Chandannagar Things to Do

  • The Drawing room of J.F. Duplex.
    The Drawing room of J.F. Duplex.
    by goutammitra
  • The Drawing Room.
    The Drawing Room.
    by goutammitra
  • Things to Do
    by goutammitra

Most Recent Things to Do in Chandannagar

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    Temple of Hanseshwari ( or Goddess Kali)

    by goutammitra Written Apr 8, 2008

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    The main temple.
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    This wonderful temple of Goddess Kali ( here she is known as Hanseshwari mother) was built by Raja ( King) Nrishinghadev Ray in 1798. He collected stones ( a kind of marble or lime stone) for this temple from Chunar a place near Allahabad. The height of the temple is 27.5 meter or 90 feet. It has a total of 13 peaks. Those days it was supposed to be an example of fine architect. But the king left for his heavenly abode in 1802 and the temple was later completed by the queen Shankari. The king was one genuine Hindu King of proper bloodline and not made by the British Rulers, who made several their sycophants as king or land lords, then they ruled India for more than 300 years!

    The temple is located at the bank of the Holy Ganges at Bansberia ( 25kms from Chandannagore or about 2oKm from Bandel). This temple has been taken over by Archaeological Survey of India and they maintain the building and the properties, gardens left by the king. This place is also very famous for it's beautiful picnic spot near the Ganges. The place is worth visiting.
    Timing: from 6.00AM to 12.30noon and then 04.00 PM to 07.30PM.

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    Inside view of the Residency ( J.F. Duplex)

    by goutammitra Written Apr 8, 2008

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    The Drawing room of J.F. Duplex.
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    These rare photographs were taken last month when we revisited Chandannagore town with our VT friends from Kathmandu, Urvashi & her husband Dibya S.J.B.Rana. I could not take more as it was not permitted.

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    Clock of Imambara.

    by goutammitra Written Apr 29, 2007

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    Clock of Imambara.
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    This clock was purchased from a watch maker of London. It has letters in Arabic instead of Roman and weighs about 3 ton, made of solid brass. It has to be winded once in a week and the key weighs 20KGs!! It is still giving perfect time, we visited the place at 5.09PM and it was showing correct time. The people of Bandel and Hoogly are very fortunate to have this clock for them. It is now more than 100 years old and still perfect. One of the finest examples of British engineering.

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    Bandel Imambara or centre of learning!

    by goutammitra Updated Apr 29, 2007

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    Hoogly Imambara.
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    This prayer house was built by Haji Mohammad Mohsin, a decendant of Nawabs of Murshidabad( The Ruler of Bengal) in the year 1836. The gateway is flanked by lofty minarets, the walls are decorated with texts from the Koran and the interior has rich carvings and inlaid marble motifs.

    In the main Mosque area there is a Throne ( high seat) dedicated for The Prophet ( Hajrat Mohammad). Inside the main prayer area the ceilings are decorated with thousands of Chandeliers, Carpets from Iran and the walls are embossed with the teachings from Koran. Just imagine the thousand Chandeliers being lit with candles!!!!

    Their main function is Moharram, when they mourn for Hassan & Hossein, the grandchildren of the Prophet, who were killed by enemies by keeping them starved and thirsty for days!

    place not to be missed

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    Mausoleum of Md. Haji Mohsin.

    by goutammitra Written Apr 27, 2007

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    Musoleum of Haji Mohsin.
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    Mohammed Haji Mohsin was the richest landlord or Zamindars of Bandel and was also an enlightened Moslem. He was from Shia clan. He also created the centre for learning or the Imambara of Bandel, which is still present there.

    In this place he was laid to rest.

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    History of the Mast

    by goutammitra Written Apr 27, 2007

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    The Mast of the ship of 1655.
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    One stormy morning of 1655 a Portuguese ship landed suddenly in the Ghat of Bandel church. It had survived a gail for few days in the Bay of the Bengal. The Captain of the ship prayed to " The Our Lady Of Bandel" and promised to donate his Mast to the first Church he will find in his way. He could see the Church at Bandel and donated one of his Mast to the church. It is still there bearing the testimony.

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    The Portuguese settlement at Bandel

    by goutammitra Updated Apr 25, 2007

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    The entrance of Bandel Church.
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    It was the first European settlement in West Bengal and still bears the traces of its past. Bandel is the site of the Portuguese settlement. The Portuguese Church and the Monastry were built here in 1599. It was destroyed by Shah Jahan in 1640 but was rebuilt in 1660. The church is the main attraction which is the oldest Christian church in West Bengal, the Church of our Lady of Bandel and is dedicated to Nosa Senhora di Rozario. It was declared a basilica in 1988. The church is built in beautiful Doric architectural style of ancient Greece. Inside there are beautiful paintings depicting scenes from the life of Jesus.

    …the Portuguese church, which is now the great sight of modern Bandel. This, the oldest Christian place of worship, if not in India, was founded in 1599, the year in which Queen Elizabeth sanctioned the establishment of the East India Company. It was burnt in the sack of Hooghly by the Moors in 1632, but the keystone with the date 1599 was preserved and built into the gate of the new church erected by John Comes de Soto in 1661. It is dedicated to Nossa Senhora di Rosario and contains a monastery once occupied by Augustinian friars, the last of whom died in 1869… Some 380 bigghahs of land, out of the 777 granted rent-free by Shah Jehan, are still enjoyed… Every November the church is thronged with pilgrims during the Novena of Notre Dame de Bon Voyage. [3]
    —Cotton, H.E.A (1909)

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    The Portuguese settlement at Bandel

    by goutammitra Updated Apr 25, 2007

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    It was the first European settlement in West Bengal and still bears the traces of its past. Bandel is the site of the Portuguese settlement. The Portuguese Church and the Monastry were built here in 1599. It was destroyed by Shah Jahan in 1640 but was rebuilt in 1660. The church is the main attraction which is the oldest Christian church in West Bengal, the Church of our Lady of Bandel and is dedicated to Nosa Senhora di Rozario. It was declared a basilica in 1988. The church is built in beautiful Doric architectural style of ancient Greece. Inside there are beautiful paintings depicting scenes from the life of Jesus.

    …the Portuguese church, which is now the great sight of modern Bandel. This, the oldest Christian place of worship, if not in India, was founded in 1599, the year in which Queen Elizabeth sanctioned the establishment of the East India Company. It was burnt in the sack of Hooghly by the Moors in 1632, but the keystone with the date 1599 was preserved and built into the gate of the new church erected by John Comes de Soto in 1661. It is dedicated to Nossa Senhora di Rosario and contains a monastery once occupied by Augustinian friars, the last of whom died in 1869… Some 380 bigghahs of land, out of the 777 granted rent-free by Shah Jehan, are still enjoyed… Every November the church is thronged with pilgrims during the Novena of Notre Dame de Bon Voyage. [3]
    —Cotton, H.E.A (1909)

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    French Magistrate's house.

    by goutammitra Written Apr 24, 2007

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    The Chandernagore Court built in 1878.
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    This marvellous structure used to be the residence of French magistrate. Built in 1878, now it is converted as Sub divisional court. What a waste, this building too could have been used as Museum or some tourist spot. The Court could have been constructed elsewhere. This is a highly crowded place on weekdays and people make it real dirty. I hope someday the Govt of west Bengal will wake up.

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    On the River Front.

    by goutammitra Written Apr 24, 2007

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    The Holy Ganges at Chandnnagore.
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    Since this area of the River front is very clean one can sit for hours and watch the French Museum, The French Church and other places at their own pace. The river bank has clean concrete benches, also there is a restaurant just opposite the place, it makes sense to sit there at the river front. One can only realise why the French & Tagor choose this place!

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    Tagore's House on the River front.

    by goutammitra Written Apr 24, 2007

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    Tagore's House from the waterfront.
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    I believe Ravindra Nath Tagore needs no introduction for the VT readers. He was our Shakespeare of the East and First Nobel Laurette. He was a prolific writer and he came from a very wealthy family of Bengal. They were among the very few Richest families of Bengal. His grandfather Price Dwaraka Nath Tagore was a leading businessman and also had excellent business relation with the British and French as well.

    Tagore used to come to Chandannagore very frequently and used to sit on an easy chair on the lawn of this Bunglow and gaze at the River, The boats, The Army, The people and used to write immediately. His several masterpieces were created here. Those who are conversant with Bengali language and poetry will know this. Some of the poems of his masterpiece Geetanjali was created here.
    Today his relatives stay in this house and dont allow the house to be visited,but one can have a look from outside. It is now known as Patal Bari in Bengali.

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    The French Museum- The Residency.

    by goutammitra Written Apr 23, 2007

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    We at the Residency.
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    This was the house of the French Administrator J.F. Dupleix. He was the chief administrator of Pondicherry and Chandannagore. Now the government of India has converted into a beautiful museum. Inside this displayed documents of various trade, their literature, their News Paper, Historical Important Agreements, weapons and so on. Open on all days and one can spend at least two hours. But photography is not allowed inside the museum, just like Victoria Memorial Hall.

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    Durga Charan Rakshit

    by goutammitra Written Apr 23, 2007

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    Souvenier De La Durga Charan Rakshit
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    When the French were in power many Indian businessmen mixed with them and served them well. One such person was Mr.Durga Charan Rakshit a leading Indian businessman involved in export trade with the French. He was even honoured by the French by their " Chevalier De La Legion D Honneur."

    This beautiful souvenier was ercted in his memory by his son Shyama Charan in 1921, built on the water front with a bathing ghat.

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    The Chandannagore Church

    by goutammitra Written Apr 23, 2007

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    Chandannagore Church.
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    This beautiful Church was built by the French during 17/18 th Century. Situated just opposite Chandannagore Collage and French residency, this beautiful structure shows how fine the French engineers were. We could not find about the Masons but it is believed that the Masons were brought from Murshidabad, Bengal.

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    Gateway of Chandannagore.

    by goutammitra Written Apr 23, 2007

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    The Entrance gate of Chandannagore Town.
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    We visited this place on Sunday afternoon of 22nd April. Though this gate has very less importance to the local crowd but it carries Historical importance. This gate was built during 17th Century whenthis French town was bustling with trade & commerce!.

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Comments (1)

  • Oct 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    I can find 2 big mistakes in the above pictures and stories made by Goutam Mitra

    1. Mr. Mitra says that Hanseswari temple was made by Nrisinhadev in 1798. It is wrong. Nrisinhadev started building this temple but died. His 2nd wife Rani Sankari made it finally in 1814.

    2. Mausoleum of Md. Haji Mohsin is not that place where it is shown by Mr. Mitra. It is a tomb of Suanna Anna Maria (Dutch). Anyone can see the blue boards by Archaeological Survey Of India.

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