located 365 km north of Kolkata
(Calcutta), was formerly known as English
Bazaar. An English factory was established here in 1771. Malda is a base for visiting Gaur and Pandua. Gaur, capital to three dynasties of
ancient Bengal – the Buddhist Palas,
the Hindu Senas and the Muslim Nawabs has seen three distinct
eras of glory. Pandua, once the
alternate seat of power to Gaur, has the third largest concentration of Muslim monuments in Bengal.
is a Museum at Malda that houses the Archaeological finds at Gaur and Pandua. Malda is now famous for Fajli Mango orchards.
Historical relics of 14th and 15th
Century Bengal particularly worth seeing are the Bara Sona Mosque, Dakhil Darwajah (built in 1425), Qadam Rasul Mosque,
Lattan Mosque and the ruins of the extensive fortification. There are
colorful enameled tiles on the Gomati
Gate and Firoz Minar.
is the impressive Muslim architecture includes
the vast Adina Mosque built in 1369 by Sikander Shah. It was one of the largest mosques in India, built
over a Hindu temple, and has 378 small
domes. Nearby are the Eklakhi
mausoleum (built at a princely cost of one lakh rupees) and several smaller
may be reached by Road-Bus service
from Kolkata, Murshidabad and Siliguri, and Train services from Kolkata
and New Jalpaiguri.
is 12 km south of Malda, right on the Indo-Bangladesh border. Connected by
road, bus, taxi and rickshaw services from Malda. Located on the main highway, Pandua is 18 km
north of Malda. Adina is another 2 km north of the village of Pandua.
Accessible by road from Malda, there are bus and taxi services.
is connected by Bus services from Krishnanagar and Kolkata (Calcutta) and a
Ferry Ride across the Bhagirathi River
from Nabadwip, Mayapur is the Headquarters of ISKCON. Chandroday Temple,
set amidst a garden, is a picturesque sight. There are quite a few big and
small temples also. 139 km from
Kolkata, this temple is well connected by rail and road. Nabadwip is 19 km from Krishnanagar and 120 km north from Kolkata,
stands on the banks of the Bhagirathi River.
The great social reformer and saint Sri
Chaitanya was born here in 1486.
Nabadwip is the seat of the Vaishnava
culture in Bengal and an ancient centre of Sanskrit studies.
the temple with the golden statue of Sri
Chaitanya, is the most important shrine here. There is a profusion of
temples, each one worth a visit. Nabadwip
remains an important pilgrimage centre
in Bengal. Nabadwip is connected by bus and rail service from Kolkata.
is 118 km north from Kolkata, Krishnanagar on the banks of Jalangi River was the residence of Maharaja Krishnachandra, a great patron
of art and culture.
Places to traverse at Krishnanagar
- Rajbari (Royal Palace) with a
beautiful Durga temple in the
courtyard. Every year, the famous Jhulan
Mela is celebrated around the Rajbari
in the July/Aug months and Baro Dol in March/ April. Roman Catholic
Church: The church is famous for its architectural
and sculptural splendor. There are 27
oil paintings describing the life of
Jesus Christ. Of special mention are the wooden sculptures by Italian
artists. Others include the College
Bhavan (1846), The Public Library (1856), the Krishnanagar Academy and the
Protestant Church. The clay models /figurines crafted here are collectors'
items. Connected by rail and road from Kolkata.
Heritage trail of West Bengal leads
to the district of Hooghly, 47 km north of Kolkata. This historical district abounds in relics of foreign
settlers – the British and Portuguese at Hooghly, the Dutch at
Chinsurah, and the French at
Chandannagore, the Germans and Austrians at Bhadreswar. The Portuguese
settled here in 1537, but were
routed out by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, in 1632. The British East India
Company also established a factory here in 1651.There are many places of historical interest in the district.
is 76 km north of Kolkata, is the site of a number of 18th century temples built by Krishnaram Mitra, a Zamindar. Chief among them is the Radha Govinda temple in Aatchala style of architecture. The
front walls of the Jagamohan, the
covered courtyard, have exquisite terracotta
panels and the vaulted inner roof has colored mural paintings. The Chandi Mandap has fine artistry in
wood. The other temples in and around the area are those of Jaleswara, Baneswara, Gangadhara, Fuleswara
is the main villages of ancient Saptagram.
The temples of Ananta Vasudeva and Hanseswari are famous here. The Vasudeva temple is constructed in the traditional
Ekaratna style with Curved Cornices and an Octagonal Tower. Hanseswari temple has a unique architectural style. There are
thirteen minars, each shaped like a lotus bud, and the inner layout follows the
is the site of the Portuguese
settlement. The Portuguese Church
and the Monastery were built here in
1599. Destroyed by Shah Jahan in 1640, they were rebuilt in 1660.
It is the oldest Christian church in West Bengal and is dedicated to Nosa Senhora di Rozario.
was a Dutch settlement from 1656 to 1825. It was later exchanged by
the Dutch for the British-held
Indonesian island of Sumatra in 1825. Fort Gustavus, a church, three barracks and many old tombs stand
testimony to the bygone days. Chandannagore,
a former French colony, is a
beautifully laid out town, on the banks of the river Hooghly. The churches,
convent and the French Administrator's residence are the points of interest
here. The famous Imambara at Hooghly was
established by Hazi Mohammad Mohsin
in 1836. The gateway is flanked by
lofty minarets, the walls are decorated with texts from the Koran and the
interior has rich carvings and inlaid marble motifs. Belur Math, headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission. The evening aarti (light ceremony) is worth
watching here. Across the river is the beautiful Dakshineswar Kali Temple.
known as Fedricnagar, Serampur was
the seat of missionary activity from 1793
to 1834. It holds an important place in Bengal's history. It was a Danish settlement till East India Company took over in 1845. The house of the Danish Governor, the Roman Catholic Church and St Olaf Church still stands here. There
is also a museum in Serampur College
with exhibits about the missionaries, Dr
Williams Carey, Ward and Marshman
and their activities.
- Mahesh, 3 km from Serampur, has a very old Jagannath Temple, where the annual Car festival is held in June / July each year.
- Hooghly, 47 km north of Calcutta
on the west bank of the river Hooghly,
a main rail and road connection. Bansberia, 47 km north of Calcutta, is connected to it by road
and rail. Located 48 km north of Kolkata, Bandel may be reached by rail
and road. About 45 km from Kolkata, Chinsurah
is connected by road and rail.