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Hugli-Chuchura

Hooghly-Chinsurah (also commonly known as Hughly-Chinsura or Chuchura) (চূঁচূড়া) is a town in the state of West Bengal, India. It lies on the Hooghly River, 35 km north of Kolkata(Calcutta). It is located in the district of Hooghly and is home to the district headquarters. Chinsurah also houses the Commissioner of the Burdwan Range. It forms a part of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) region.

Etymology

Hooghly-Chinsurah was a municipality formed by the merging of two towns, Hooghly and Chinsura, in 1865. The names are spelled in various other ways including the use of Hooghly, Hugli, Hughli, Chinsura, Chunchura or Chinsurah to make up the name e.g. Hugli-Chinsura or Hooghly-Chinsura amongst others.

The Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) passes through the town. Chuchura and Hooghly are two historic stations on the Howrah-Burdwan main line of the Eastern Railway. Ferry services on the River Hooghly serves as a link with the district of North 24 Parganas.

History

The town of Hooghly-Chuchura was founded by the Portuguese in 1579. Some religious structures were built and the city flourished as a trading port. One such structure is a Church dedicated to a Charesmatic statue of the Mother Merry. The statue was brought by the Portugese and established in the bank of the river hoogly. In the 17th century, political disorder struck the city and the Mughal governor of Bengal expelled the Portuguese. While expelling the Portugese also carried the statue back with them which while in transit submerged into the river when the local police force arrowing the portugese. The statue later found by the local people i the bank. It took a sentimental chane among the local and again established the statue. The arrested portugese were taken to Delhi where a death sentence was granted to those arrested portugese. To engineer the death sentence mad elephants were left before those arrested priests in an arena meant for such sentences. The mad elephants came to the arena to do their regular job, inspected the victims and silently went back doing no harm to those priests. This news was informed to the emperror Shahjahan. Who becme very happy and ordered not only release of those priests, also granted a piece of land in the bank of the river Hoogly where the statue of the mother merry was reestablished. There a church was constructed which became very popuilar among the voyegers, especially ,portugese. The statue became an icon of patron saint for the safety in sea voyages from Portugal to India. In one of the such voyages the ship while sailing caught in the cyclone and was about to shink in mid sea. THe captain offered prayers to Mother merry keeping this statue in mind. The ship survived from the storm. When the ship was anchored in the bank of hoogly, the captain offered the mast of his ship to this church as the mast is the icon of the highest honour of aship. The same mast is still erected the outside the church. The church was renovated in 1980s and now adays visited by several people including non christians. The curch has been declared as a Bascilica by the authority of Rome. Thus Hoogli has became a place of pilgrimage. The statue is still venerated in the church; people que to visit it. In 1656 the Dutch erected a factory on the site of the town, on a healthy spot of ground, much preferable to that on which Kolkata (Calcutta) is situated. At that point Kolkata was the principal Dutch settlement in Bengal (although not known by the name). In 1759 a British force under Colonel Forde was attacked by the garrison of Chinsura on its march to Chandernagore, but in less than half an hour the Dutch were entirely routed. In 1795, during the Napoleonic wars, the settlement was occupied by a British garrison. At the peace of 1814 it was restored to the Dutch. It was among the cessions in India made by the king of the Netherlands in 1825 in exchange for the British possessions in Sumatra.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Hugli-Chinsurah had a population of 170,201. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Hugli-Chinsurah has an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 77%. In Hugli-Chinsurah, 8% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The town

Both Chinsurah and Hooghly played an active role in the Bengal renaissance and the freedom movement of India. Vandemataram, India's national song was composed by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay at Joraghat in Chinsurah. Nazrul Islam's famous revolutionary songs were penned while he was imprisoned by the British in Hooghly Jail. The town was home to Jyotish Chandra Ghosh (Mastar mashay), hailed as guru by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Notable figures associated with the town include Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bhudeb Mukhopadhyay, Murarimohan Mukherjee and so on. The Main Places of attraction are:

Temple of Shandeshwar
Ghorir More (Edwardian Clock tower)
Diocese Church
Dutch Cemetery
Armenian Church
Hooghly Imambara
Chinsurah maidan
Temple of Mahishmardini
District Court building
Ghats on the Ganges

A lot more historical buildings and monuments are scattered throughout the town.

Nearest places of attractions are:

Bandel Church
Chandernagore French Museum

Education

Hooghly-Chinsurah's biggest contribution to the Bengal renaissance was in the field of education. Some of the oldest and famous schools and colleges of the state are located here. A few notable names are:

Schools:

Hooghly Branch School (Estd.-1834)
Hooghly Collegiate School (Estd.-1812)
Deshbandhu Memorial High School
Balika Bani Mandir
Hooghly Duff High School
Jyotish Chandra Vidyapith
Balika Siksha Mandir
Hooghly Binodini Girls High School
Deshbandhu Memorial Girls High School
Techno India School
Colleges:

Hooghly Mohsin College (Estd.-1836)
Hooghly Women's College
Hooghly Institute of Technology
Techno India College (Estd.-2007)

Politics

Hugli-Chuchura is part of Hooghly (Lok Sabha constituency).

See also

References

External links

See also

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