Uttarpara

Uttarpara

Uttarpara (উত্তরপাড়া) is a small town of Hooghly District, West Bengal, India. It is a part of the area covered by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority.

It is a town of historical importance. Uttarpara is home to some of the biggest industrial setups in the state. It has the Shaw Wallace Distilliery, Shalimar Wire Products, Hindustan Motors which is the only vehicle plant in West Bengal which manufactures the car Hindustan Ambassador.

Uttarpara Kotrung is the municipality.

Geography

Uttarpara is located at . It has an average elevation of 15 metres (52 feet). Located at the south-eastern tip of the Hooghly District, on the banks of the river Ganges, it is just across the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. There is a man-made canal that clearly marks the boundary between Uttarpara and the adjoining Howrah District.

History

Uttarpara remains firmly locked with its history through the hynm of Satya-Narayan Puja in Bengali

"Gangaar Paschim Kul, Varanasi Samatul, Taar Madhya Uttam Uttarpara Gram, Sabarna Choudhury Dwija Narayan Naam..."

In English, "Uttarpara is located on west bank of Ganges, just as Varanasi. It was set up by the descendants of Sabarna Choudhury..."

Atul Krishna Ray, in his book Lakshmikanta: A Chapter In The Social History Of Bengal (1928) has written that Ratneshwar Roy Choudhury(1670-1720) belonged to the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of Barisha-Behala. In 1709 Ratneshwar had purchased Chakbali tract from Sheoraphuli fiefdom of Manohar Roy. Since it was on the north of Chakbali, the place was called Uttarpara. He is the fourth generation in the family of Lakshmikanta, who was awarded the titles of Roy and Choudhury by Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The entire Kolkata of today and the adjacent Sundarbans belonged to the Sabarna Choudhuries. Lakshmikanta's father, Kamdev Brahmachari who had become a saint and resided at Varanasi, had expressed that a piece of tract be bought by the family on the same side of Ganges as that of Varanasi. The Kalighat Kali Temple was installed by Kamdev Brahmachari. Lakhmikanta was the great grandson of Panchanan Gangopadhyay, who had joined Emperor Humayun's Afgan cavalry and raised a haveli for which the place was called Havei Shahar, now Halisahar.

Amarnathnath Bandyopadhyay, in his book Bangsha Parichay (1911), has detailed all the Brahmin and Kayastha families of the then Uttarpara. It contains genealogy of each and every family. Sabarna Choudhury Paribar Parishad of Barisha-Behala has copies of both the above books.

Ootarpara, in those days was marshland - bereft of decent human settlement. Only fishermen of Patni, Malo castes and a few Muslims lived there. Their trade was fishing, marketing fishing equipments, ferry service and dacoity.Ratneshwar cleared the entire area and developed it as a progressive town.

The compulsion of Kaulinya system made Ratneswar, who was a non-Kulin Brahmin, to bring Kulin Brahmin families for matrimony. Gradually, many Brahmin families like Durga Charan Banerjee, Ramtanu Chatterjee, Ramnidhi Chatterjee, Nandalal Mukherjee etc. migrated and settled at Ootarpara through matrimonial relation with descendants of Ratneswar Roychoudhury. Many of these families afterwards took leading role in intellectual and spiritual development of Uttarpara. It is not know how and when 'Ootarpara' became more sober sounding Uttarpara.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Uttarpara Kotrung had a population of 150,204. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Uttarpara Kotrung has an average literacy rate of 79%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 76%. In Uttarpara Kotrung, 8% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Economy

Hindustan Motors

Uttarpara is home to India's first car factory - Hindustan Motors. Efforts are being made to revive the plant.

Other industries

  • Shalimar Wire Products
  • Shaw Wallace

Transportation

Uttarpara is well connected by road and rail. There is a railway station at Uttarpara that connects Uttarpara with Howrah via the main line axis which connects the metropolis of Kolkata with the rest of India. At Bally, just a kilometer off, three major railway lines converge. The historically famed and the nation's prime road artery, the Grand Trunk Road passes through Uttarpara. Central Kolkata is just 25 km away from Uttarpara. Presently, Uttarpara is better described as a suburb of Kolkata. Majority of its population goes to Kolkata for work.

Culture

Uttarpara boasts of a rich cultural heritage. Philanthropic zamindar of Bengal, Sri Joy Krishna Mookherjee, who was related to the family of founder Ratneshwar through marriage, contributed towards establishment of library, a public hospital and a school. The town once boasted of sylvan peace, beautiful buildings, epitome of great architectural works and steeped in cultural heritage. But, that is fast giving way to flats and modern apartment buildings to accommodate the ever increasing populace. Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt spent his last days in Uttarpara library.

In 1909, Aurobindo Ghosh gave his last political speech before leaving for Pondichery to embrace monkhood. This speech, known as 'Uttarpara Speech', is a valuable work for understanding Hinduism and Sanatan dharma by Sri Aurobindo.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose also came to Uttarpara once and gave his political speech. A heritage building is under renovation process to keep the memory of this great freedom fighter.

The Hungry Generation literary movement which changed the course of Bengali creative literature, was started by two brothers, Malay Roy Choudhury and Samir Roychoudhury, decendents of the founder of Uttarpara, Ratneshwar Roychoudhury. The literary movement had its meetings in their ancestral home Sabarna Villa on Choudhury Para Street, which was visited by such literary stalwarts as Sunil Gangopadhyay, Shakti Chattopadhyay and many others.

Personalities

Education

  • Raja Peary Mohan College
  • Uttarpara Govt. High School
  • Uttarpara Amarendra Vidyapith
  • Uttarpara Girl's School
  • Makhla Deviswari Vidya Niketan
  • Bhadrakali High School
  • Uttarpara Children's Own Home
  • Swami Nissambalananda College(For girls)
  • Dramland school(makhlaa)

Politics

Uttarpara is part of Serampore (Lok Sabha constituency).

References

External links

See also

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