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Domestic
Heritage of Bengal

Malda

Malda, 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.

Magnetism

There is a Museum at Malda that houses the Archaeological finds at Gaur and Pandua.  Malda is now famous for Fajli Mango orchards.

Gaur is 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.

Pandua 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 mosques.

Transportation

Malda may be reached by Road-Bus service from Kolkata, Murshidabad and Siliguri, and Train services from Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri.

Gaur 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.

NADIA

Attentiveness

Mayapur 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.

Sonargouranga, 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.

Krishnanagar 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.

HOOGHLY

The 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.

Antpur 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 and Rameswara.

Bansberia 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 human anatomy!

Bandel 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.

Chinsurah 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.

Formerly 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.

Festival - Mahesh, 3 km from Serampur, has a very old Jagannath Temple, where the annual Car festival is held in June / July each year.

Transportation - 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.

 



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