Burdwan
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Bardhaman (, ) is a city and a municipality in the state of
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the eastern region of India along the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants, it is the List of states and union terri ...

West Bengal
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most populous in the world. Bounded by the on the south, the on the southwest, and the on the southeast, it shares land borders wit ...

India
. It is the headquarters of
Purba Bardhaman district Purba Bardhaman district is in West Bengal. Its headquarters is in Bardhaman. It was formed on 7 April 2017 after the division of the previous Bardhaman district. Etymology Some historians link the name of the district to the 24th and last Jaini ...

Purba Bardhaman district
, having become a district capital during the
period of British rule
period of British rule
. Burdwan, an alternative name for the city, has remained in use since that period. The history of Burdwan is known from about 5000 BC (the Mesolithic or Late Stone Age). The origin of this name dates back to the 6th century BCE and is ascribed to Vardhaman Swami or
Mahavira Mahavira ( sa, महावीर:), also known as Vardhamana, was the 24th ''Tirthankara In Jainism, a ''Tirthankara'' (Sanskrit: '; English language, English: literally a 'Ford (crossing), ford-maker') is a saviour and spiritual teache ...

Mahavira
(599-527 BCE), the 24th
Tirthankara In Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion and the method of acquiring perfect knowledge of self and universe and perfect joy through Extrasensory perception, extrasensory means as em ...
of
Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduis ...

Jainism
, who spent some time in Astikagrama, according to the Jain scripture of '' Kalpasutra''. This place was renamed as Vardhamana in his honour.


History

During the period of Jahangir this place was named Badh-e-dewan (district capital). The city owes its historical importance to being the headquarters of the Maharajas of Burdwan, the premier noblemen of lower Bengal, whose rent-roll was upwards of 300,000. Bardhaman Raj was founded in 1657 by Sangam Rai, of a Hindu Khatri family of Kotli in Lahore, Punjab region, Punjab, whose descendants served in turn the Mughal Emperors and the British government. The East Indian Railway from Howrah was opened in 1855. The great prosperity of the raj was due to the excellent management of Maharaja Mahtab Chand (died 1879), whose loyalty to the government especially during the "Hul" (Santhal rebellion) of 1855-56 and the Indian rebellion of 1857 was rewarded with the grant of a coat of arms in 1868 and the right to a personal salute of 13 guns in 1877. Maharaja Bijaychand Mahtab (born 1881), who succeeded his adoptive father in 1888, earned great distinction by the courage with which he risked his life to save that of Sir Andrew Fraser, the lieutenant-governor of Bengal, on the occasion of the attempt to assassinate him made by freedom fighters of Bengal on 7 November 1908. Mahtab Chand Bahadur and later Bijoy Chand Mahtab struggled their best to make this region culturally, economically and ecologically healthier. The chief educational institution was the Burdwan Raj College, which was entirely supported out of the maharaja's estate. Kamalakanta Bhattacharya (West Bengal), Sadhak Kamalakanta as composer of devotional songs and Kashiram Das as a poet and translator of the great Mahabharata were possibly the best products of such an endeavour. Pratap Chandra Roy was the publisher of the first translation in the world to translate Mahabharata in English (1883–1896). The society at large also continued to gain the fruits. We find, among others, the great rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and Kala-azar-famed U. N. Brahmachari as the relatively recent illustrious sons of this soil. Batukeshwar Dutt an Indian revolutionary and independence fighter in the early 1900s was born on 18 November 1910 in a village Oari in Burdwan district. He is best known for having exploded a few bombs, along with Bhagat Singh, in the Central Legislative Assembly in New Delhi on 8 April 1929. The city became an important centre of North-Indian classical music as well.


Geography


Location

The region has an average elevation of 40 metres (131 ft). The city is situated 1100 km from New Delhi and a little less than 100 km north-west of Kolkata on the Grand Trunk Road (National Highway 19 (India), National Highway 19) and Eastern Railway. The chief rivers are the Damodar River, Damodar and the Banka. The first epigraphic reference to the name of this place occurs in a 6th-century AD copper plate found in Mallasarul village under Galsi Police Station. Archeological evidences suggest that this region, forming a major part of Rarh region, Radh Bengal, could be traced even back to 4000 BCE.


Police stations

Burdwan police station has jurisdiction over Bardhaman municipal area and Burdwan I and Burdwan II CD Blocks. The area covered is 192.15 km2. There are out posts at Barabazar, Muradpur, Keshabganj, Nutanganj and Birhata.2 Women police station Burdwan has jurisdiction over Bardhaman municipal area and Burdwan I and Burdwan II CD Blocks. The area covered is 192.15 km.


Demographics

In the 2011 census, Bardhaman Urban Agglomeration had a population of 347,016, out of which 177,055 were males and 169,961 were females. 25,069 people were between the ages of 0–6 years. Effective literacy rate for the 7+ population was 88.62%.


Climate

The Köppen Climate Classification sub-type for this climate is "Tropical savanna climate, Aw" (tropical savanna climate).


Culture

Burdwan has a multi-cultural heritage. The deuls (temples of rekha type) found here are reminiscent of Bengali Hindu architecture. The old temples bear signs of Hinduism, mostly belonging to the Shakti, Sakta and Vaishnava followers. The Kankaleswari Kali is also located in the city of Burdwan. Burdwan experienced and survived numerous violent conflicts, mainly due to Mughal Empire, Mughal, Pashtun people, Pashtun and Maratha invaders. The city of Bardhaman was visited by notables of the Delhi Sultanate from Raja Todarmal to Daud Karnani, from Sher Afghan and Kutub-ud-din to Ajimuswan to the future Mughal emperor Shah Jahan while he was still a rebel. Bardhaman also has a number of Bengali Christians, and although they are a minority, there are many churches in the city.


Foods

* Sitabhog and Mihidana are two famous sweets of Burdwan, introduced first in honour of the Raj family. * Shaktigarh's langcha is another local speciality for Shaktigarh in the eastern part of Burdwan City.


Transport


Road

* The Grand Trunk Road runs across the city; National Highway 19 (India), NH 19 (old numbering NH 2) bypasses the city. South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) and private operators operate buses from Bolpur, Asansol, Baharampur, Kirnahar, Bankura, Esplanade and Saltlake. It takes around 2–2 hours. Bardhaman is well connected by bus with numerous places all around. Most of the buses arrive and leave from Alisha Bus Stand and Nababhat Bus Stand. Burdwan also has a facility of bus service known as Town Service which connects different areas within the city. * Sadarghat Road also connects Bardhaman with Bankura (indirectly) and Hooghly (directly) district.


Rail

* The main Howrah-Delhi rail track passes through Bardhaman, and the city is served by Bardhaman railway station. The Howrah Rajdhani Express (via Patna) has a scheduled stop at Bardhaman. One can take a local train from Howrah to reach in two hrs. One can also travel along the Sahibganj Loop, which branches off, one station after Bardhaman. The narrow gauge line to Katwa was upgraded to broad gauge in 2013, up to Balgona, which has been extended to Katwa.


Rickshaws

* Cycle rickshaws and E-Rickshaws (Toto) are available for travel within the city. * Also available mini bus within city and surrounding. Intracity connector by SBSTC under JNNURM project has been provided. *Ola's bike service is also active in the city.


Education


University

The University of Burdwan was formally inaugurated on 15 June 1960 by Sukumar Sen (civil servant), Sukumar Sen, its first Vice-chancellor. It was after the abolition of the Zamindari system in the fifties that Bardhaman Raj#Udaychand Mahtab, Uday Chand Mahtab, the last representative of the Burdwan Raj, left almost his entire property in Burdwan to the state government. This, coupled with the initiative of the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, Bidhan Chandra Roy, facilitated the establishment of this university. Presently, the administrative works are mostly done at the Rajbati (the palace of Barddhamana Maharaja) campus; on the other hand, academic activities centre on the Golapbag campus. With social responsibilities in mind, the university actively patronised the construction of a science centre and the Meghnad Saha Planetarium.


Colleges

* Burdwan Dental College and Hospital * Burdwan Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital * Burdwan Medical College * Burdwan Raj College * Maharajadhiraj Uday Chand Women's College * M.B.C. Institute of Engineering and Technology * University Institute of Technology, Burdwan University * Vivekananda Mahavidyalaya


Schools

* Burdwan C.M.S High School, Burdwan CMS High School (Main), B. C. Road - West Bengal Board * Burdwan Municipal Girls' High School - West Bengal Board * Burdwan Municipal High School - established in 1883 by Debendranath Tagore * St. Xavier's School, Burdwan, St. Xaviers School - CISCE


Places of interest

Image:Sarbamangala temple.jpg, Sarbamangala Temple Image:108 shiv temple.jpg, 108 Shiva Temple Image:Golapbag.jpg, Hawa Mahal (Golapbag) File:Meghnad Saha Planetarium.jpg, Meghnad Saha Planetarium, Golapbag, Bardhaman File:Burdwan Church 14 06 2012.jpg, Christ Church Image:Damodar River.jpg, Damodar River Image:Curzon Gate.jpg, Curzon Gate, Bardhaman, Curzon Gate Image:Burdwan Palace.jpg, Inside view of the palace of Burdwan Maharaja Image:Science centre bardhaman.jpg, Science Centre File:Maa Kankaleshwari at her temple.jpg, Maa Kankaleshwari at her temple Image:Pir baharam.jpg, Mazar of Sufi Pir Baharam Sakka File:Damodareshwar Shiva Temple, Burdwan.jpg, Damodareshwar Shiva Temple, Damodarpally, Burdwan File:Burdwan Arcade.jpg, Burdwan Arcade File:Krishok Setu, Damodar River.jpg, Damodar River * Curzon Gate – the Curzon Gate, Bardhaman, Curzon Gate was built in 1902/1903, for the coronation of Bijay Chand Mahtab, Maharaja Bijay Chand Mahatab. The former royal palace is located 1 km from the gate. The pomp and grandeur of George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, Lord Curzon's visit to Bardhaman in 1904 established the name of the gate as Curzon Gate. It is also known as Bijay Toran.Chattopadhyay, Akkori, ''Bardhaman Jelar Itihas O Lok Sanskriti'' (History and Folk lore of Bardhaman District.), , Vol II, pages 565-576, Radical Impression. * Tombs of Sher Afgan and Qutbuddin Khan Koka - Nur Jahan, Mehr-un-Nissa, then wife of Sher Afgan Khan, Sher Afgan, jagirdar of Bardhaman, was once a resident of Bardhaman. It is said that the Mughal emperors, Mughal emperor Jahangir had fallen in love with her and was determined to marry her. He tried to get her with the help of his foster-brother and subahdar of Bengal, Qutbuddin Khan Koka. Sher Afgan died during a fight with Qutbuddin Khan Koka, who also was killed. Both were buried side by side at Bardhaman in 1607 (or 1610 according to some sources), in the same place as Pir Baharam Sikka, a Persian Sufi saint. Mehr-un-Nissa ultimately emerged as the Empress Nur Jahan. * Rajbari – the palace of the Bardhaman Raj family, was built by Mahatabchand in the 19th century, at a site that is earlier believed to have a Mughal Empire, Mughal fort. The Rajbari was built by the Kolkata-based Martin Burn, Burn and Company. The main hall has many valuable paintings. Uday Chand Mahtab handed over the Rajbati to the state government. It now houses the administrative offices of the University of Burdwan. * Golapbag, Ramna Bagan and Deer Park – Golapbag was developed as a botanical and zoological garden in the 19th century. It contained lakes for boating and Hawa Mahal. Several academic sections of the University of Burdwan are located there. Ramna Bagan once had a Brahmo Samaj. It now has a deer park. * Sarbamangala temple - the temple of Sarbamangala, the presiding deity of the Bardhaman Raj and believed to have been found on the sand-bed of the Damodar River. It is a Navaratna (architecture), navaratna temple with a nata mandir that has a terracotta Durga panel. * Bardhamaneswar Shiva temple - the Shiva temple has a huge idol. Many believe that the Shiva lingam in the temple was established by Chand Sadagar of Manasamangal fame. * Kamalakanta Kalibari - it is a Kali temple associated with the poet-devotee Kamalakanta Bhattacharya (West Bengal), Sadhak Kamalakanta. * 108 Shiva temple complex - the Shiva temple complex, constructed by Maharani Bishnu Kumari, at Nawabhat, near Bardhaman, has a picturesque setting. The temple complex, built in 1788, fell into disrepairs and was thoroughly renovated by the Birla Public Welfare Trust. * Kankaleshwari Mandir – the temple at Kanchanagar, has a deity resembling a human skeleton. It is a navaratna temple with terracotta carvings. The idol is that of a six feet tall eight armed goddess Chamunda. * Tomb of Khwaja Anwar Berh - the tomb of the Mughal warrior, buried at Poddarhat in 1315 Hijri, is a fine example of Mughal architecture. * Shershahi Kalo Masjid- the mosque in the Puratan Chak (Payrakhana Road) area was built during the reign of Sher Shah Suri. * Shahi Jumma Masjid- the mosque with three minarets is a historical structure erected behind the Rajbati by Azim-ush-Shan, grandson of Aurangzeb and then subahdar of Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. * Burdwan Science Centre- a high standard science museum near the university campus. * Meghnad Saha Planetarium- inaugurated in 1994, the main instrument was a gift from the Government of Japan to the University of Burdwan. The second planetarium in the state, built to international standards, it is named after the Indian scientist Meghnad Saha. Located near Golapbag, it has arrangement for six shows daily with 90 seats in each show. It is closed on Mondays. * Birhata Kalibari (Boro Maa): The temple of 10 feet sculpture of goddess Kali made up of touchstone. The goddess is known locally as Boro Maa. The locality had been named after this temple as Kali Bazar. The temple has two parts bisected by a lane. One part contains Kali Mandir and the other, Durga Mandir. * Christ Church: Christ Church Bardhaman is a very church in Bardhaman near "Curzon Gate". * Town Hall : The Town Hall was built sometime between 1890 and 1894 and was handed to the Municipality of Bardhaman to help them preserve the remnants of Lala Bansogopal Nandey. The municipality board restored the hall in 1990 to its present form of 2400 square feet from its earlier form of 704 square feet with a seating capacity of 485 seats.


References


External links

*
''Burdwan Town'', The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 9, p. 102.

Official website of Bardhaman District

Official website of MGNREGS Cell, Bardhaman District

Bardhaman Utsav (Annual cultural programme of Bardhaman)

Bardhaman Municipality

Bardhaman darshan (Official tourism website)
{{Authority control Bardhaman, Cities and towns in Purba Bardhaman district