Friday, November 7, 2008

Jagadhatri Puja Parikrama

Chandannagar Puja Parikrama - 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Places to Visit at Chandannagore

  • Chandannagore Strand : A beautiful tourist spot along the banks of the river Ganga. It is a superbly decorated pavement studded with lights surrounded by lushy green trees. It is about 1 km in length and 7 meters in width, and many buildings of historical importance surround the spot. It is very popular visiting spot of the local people and the tourists would love to stroll along enjoying the mild breeze and watching the small boats sail by. Along the strand are present Vivekananda Mandir ( a meditation center ) and a protruding structure into the river Ganga. This is supposed to be the best decorated bank of the river along its entire length of 2500 kms.

  • Chandannagore Museum and Institute ( Institute de Chandernagore ) :One of the oldest and finest museums of the entire region. It boasts a beautiful collection of French Items ( like cannons used in Anglo-French war, wooden furniture of 18th century, etc. ) which are difficult to find anywhere else in the world. The institute still teaches French through regular classes.

  • Chandannagore Church : The beautiful church stands for over two centuries to mark the beauty of the architecture during the French period --- a good place to visit for the historians and tourists alike. The remains of the Church of St. Louis is also an attractive tourist spot.

  • The Underground House ( Patal-Bari ) : The building is another beautiful example of the advancement in the knowledge of architecture and the aesthetic sense of the people of those earlier days. Its lowest floor is submerged in the River Ganga. The Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore frequently visited the place and appreciated a lot about the building. He felt that the place influenced him to a large extent and broadened his intellectual capabilities. He mentionedPatal-bari in many of his famous novels. The famous social reformer Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar also stayed in the building. 

  • Ancient Temples : Nandadulal Temple, built in 1740 by Indranarayana Roychoudhury presents an excellent example of ancient Indian Sculptures. There are many fascinating temples devoted to Kali, Shiva and other deities which show marks of brilliant craftsmanship and artistic taste.

  • Residence of Famous Personalities : The place hosts a galaxy of famous personalities who had strong impact not only on contemporary society but also affected Indian History. The revolutionary leader Rasbehari Bose, Kanailal Datta and the great social reformer Sri Harihar Seth belonged to this place. 

  • Nritya Gopal Smriti Mandir : Built by Sri Harihar Seth, and donated to the people of Chandannagore. This building still serves as a theatre hall and as a library. It was first of its kind in the entire locality.

  • Neighbouring Tourist Places : Belur Math, Kolkata, Tarakeswar, Bandel Church.
  • The City Chandannagore

    Chandannagore is a small city located 30 kilometers north of Kolkata , in West Bengal,India. Situated along the banks of River Ganga, the city has been able to keep herself separated from all other cities and abide by her own characteristics. The "City of Liberty" has always attracted the people from all over the world due to her indescribable beauty. Though the total area is a meager 19 square kilometers having a population of only over 150 thousands, she has managed to maintain a distinct place not only the map of India but also that of the world. This small town for over a period of 300 years has a unique blend of culture and heritage which is unparallel in history. The name Chandannagore is possibly derived from the shape of the bank of the river Ganga which is bent like a half moon (Chand means moon and Nagar implies city in native language Bengali) or it might have been taken from the flourishing trade and business of Sandal-Wood (Chandan) at that time. Chandannagore is well connected to Calcutta by railways, roadways and river and it takes about an hour to reach the place. The people of Chandanngore have excelled in all the fields varying from literature and education to culture, sports and arts all along the history. Chandannagore hosts many tourist places like Museum, Strand, Church, Temples, Rabindra-sadan, birth places of many celebrities and many other spots some of which are not so well known but nevertheless a treat for the tourists and historians.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Chandannagar Jagadhatripuja

    History of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar

    When the entire Bengal, nay India, was under the British rule, inspite of being under the French administration at that time Chandannagar created a distinct tradition. Jagadhatri Puja is a major socio-cultural event in this region. The ancient history of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar is unknown even today. It is heard that Indranarayan Chowdhury introduced the Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar in the manner of King Krishnachandra of Krishnanagore. The time of beginning of Jagadhatri Puja in Krishnanagore was 1762. Indranarayan Choudhury died in 1756. So Indranarayan Choudhury by no means introduce the Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar. The beginning of Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar probably dates back earlier than 1750. Indranarayan Choudhury performed the Jagadhatri puja at his own house in Chandannagar, at the time Krishna Chandra used to come to borrow money from Indranarayan Choudhury. Perhaps Krishnachandra was attracted to greatness of Jagadhatri at this time. The formal difference between Durga and Jagadhatri occurs in 'Mayatantra' and Jagadhatri is mentioned with reference to Durga in Krishnanda's 'Tantasaar'. The ruling to perform the special puja of the goddess on the ninth lunar day of the light fortnight in the month of Kartick has ben referred in 'Krityatattarnab' by Srinath Acharyachuramoni of the 15th-16th century. The fourhanded goddess is carried by the lion everywhere, an elephantlies of the feet of the lion. The idol has an old fashioned shaping, i.e. the face cutting is of a longish pattern; it has large eyes spread upto the years and the four hands display conch, discus, shaft, and bow respectively. The snake is her sacred thread.One of the main attraction of Jagadhatri idol of Chandannagar is the ornamental decoration of the goddess with sola and beautiful canvas of mats with painting at the back of the image.
    The number of community pujas in Chandannagar, Bhadreswar and Champdany Municipal areas crosses 190 mark. Of these, 132 Puja committees in different localities in Chandannagar and Bhadreswar areaffiliated to the Chandannagar Central Jagadhatri Puja Committee. The Central committee renders all possible assistance to its constituents in getting permissions and clearances for holding Puja. The immersion procession is really memorable and enjoyable sight to witness which lakh of people throng in Chandannagar from far and near. The beautiful decorated tall images loaded on trucks are taken around the cityin a procession. This year 51 puja committees will take part in the procession.