Dhulipara, Goalpara, Dutta Bagan, Khash Bagan were formed. This along with the fact that Sheoraphuli was a distribution point for local marketable goods produced in different parts of Hughli, induced many families - the Barujibis, Duttas, Deys, Das etc. - to come to settle here before 1755. The cultivating classes settled in such places as Sadgoppara, Mannapara, Lankabaganpara. The Jele-Kaibarta and 'Sani' Muchi, were already in the locality from the beginning, and had their own areas. The local Sunni Muslims, descendants of Mughal soldiers, traders and artisans, lived in Mullickpara, Mussalman Para and here a mosque still bears witness to their existence.

During the Mughal period, Akna (today's Akra Bati Lane) and Mahesh were heavily populated. The hot humid climate of the area suited the textile industry and the local land was well known for its cotton and silk weaving. The Hindu weavers used to manufacture fine cotton pieces, while the Muslim weavers monopolised silk manufacture. In the fertile land, paddy, jute and betel-leaf were grown in abundance. The Kaibarta used the marshy land for fishing.

In pre-urbanisation age, communication was mainly by way of the river. Besides this, there was the 'Badshahi Sadak' or the grand trunk road. Before Danes arrived in this region, the Sheoraphuli Hat was the main internal trade centre and had close commercial links with Barisal, Khulna, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Rajshahi and other districts of East Bengal (now Bangladesh).

Between the 14th and 18th centuries, many foreign merchants, such as the French, Portuguese and Dutch - established their trading outposts, or "Kuthis", here and were involved in trade and commerce.

During the Muslim period, the villagers on the bank of the Hooghly and Saraswati were included in the zamindaries of Sheoraphuli; these feudal lords not only collected rent but also dispensed justice.

Danish rule

The urbanization phase began with the acquisition of land in the area by the Danes in the early 18th century, as part of the Danish colonial empire. In 1755, the Danish East India Company sent a representative from its Tranquebar office to the Nawab of Bengal. Their intention was to secure a parwana (district jurisdiction) allowing them the right to do business in Bengal. They obtained the parwana by paying fifty thousand rupees in cash to Nawab Alivardi Khan, along with many gifts, acquiring three bighas of land at Sripur on the riverfront and then another fifty-seven bighas at Akna for the building of a new factory and port, which the Danes governed from Tranquebar. Subsequently, the Danes acquired the Serampore, Akna and Pearapur mahals by paying an annual rent of 1601 rupees to the zamindar (tax farmer) of Sheoraphuli in North Serampore. By 1770 the Danish merchants were beginning to make significant progress in trade and commerce in the area. Danish prosperity was assisted by the able administrative performance of Colonel Ole Bie, who was appointed the first Crown regent of Serampore in 1776.

The Danes also established a bazaar (the present Tin Bazaar) and allowed private godowns, or warehouses to be maintained. Gradually, the town developed and became elegant and prosperous, and merchants of both foreign and indigenous origin began to arrive and live there.

Initially the Danes were dependent on their factors for obtaining commodities (primarily silk and cotton fabrics), but they later got involved in collection of merchandise directly from the producers, and offered incentives to the artisans in the form of earnest money for making high quality products. They also created a class of trading middlemen, such as agents, banias, mutsuddis, and stevedores.

Sobharan Basak and Anandaram Dhoba, the two local textile businessmen, were appointed as the first 'factors' for the Danes. Nandalal Chakravarty was their first agent, and subsequently he was promoted to "Dewan". Patita Paban Roy, who came from Katulpur in Bankura, and Saphali Ram Dey were appointed agents for the supplying of saltpetre. Brothers Raghuram Goswami and Raghavram Goswami came to Serampore from their home village of Patuli, to seek their fortune. Raghuram secured a job at the commissariat of the Danish Governor, while Raghavram became the official moneylender to the factory. Between them, they amassed a huge fortune acquired vast lands and founded an aristocratic colony on the western side of Serampore with their family. Their descendants still live in Serampore today.

As a sop to the weavers of Akna and Mohanpur villages, the Danes gave advances for both cotton and fine silk products. The merchants also established their own factory to produce fine cloths. They collected 'Hammer' and 'Luckline' ropes for ships, various other kinds of ropes and agricultural produce. They inspired the cultivators of Pearapur to cultivate indigo in addition to paddy rice. Mr. Princep was their indigo agent.

Another notable source of their income was the Hoondi business. Colonel Ole Bie was also interested in making Serampore a charming, elegant, attractive tourist resort. It became a well-protected town and the maintenance of law and order was well developed. To facilitate municipal administrative and judicial work, a new Court House was built and a metalled road was laid on the river bank and magnificent palatial buildings were erected.

The local civil administration, however was carried out by a prototype of a municipality known as the 'Village Committee', with Ole Bie as its Governor. The balmy days of Danish overseas trade largely coincided with the service of Ole Bie as Head of the factory, serving from 1776 to 1805, with only a few interruptions.

Marshman and Carey

The beginning of the 19th century can be considered the most significant period in the history of Serampore, with the arrival of four English missionaries - Joshua Marshman, Hannah Marshman, William Carey, and Willam Ward - who between them were the architects of the Serampore renaissance. Although they came chiefly for the purpose of preaching Christianity, they dedicated themselves to the service of ailing and distressed people in and around the town, spreading education, social reforms and social reconstruction.

They established more than a hundred 'monitorial' schools in the region. Hannah Marshman established the first Girls' School at Serampore, which received much public approval. Carey made an outstanding contribution by founding the Serampore Mission Press in 1800 where the wooden Bengali types made by Panchanan Karmakar were installed.

Perhaps the crowning work of Carey and his two associates was the establishment of the Serampore College in 1818 which acts both as a university through the Senate of Serampore College (University) and as an individual college. The founders had to spend their last farthing on the construction of its magnificent buildings. It was also the first college in Asia to award a degree.

Carey became famous as the father of Bengali prose. The Mission Press published three books - the Bengali translation of the Bible, Hitopadesh and Kathopakathan. Munshi Ramram Basu, the pundit appointed by Carey, brought out Pratapaditya Charit and the Bengali versions of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The first issue of the second Bengali daily, Samachar Darpan came out in 1818 under the editorship of Carey.

At the same time, the Serampore Mission Press brought out the English daily, A Friend of India (precursor to The Statesman). Another outstanding contribution of the missionaries was the installation of India's first paper mill, at Battala, set up by John Clark Marshman (the son of Joshua and Hannah Marshman) which was powered by a steam engine.

Between 1801 and 1832 the Serampore Mission Press printed 212,000 copies of books in 40 different languages. In this cultural development, the local inhabitants had only a passive role. Only a few among the affluent, comprising absentee landlords and businessmen, seized the opportunity for higher education by sending their children to the academic institutions of the missionaries. On the other hand, people belonging to the lower economic stratum sent their children to the monitorial schools, which provided a basic education. In the process, there emerged a class of local gentry, who had a favourable attitude towards the missionaries.

British rule

The century old Durga Puja of Ukil Bari, Chatra

Serampore was turned into a sub-division in the District of Hooghly in 1845. Serampore Municipality was set up separately in 1865. Serampore and its adjoining areas were famous for learning. The Sanskrit Schools popularly known as ‘Tole’ were engaged in the teaching of Sanskrit and published journals like ‘Gyanarunodaya’ (1852), ‘Satya Pradip’, ‘The Evangelist’ (1843), ‘Arunodaya’ (1856), ‘Sarbartha-Sangraha’ (1873), ‘Aakhbare Serampore’ (1826), ‘Bibidha Barta Prakasika’ (1875), ‘Prakiti Ranjan’ (1878) and ‘Benga-Bandhu’ (1882). Literature was always shining in Serampore. Rev. Lal Behari Dey, M. Tansdend, Narayan Chattaraj Gunanidhi, Kalidas Maitra, John Robinson and others were very active in their literary activities. It is said that Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the first modern man in India was born at Chatra in Serampore at his maternal-uncle’s house though the issue is still controversial. Dinabandhu Mitra, the great author, was posted as postmaster (Head Post Office), Serampore. Bibhutibhusan Mukhopadhyay, the famous litterateur, spent his childhood days at Chatra in Serampore. Poets like Amiya Chakraborty, Haraprasad Mitra were also born there.

On 11 October 1845, it was sold to Britain, which integrated it into British India and officially restored the Bengali name. After taking possession of the town, the British began to look after its civic amenities and the earlier 'Village Committee' was transformed into the Serampore Municipality in 1865. Rishra and Konnagar were also included in it.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born in Serampore (Deshguru Bhattacharia Bari at Chatra, North Serampore) [এটি ছিল তাঁর মামার বাড়ি

]

At that time, the affluent high caste section of the Serampore population displayed no sign of modernisation, nor did they subscribe to an urban ethos. The Indian economy during the period was passing through a severe recession. There was continuous migration of rural people to the urban centres. Landless labourers from Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa came to Serampore in search of employment. When the second Jute Mill was opened in 1866 in Serampore (the first one was set up at Rishra in 1855) the town began to grow as an industrial town. Along with the Jute mills, many other subsidiary factories came up in the erstwhile rural areas within or on the fringes of the town.

Thus, with the capital investment of the British the commercial town of Serampore was transformed into an industrial one. The deciding force behind the process was the laying of the railway line from Howrah to Burdwan in 1854. It ushered in a great change in the social composition of the town. Between 1866 and 1915, six more jute mills were established at Rishra, Serampore and Chandannagar. The local landlords, thikadars and mill-owners made arrangements for the habitation of the labour force around the factories. Thus at Mahesh, Akna, and Tarapukur mouzas adjacent to the Ganges, workers' colonies like Odiabasti, Gayaparabasti, Chhapra basti and Telengipara basti were established. Because of the arrival of these migrant workers, the population in Serampore increased from 24,440 to 44,451 between 1872 and 1901. The habitations of labourers were unhygienic, overcrowded slums. There was no provision for even the bare minimum of civic amenities in their dwellings.

In 1914, an arrangement was made to supply filtered potable water from the Municipality. The Town Hall was established in memory of Kishori Lal Goswami in 1927. At the initiative of the Government, the weaving school was founded during the thirties, and later on it was raised to the status of a Textile College. The municipality began to provide electricity in 1938. After fifty years of British possession, Serampore was swept by the waves of a Bengali cultural and nationalist movement. The spirit of nationalism influenced many youths from middle-class families. It resulted in the decline of foreign investment in industries. But there was an increase in indigenous investment. The Bangalakshmi Cotton Mill was founded out of the swadeshi spirit. From the beginning of the 20th century, many primary schools and educational institutions were set up in Serampore. The descendants of some of the older aristocratic families donated their residential buildings for benevolent purposes.

Post 1947

'm Bazaar' (Bazaar Kolkata Shopping Mall),K.M Sha Street, Serampore Town Staion Bazaar

Since 1947, Serampore has become a satellite of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and as such its process of urbanisation and change is as yet still incomplete. Now Serampore is one of the most developed (city) towns in the main line region of Howrah.

Demographics

According to an India census, Serampore had a population of 181,842 in 2011. Males constituted 51.55% of the population and females 48.45%. It had an average literacy rate of 89.99%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy was 92.75%, and female literacy 87.05%; 7% of the population was under 6 years of age.[3]

The following Municipalities and Census Towns in Hooghly district were part of Kolkata Urban Agglomeration in 2011 census: Bansberia (M), Hugli-Chinsurah (M), Bara Khejuria (Out Growth), Shankhanagar (CT), Amodghata (CT), Chak Bansberia (CT), Naldanga (CT), Kodalia (CT), Kulihanda (CT), Simla (CT), Dharmapur (CT), Bhadreswar (M), Champdani (M), Chandannagar (M Corp.), Baidyabati (M), Serampore (M), Rishra (M), Rishra (CT), Bamunari (CT), Dakshin Rajyadharpur (CT), Nabagram Colony (CT), Konnagar (M), Uttarpara Kotrung (M), Raghunathpur (PS-Dankuni) (CT), Kanaipur (CT) and Keota (CT).[4]

Climate

Climate data for Serampore
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26
(79)
29
(84)
33
(91)
36
(97)
36
(97)
34
(93)
33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
32
(90)
30
(86)
27
(81)
31.8
(89.3)
Average low °C (°F) 12
(54)
16
(61)
21
(70)
24
(75)
25
(77)
26
(79)
26
(79)
26
(79)
26
(79)
24
(75)
19
(66)
14
(57)
21.6
(70.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 19.2
(0.756)
39.4
(1.551)
38
(1.5)
49.5
(1.949)
132.7
(5.224)
245.9
(9.681)
347.6
(13.685)
322.4
(12.693)
291.2
(11.465)
163.6
(6.441)
27.9
(1.098)
5.7
(0.224)
1,683.1
(66.267)
Source: Serampore Weather

Transport

Road

The Grand Trunk Road(NH 2) pass through the city & Kolkata-Delhi Road Connect also. G.T Road & Kolkata-Delhi Road are connected by Serampore Nabagram More. The G.T Road pass through(12 km) the Eastern & Western part of this city. Everyday about more than 10,000 vehicles pass through this road. Bus survice is very well in Serampore. Bus Route:

5 acres of land along the GT Road, west Serampore across the Mullickpara (near E.S.I Hospital), Serampore sub-Bus-Minibus Owners Welfare Association, a basatarminasa. It can stand more than 250 buses and 30 routes. As a result, the city can go to different places in the state and outside the state. 'Auto' different routes to different places in the city and also has 'toto'. Quite a lot of them.

Rail

Serampore Town railway station and Sheoraphuli railway station two Railway stations in Serampore. 15 August 1854, India was the first rail traffic from Howrah to Hooghly. And that was the first stop on the first train station in the Bally and then the secound halt in Serampore. Serampore town & Sheoraphuli station is a very important unit. Howrah–Bardhaman main line railway. Many important Local, Passenger, Express train stop here.

Serampore Town railway station: Daily Train UP- 136 & Down- 135 Sheoraphuli railway station: Daily Train UP- 140 & Down- 139

Water

Dey Ghat, Battala

Serampore City connect to Barrackpore City & Titagarh by Ferry service on Ganges/Hooghly River. There are five Ferry service in the City (6 AM-10 PM):

Air

Kolkata Airport is 34 km from Serampore

Hindu architecture

Radha-Ballav Temple, Ballavpur

Satimata Mandir, at B. P. Dey Street, Serampore Town railway station Bazaar

Various Hindu temples can be found in the Serampore area, such as:

  • The temple of Radhaballabh at Ballavpur (18th century)
  • The temple of Lord Jagannath at Mahesh (1396 A.D.)
  • The Rath Yatra of Mahesh
  • The Ram-Sita temple, Sripur
  • Gauranga at Chatra (16th century)
  • Hari Sabha at Battala (Near Battala Crossing & Battala Police Station)
  • Sashan Kali Mandir at Ballavpur
  • Henry Martin's Pagoda, Ballavpur
  • Sitalatala Mandir [Chatra Sitalatala]
  • Nistarini Kali Bari, Sheoraphuli Ghat

The Jagannath temple of Mahesh is dated to 1755. When Bengal came under the command of Sri Chaitanya's Vaisnavism in the 15th century, these places became pre-eminent as a Hindu pilgrim centre.

Raja Manohar Roy Zaminder of Sheoraphuli(North Serampore) built the temple of Ram-Sita in Sripur in 1753, and his son Ram Chandra Roy then later dedicated the villages of Sripur, Gopinathpur and Manoharpur as devottara land in the service of the deity. Subsequently the temple was taken care of by Raja Nirmal Chandra Ghosh and the 'Seoraphuli Raj Debuttar Estate, Serampore'. In present times, the temple and its premises fall under the surveillance of the 'Serampore Seoraphuli Rajbari'.

Education

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Serampore City Census 2011 data". 
  2. ^ "Base Map of Kolkata Metropolitan area". Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. Retrieved 3 September 2007. 
  3. ^ "Census of India 2011: Serampore City Census 2011 data". Census Commission of India. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  4. ^ "Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011" (PDF). Constituents of Urban Agglomeration Having Population Above 1 Lakh. Census of India 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 

External links