: বর্ধমান Bôrdhoman
), is a city of West Bengal
state in eastern India
. It is the headquarters of Bardhaman District
Bardhaman has been a district capital since the time of Mughals. Later on it became a district headquarters of British India. Burdwan is an alternative name for the city, which remains in use since the British period. During the Mughal period, the city was known as Sharifabad.
Barddhaman is located at . It has an average elevation of 40 metres (131 ft). The city is situated a little less than 100 km north-west of Kolkata
on the Grand Trunk Road
(NH-2) and Eastern Railway. The chief rivers are the Damodar
and Banka nala.
As of 2001 India census
, Bardhaman had a population of 285,871. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Bardhaman has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 55% of the literates being male and 45% being female. 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.
- Burdwan is an anglicised version of the Sanskrit Vardhamana and the corresponding Bôrdhoman in Bengali.
- The origin of this name dates back to sixth century BCE and is ascribed to Vardhamanswami or Mahavira, the twenty-fourth Jain Tirthankar, who spent some time in Astikagrama, according to the Jain scripture of Kalpasutra. This place was renamed as Vardhamana in his honour.
- A second view holds the literal meaning of the name, a prosperous and growing centre, to argue that this place represented a frontier colony of the progress of aryanisation through the upper Ganges River Valley. However, the Aryans failed to proceed further east. So, the name was retained.
The first epigraphic reference to the name of this place occurs in a 6th century AD copper-plate found in Mallasarul village under Galsi Police Station.
Archeological evidences suggest that this region, forming a major part of Radh Bengal, could be traced even back to 4000-2000 BCE.
Burdwan has a multi-cultural heritage. The deuls (temples of rekha type) found here are reminiscent of Buddhist architecture
. The various mosques
and tombs remind us of Muslim
culture. The old temples bear signs of Hinduism
, mostly belonging to the Sakta
The famous Sufi Pir Baharam's tomb is here. The controversy on Kankaleswari Kali of whether it originally belonged to the Jains or Tantriks indicates again the town's multifaceted heritage.
Burdwan witnessed, experienced and survived numerous violent conflicts, mainly due to Mughal, Pashtun and Maratha invaders. The town of Bardhaman was visited by notables of the Delhi Sultanate from Raja Todarmal to Daud Karnani, from Sher Afgan and Kutub-ud-din to Ajimuswan to the future Mughal emperor Shah Jahan while he was still a rebel.
The celebrated tombs of Sher Afghan and Kutub-ud-din lying side by side in this township relate to the celebrated love-story of Mehr-un-Nessa (later known as Noor Jahan) and the Mughal emperor Jahangir. Sher Afgan, the first husband of Mehr-un-Nessa, perished in the wake of the love triangle. She later ruled India as Jahangir's wife, but with a new name Noor Jahan (Light of the World) commensurate with her beauty and culture.
During period of Jahangir this place was named Badh-e-dewan (district headquarters). The town owes its historical importance to being the headquarters of the Maharajas of Burdwan, the premier noblemen of lower Bengal, whose rent-roll was upwards of 300,000. Bardhaman Raj
was founded in 1657 by Sangam Rai, of the Kapoor Khatri family of Kotli in Lahore
, whose descendants served in turn the Mughal Emperors
and the British government
. The great prosperity of the raj was due to the excellent management of Maharaja Mahtab Chand (d. 1879), whose loyalty to the government especially during the “Hul” (Santhal rebellion
) of 1855-56 and the Indian rebellion of 1857
was rewarded with the grant of a coat of arms in 1868 and the right to a personal salute of 13 guns in 1877. Maharaja Bijai Chand Mahtab (b. 1881), who succeeded his adoptive father in 1888, earned great distinction by the courage with which he risked his life to save that of Sir Andrew Fraser, the lieutenant-governor of Bengal, on the occasion of the attempt to assassinate him made by Bengali malcontents on 7 November 1908.
Mahtab Chand Bahadur and later Bijoy Chand Mahtab struggled their best to make this region culturally, economically and ecologically healthier. The chief educational institution was the Burdwan Raj college, which was entirely supported out of the maharaja's estate. Sadhak Kamalakanta as composer of devotional songs and Kashiram Das as a poet and translator of the great Mahabharata were possibly the best products of such an endeavour. The society at large also continued to gain the fruits. We find, among others, the great rebellious poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and Kala-azar-famed U. N. Brahmachari as the relatively recent illustrious sons of this soil. The town became an important center of North-Indian classical music as well.
Places of interest
- The famous Shrine of Sarvamangala, said to contain the remnant of Sati's body, the umbilicus, is situated here. Aside this, there are quite a number of temples and Sivalingams.
- The Curzon Gate built in honour of the visit of Lord Curzon.
- The palaces and gardens of the maharaja Golapbag.Golap Bag, or the Garden of Rose, of Bardhaman, is a favourite tourist haunt. It is the Botanical and Zoological garden eastablished by the King Bijoy Chand Mahatab in 1884. Famous botanist Dalton Hooker came here and listed 128 types of trees. At present there are numerous mango, casuarina, eucalyptus and other trees in the garden. The University of Bardhaman also takes classes in the complex. Distance from railway station is about two and half km.
- Konkaleswari kali mandir ashram situated in kanchan-nagar is a icon of skeleton with a famous kali temple. The goddess is made of stone and the temple is of 2000 years old.
- Burdwan is a town of tanks. Several tanks are scattered here and there across the town. These caught the attention of Victor Jacquemont, a young French natural scientist, who visited this town in November 1829.
- At Nawab Hat, On the Burdwan-Siuri NH, some 4 kilometers from rail station, is a group of 108 Siva lingam temples built in 1788 popularly known as 108 Shiva Temple.Rani Bishnukumari(queen of Burdwan)ordered to build this temple. Here each year a week long festival is celebrated on the occasion of "Maha-Shivratri".
- One must also know about a small village of burdhaman called "Panchkula" where Gajan-Festival is celebrated with huge passion during the month of May-June. For more Information log to Panchkula
- Shrine and Pir Bahram and Sher Afghan.
- Barddhaman have a planetarium named after India's eminent scientist Meghnad Saha. It is the second planetarium of the state after Kolkata's "Birla planetarium".
- Ramana Bagan : It is the forest office of Bardhaman sub-division. It is placed at east side of Golapbag. This forest is pointed as sanctuary. This is also called deer park. Deers, tigers, crocodiles, and different kinds of birds make this place beautiful.
- There is a science museum in Burdwan called the "Science Center" situated at Golapbag Road near Burdwan University.It offers insight into the animal kingdom, the environment,application of laws of physics etc.
- Tomb of Sher Afghan : The Tomb of Sher Afgan, the last of the Afghan jagirdars in Bardhaman, is located at Pir Beharam near Rajbati(Burdwan Royal Palace). Sher Afgan married Nurjahan. He revolt against Mughal Samrat and to control this, Mughal Samrat Jahangir had sent Kutubuddin. Both were died at war in 1610 AD and both were buried at the burial ground of Pir Baharam. Distance from railway station is about two and half km.
- There is a village called Arraha in the Bhatar Block where a very famous festival "Dharmarajer-Gajan" is celebrated.
- Sitabhog and Mihidana are two famous sweets of Burdwan, introduced first in honour of the Raj family. Shaktigarh's Langcha is another local speciality.
- Rice is the staple food of Bengal and is main agricultural produce of Burdwan district.
The New Burdwan
Burdwan town, the heart of the district is also growing now. With an increasing number of people opting for better residential spaces and higher living standards.
The Govt. of West Bengal is trying to bring in many new projects to facilitate the growth of Burdwan Township. Two large developments on a Public Private Partnership are coming up on the NH 2 connecting Kolkata and Delhi, on which Burdwan town lies.
One of these is a Bus Terminus, with retail and other hospitality services.
The other is a Mini Township at Goda, Burdwan. Also on the highway, this 250+ Acre mini township is being Developed by Bengal Shrachi Housing Dev. Ltd. It will revolutionise the way people see residential units in Burdwan. The Burdwan Development Authority is also playing a big role in these PPP projects.
In brief, the future for Burdwan looks extremely bright in terms of contemporary development.
- Burdwan University started on 15 June 1960, with Sukumar Sen, an ICS, as its first Vice-chancellor. It was after the abolition of the Zamindari system in the fifties that Uday Chand Mahtab, the last representative of the Burdwan Raj, showed his magnanimity in leaving almost his entire property of Burdwan at the disposal of the state government. This, coupled with the initiative of the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, facilitated the establishment of this university. Presently, the administrative works are mostly done at Rajbati (the palace of Barddhamana Maharaja) campus; on the other hand, academic activities center around the Golapbag campus mainly. With social responsibilities in mind, the university actively patronised the construction of a Science Centre and a Planetarium, named as Meghnad Saha Planetarium.
- Kendriya Vidyalaya Burdwan- CBSE
- St. Xaviers School - ICSE and ISC
- Burdwan Municipal High School - West Bengal Board
- Burdwan Municipal Girls' High School - West Bengal Board
- Bardhaman Harisava Hindu Girls High School
- Burdwan CMS High School (Main), B. C. Road - West Bengal Board
- Burdwan CMS High School (Morning), Golapbag - West Bengal Board
- Burdwan Town School - West Bengal Board
- Raj Collegiate School - West Bengal Board
- Ramkrishna Saradapith Uchha Vidyala - West Bengal Board
- Holy Rock School - ICSE
- East West Model School - ICSE and ISC
- Bidyarthi Girls School
- Bidyarthi Bhaban High School
- Burdwan Rose Garten School
- Kshetia High School
- High Madrasa
- Harijan School
- Sadhumati Balika Bidyalaya
- Rani School
- Bardhaman Banipith School
- Burdwan Rose Garten School - English Medium
- Burdwan Medical College
- Maharaj Bijoy Chand Institute of Engineering & Technology - Polytechnic College
- University Institute of Technology - Engineering Degree College,Burdwan University (Estd: 2000) UIT-BU
- University Law College
- Maharaj Uday Chand Women's College
- Burdwan Raj College
- Vivekananda Mahavidyalaya
- Burdwan Homoeopathic College
Bardhaman has two state assembly seats – Bardhaman North and Bardhaman South.
Pradip Tah of CPI (M) won the Bardhaman North seat defeating his nearest rival Deb Narayan Guha of AITC in the 2006 assembly elections. In 2001 and 1996, Nisith Adhikary of CPI (M) defeated Lakshmi Nayatan Nayek and Raimoni Das (both of INC) in the respective years. In 1991 and 1987, Benoy Krishna Chowdhury of CPI (M) defeated Sadhan Ghosh and Santosh Saha Sikdar (both of INC) in the respective years. In 1987, Goswami Ramnarayan of CPI (M) defeated Lakshmi Narayan Rej of ICS. In 1977, Dwarka Nath Tah of CPI (M) won the seat defeating Sudhir Chandra Dawn of INC. Kashinath Ta of INC won the seat in 1972. .Debabrata Dutta of CPI (M) won the seat in 1971 and 1969. Sahedullah of CPI (M) won the seat in 1967. Prior to that thee was a single Bardhaman seat.
Nirupam Sen of CPI (M) won the Bradhaman South assembly seat in 2006 and 2001 state assembly elections defeating his nearest rivals Samir Kumar Roy and Paresh Chandra Sarkar (both of AITC) in the respective years. In 1996 and 1991, Shyamaprosad Bose of CPI (M) defeated Sadhan Kumar Ghosh and Shyamadas Banerjee (Both of INC) in respective years. In 1987, Nirupam Sen of CPI (M) defeated Pradip Bhattacharya of INC. In 1982 and 1977, Benoy Krishna Chowdhury of CPI (M) defeated Shyamadas Banerjee and Pradip Bhattacharya (both of INC) in the respective years. Pradip Bhattacharya of INC won the seat in 1972. .Benoy Choudhuri of CPI (M) won the seat in 1971 and 1969. S.B.Chowdhury of INC won the seat in 1967. Prior to that there was a single Bardhaman seat.
Radharani Mahtab of INC won the Bardhaman seat in 1962. Benoy Choudhuri representing CPI won the seat in 1957 and 1952.
Nikhilananda Sar of CPI (M) won the Bardhaman (Lok Sabha constituency) in the 2004 general elections defeating his nearest rival Anindya Gopal Mitra of BJP.