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Bardhaman, Bengal’s landmark of growth and prosperity

Introduction of Bardhaman
Famous as the ‘Rice Plate of Bengal’, Bardhaman town, located on the banks of the River Damodar is part of Bardhaman district which forms a transitional zone between the Jharkhand plateau and the fertile Ganga-Brahmaputra alluvial plains. .

History of origin of Bardhaman
The name Bardhaman or Burdwan as it was called during the British times could either be derived from that of the 24th Jain Tirthankar, Vardhaman Swami, or be attributed to the literal translation from Bengali to mean prosperous growth centre, which it has been, from as early as 5000 BC. Studies and excavations of the Ajay River bed, by the Archaeological Survey of India in the 1950s, reveal that the area was a well planned citadel, with agriculture and trade as the main occupation, as it is even today. It was the district capital from the time of the Mughals, under the British raj and now too, in independent India.
Historical texts speak about the area being ruled by several dynasties from the 3rd Century AD till Muslim infiltration in the 16th century till the rule of Sangam Rai of Lahore, whose descendants, the Mahtabs, ruled till 1955.For having saved a British officer and served loyally, the family had their own coat of arms when Bardhaman became British headquarters. The descendants, especially Mahtab Chand Bahadur and Bijay Chand Mahatab worked hard to make the area progress culturally, ecologically and economically through various schemes.

Interesting places to visit in Bardhaman
Bardhaman attracts visitors both local and international, with its picturesque Maithon Dam at Asansol, the technological sophistication of the Meghnad Saha Planetarium and the historical richness and royal heritage of its tombs, palaces, temples and forts. The famous town is situated 1000 km from Delhi and about 100 km North West of Kolkata and has a population of about 2 lakhs.

    • Golapbagh bagh: is the exquisite, well manicured garden of the Royal Palace famed for the myriad species of trees; it is a popular place for botany and zoology students. 
    • Regional Art Centre: part of the Rajbari, or royal palace, this would be of interest to those who like to rifle through historical documents, manuscripts, antiques and folk art.
    • Curzon Gate, a relic of the British raj is worth a visit.
    • Maithon Dam at Asansol,
    • Bardhaman University was established in 1960, when the last zamindar, Uday Chand Mahatab, magnanimously donated his property for the state government to pursue social and academic activities.
    • Meghnad Saha Planetarium is the second planetarium in the state and is part of the University
    • Sher Afghan’s Tombthe last of the Afghan jagirdars, is located near the palace grounds, about 2km from the railway station.
    • Deuls: temples of the rekha type are reminiscent of the areas multicultural heritage and bear sign of Shaivite and Vaishnavite Hindu architecture.
    • Konkaleswari kali Mandir is a 2000 year old stone temple
    • Shrine of Sarvamangala is said to contain the remains of Sati’s body, the umbilicus.

Your shopping list in Bardhaman
It would be incomplete without taking home some of the mouth watering sweets special to this region, the Sitabhog and colorful Mihidana, not to forget the dark, succulent Langchas of Shaktigarh. A fish meal should also figure on your agenda. The annual Bardhaman Utsav is held in January and attracts several visitors. The area is renowned for its Terracotta or brick or mud handicrafts and even the intricate Dokra work.


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