Konnagar - A tete a tete with the city :
Location : Eastern India, West Bengal, Hooghly District.
Founded in : Centuries ago.
Best time to visit : October to March.
Local Transport : Rickshaw, private cars and buses.
Places to see : Baro Mandir, Brahmo Samaj Ghat, Bagan Bari, and Sankaracharya Math.
Souvenirs : Local Bengal handicrafts.
Konnagar - The Tale of the city :
History has it that Konnagar was a small village before the 19th century. After that there were many leaders who contributed to its growth. There was a famous leader of the Brahmos who was a great follower of ideals and who took the step towards improving the conditions of females in the society and was instrumental in building educational institutions for them. In the 18th century in the years 1856 to 1858, there was significant landmark development here by way of construction of a post office and a railway station in this small city. Around the year 1931, the shoe tycoon Tomas Bata, found his Indian roots at Konnagar. After this, Tomas gave his business control to Jan Antonin Bata, who was the person who founded Batanagar. This city was the place where the shoe factory was founded in the year 1894 in the month of August. In the year 1931, a building was rented to start a shoe factory as an experiment. This was done with around 75 Czech experts. In 1934, Jan Bata started building factories in a place called Digha near Patna. Slowly Jan Bata’s policies became amongst the bigger towns of Kolkata.
Konnagar is famous for the Sense and also popular with their growth of culture here. The Sense were the Seminars here till late in the 19th century. The British came to an end, and the zamindari rule failed. Being home to many famous personalities, this was the main home of Sri Aurobindo and also Shashi Bhushan Chatterjee the famous geographer from India. These two dignitaries were students of the Konnagar High School. This school was founded in the 19th century. The great Sri Rabindranath Tagore and Mahasweta Devi have visited Konnagar. Tagore is believed to have come here when he was a child. He came with his family to flee from the Dengue fever which hit the city of Kolkata. Again Konnagar was visited by Tagore when he was 19 years old. He visited the Brahmosamaj Ghat with Maharshi Debendranath Shibram Chakrabarty his father. The Mangal Kabyo has mentioned Konnagar 500 years back.
Konnagar - Down the Ages :
Down the ages, Konnagar is a city that has flourished in a great way. Lying in the Hooghly district, it is found on the banks of the River Hooghly. The city is governed by the police station at Uttarpara in the subdivision of Serampore. It is located with the city of Rishra on one side and Uttarpara on the other. Uttarpara lies in the Bardhaman- Howrah line. It lies on the famous Grand Trunk Road. A very popular spot Nabagram is found near the railway station of Konnagar on the western side. Konnagar after a lot of survey by demographers has been found to have a population of more than 75000. The literacy rate here is upto 80%. This is higher than the literacy rate in India. The city is famous for its dense population and its delicious sweets. Today Konnagar has many institutions and is the place of the Brahmo Samaj. Konnanagar has also been mentioned in the “Chandimangal” of the famous poet Kabi Kankan Mukundram and Birpradas Peeply’s Manashamangal. “Chandimangal” written in the 16th century gives proof that the city is more than 600 years old. Even Bankim Chandra and Rabindranath Tagore have mentioned Konnagar in their writings.
Konnagar - A Rendezvous :
A rendezvous with Konnagar, the Uttarpara protégé, reveals that this is the place where there were many important personalities who took birth. Sisir Kumar Mitra the very well known physicist, Sri Aurobindo the famous nationalist, and Shaifur Rehman the leader of the language movement of East Paksitan all were from Konnnagar, the illustrious city of leaders. With around 20 wards in the Municipal Area of Konnagar, it is a part of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. The Serampur Loksabha Kendra and the Uttarpara Bidhanseva Kendra are a part of it. When India got independence, then Konnangar was just a small village town. After 1947, when the partition of East Pakistan happened there was surge of populace here. In the year 1865, the Serampore Uttarpara Municipality was founded which then included Konnagar too. In the year 1916, the Rishra Konnagar Municipality was founded. Gradually in 1930 the roads got electrified and the roads at Konnagar came into being. In the year 1944, Konnanagar got its own Municipality. It has the River Bhaghirathi in the eastern side and the Rainal Canal in the west. The northern side has the Rishra Municipality and the Uttarpara town in the south. Today it is connected by rail and road and is also connected to the ports of Kolkata and Haldia.
Konnagar - Travel kitty :
What can one expect in a place that has a population of more than 75,000, but just Nature at its best? Any place that we go to in India is sure to give us some kind of travel kitty or the other. The locals here are very simple and the tourist considers that as his travel kitty. The ambience is electric and that could be another precious travel kitty. That is the ideal travel kitty. In short, Konnagar can give you itself as a travel kitty to carry back with memories.
Konnagar - Joie de vivre in the city :
Being the place where the famous Baro Mandir and Kalitala temples are there this is a place which enjoys an urban status. The home of Nabagram, the famous place, the place sees fairs and festivities. The joie de vivre here is to experience the book fair held every year by the Municipality. There are a whole lot of VIP’s who come here to inaugurate this. One who comes here can see the following places:
Raksha Kalimata Temple : This temple situated in Konnagar, is a place where devotees of Kalimata come and pay obeisance. The temple is a part of the festivities held during the fair held during the month of April.
Sri Sri Rajarajeswari Mata Temple : Located at S.C.Chaterjee Street, this temple too is a popular place of worship amongst devotees coming this side of the State of Bengal.
Manisha Tala Kali Temple : Another temple devoted to Goddess Kali. It is a place of worship for all devotees of Kali.
Raj Rajeswari Math : This is the famous math of Sri Sankaracharya and is very active during the seasons when the Sankaracharya gives a darshan to the devotees.
Brahma Swamaj Ghat : This is the place where the Brahmo religion is practiced. Also known as the Adi Dharm, this is a very influential religious movement started by Dwarkanath Tagore and Raja Rammohan Roy as a form of reforming Brahmanism especially the Kulin customs. This is a place where the followers of Brahmo religion visit.
Baromandir Ghat : Baro mandir meaning 12 temples which was established centuries ago, is a place visited by all the devotees. The place is a sanctified place and is very religious.
Mosque : The place of worship for the Muslims of the place.
Gour Dham : This is the place where the illustrious and strong Sib Chandra Deb lived. He joined the Brahmo Samaj movement and Gour Dham was the place of pilgrimage for the members of the New Samaj after the second breakup of the movement. The devotes would come here, meet and learn from his pious, humble and intelligent attitude towards the duties of life and the ways of speech as well as conduct. This is the place where people learnt to understand the goodness in others and got inspired to do well in life.
Bagan Bari : This was the house of Maharshi Debendra Nath Thakur. He was the founder of the Brahmo religion.
Rishi Aurobindo Ghosh’s Ancestral Home : Konnagar, the Kali Mandir place is the place where the great leader Aurobindo Ghosh lived his childhood. It is a pleasure to see this ancestral home of the erstwhile leader.
Konnagar - Entertainment factor :
Being home to the famous temples, of Baro Mandir and Kalitala, this place sees many devotees, coming here to pay reverence to Goddess Kali. Here the Goddess is also called by the name of Sukhantala Kali Thakur. There is a fair or mela held here in the month of April or Baisakh. The main feature of this celebration is the way the idol is made and decorated in one single day. Then the idol is taken to the Ganga and immersed there. All this is done on the same day. Besides this, the Sri Sri Raj Rajeswari Mata Fair is also celebrated here. This festival is being celebrated here since 3 centuries.
Thus, armed with a so much history and tradition, Konnagar, the small beauty is a small little encyclopedia of information and tales.
As a person leaves this place, he thinks, “Konnagar is a treasure chest of history.