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Hooghly District

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About the Hooghly district

Click on the following link to download district statistics as per NITI Ayog website

Brief About Hooghly District

The district is surrounded by the district Bankura and Burdwan in the north, Nadia and North 24-Parganas in the east, Howrah in the south and Midnapore district in the west i.e.

North : Bankura & Burdwan
East : Nadia & North 24- Parganas
South : Howrah
West : Midnapore

This district with its Headquarters located at Chinsurah town is within the Burdwan Division of the State of West Bengal. So far history goes, the name "Hooghly" is derived probably from the 'HOGLA', a tall reed, which grows in abundance on the riverbanks and in the marshy low lands below them.

At dawn of history this part of the country was probably included in the territory held by the Suhmas, a tribe mentioned in juxtaposition with the Angas, Vangas and Pundras in the Mahabharata and also in the Mahabhashya, a grammar dating back to the second century B.C.

In the third century B.C. the territory of the Suhmas was included in the vast empire of Asoka, which extended over the whole of Bengal as far as the mouth of the Ganges and upto Tamralipti (the modern Tamluk). Several centuries later this tract became absorbed with the rest of Bengal in the Gupta Empire, owing to a successful campaign by Samudragupta in the fourth century.

In the beginning of the seventh century, it appears to have been conquered by the powerful king of Bengal Sasanka of Gaur. In the second quarter of that century it became part of the great emperor Siladitya Harshabardhan. The northern and eastern part of the district, however, passed into the hands of the Sena kings of Bengal.

The district remained under the rule of indigenous rulers till the 13th Century. The northern part of the district had passed into the hand of the Mughal Rulers by 1298 A.D. Colonial forces came later.

The Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, the Danes, the English came to this district for business purpose and established "Kuthis". They also settled in the district and utilised the district as the "Window" to the foreign Settlers. Chandernagore was under the French since 1696 till 1950. Chinsurah and Serampur were under the Dutch and Danes respectively for a long period.

After the battle of Plassy, Mirkasim by an agreement donated the Zamindery areas of Burdwan, Midnapur and Chittagang to the British in the year 1760. The British introduced their own rule to administer those areas according to their system.

For administrative purpose in 1795, the district of Burdwan was divided into two parts, the Northern Division being called Burdwan and the southern division Hooghli. The Bengal Presidency at that time was divided into 14 districts of which Hugli was one.

Hooghly became a separate Collectorate in the year 1822 with Mr. W.H. Belli being the first Collector. The present Collectorate Building was constructed between 1827 and 1829 to accommodate the British troops.

Source : Bengal District Gazetteer, Hooghly by L.S.S. O' Malley

Hooghly has a tropical savanna climate. The annual mean temperature is 26.8°C, although monthly mean temperatures range from 16°C to 33°C and maximum temperatures in Hooghly often exceed 38°C. The main seasonal influence upon the climate is the monsoon. Maximum rainfall occurs during the monsoon in August and the average annual total is above 1,500mm. Moderate northwesterly to northeasterly winds prevails for most of the year with a high frequency of calms. Summer is dominated by strong southwesterly monsoon winds. Winters are comfortable with temperatures lying between 11 to 17°C.

Intensive cropping with remarkable feature of Hooghly District

In spite of the fact that Hooghly is one of the most important industrial districts of West Bengal, about 70% of its population depend on agriculture and represents an important and remarkable place in the field of agriculture in West Bengal.

Due to massive population explosion and continuous increase of pressure on land, the farmers of this district are engaged in cultivation of all the major crops utilising the fullest potentiality of land and natural resources. Though rice is the prime crop of the district the agricultural economy largely depends on potato, jute, vegetables and orchard and the cropping intensity of the district has been escalated to 220%.

Vegetable is a prige crop in the blocks of Haripal, Singur, Chanditala, Polba and Dhaniakhali being grown in a relay system throughout the year. Though potato is cultivated in all the blocks of this district Dhaniakhali, Arambagh, Goghat, Pursurah, Haripal, Polba-Dadpur, Tarakeswar, Pandua and Singur contributed much of its production of this district. Dhaniakhali, Haripal, Pandua, Arambagh and Pursurah have maximum number of cold storages for potato in this district.

Bandel, (the name came from the Bengali word "bandar" which means "port") appears to have been the port of Hooghly. at the time of Portuguese and Mughals. The only relies of the Portuguese settlement are the Church(Basilica) and the monastery. It is about 2 kms away from the station 'Bandel'. The present church and monastery are said to be built in 1660 by Gomez de Soto having the key stone of the old church bearing the date 1599 over the eastern gate of the Monastery. In front of the Church stands a ship's mast which was presented by the captain of a vessel which had encountered a storm in Bay of Bengal and save by the grace of Virgin, the center of attraction. There is the statue of" One lady of Happy Voyage" in the middle of the church. The church has three altars, a small organ & several tomb stones.

By Rail :Bandel (Jn) station is the main station which is connected with Howrah-Burdwan main line.From Howrah Bandel Local, Pandua Local, Bardhaman Local and Katwa Local & Memari Local have stopage at Bandel Station. Bandel is also connected with the Nahati (Jn) Station of Sealdah section by Bandel-Naihati Local. From Bandel St.to the Bandel Basilica(Church) auto rickshaw,mini bus and richshaw is avilable. It will take ten to fiften minutes.

Launch Service is available from Naihati Ferry Ghat to Chinsurah Ferrhy Ghat from 6 a.m.to 10 p.m.

The Imambara building having a masonry revetment is situated on the bank of river Ganges at Chinsurah. The place is nearest to the railway station "Hooghly" on the Howrah Bandel main line and from Hooghly station the rickshaw or auto rickshaw is available to reach the place.The building was started in the year 1841 by Haji Mohammad Mahasin & was completed in the year 1861 at the cost of Rs.2,17,413/- including a clock procured from England at the cost of Rs.11,721/-. The two storied building consisting ranged rooms having a wide entrance of main gate flanked by two nos. of giant towers measuring 80 ft. tall & a massive clock tower in between them. A mosque, the walls of which are decorated by the texts from the Holy Koran and the interior of the mosque is enriched with inlaid marble and careings, candle and lanterns. The mosque is situated at the north side of the building. At the south there is an enclosed compound where the graves of Md. Mohasin & his relatives are present.

In Jangipara a Sufi settlement established during Akbar’s reign. A mosque pre-dating the settlement was built by Muqlish Khan in 1375. Now a site for Muslim pilgrimage, especially during the Pir’s Mela every year.

Kamarpukur Shri Ramkrishna Temple, Kamarpukur, Goghat: The birthplace of Shri Ramkrishna. The temple, built in 1951, is a site of international pilgrimage.

Shanderswartala : It is the most important and oldest temple in Chinsurah. From the Chinsurah Railway station it is about 5 Kms. to reach this temple. The visitors can avail autorickshaw or paddle rickshaw to reach the place. It is at the bank of the Ganges at the north of the Duttaghat. At 16th century Digambar Halder placed the Lingam of Shiva & afterwards the temple was established by Sidheswar Roychodhury. Dutch Governors presented a 'Dhak' made of brass which is still used in this temple. There is also a Durga tmeple which was established on 1845.

Debanandapur : A village of Hooghly district about 3 kms. west from Bandel Station is connected by the auto service. It is the birth place of 'Katha Silpi' Sarath Chandra Chattopadhay. This village is one of the seven important villages named 'Sapta Gram' at the time of Mughals. On 17th September 1875 Sarat Chandra was born in this village. The dwelling house of Katha Shilpi along with a separate drawing room is still present in the village. A Library named Sarat Smrithi Pathagar including a museum room containing the used things of the famous writer is also present there. There are also four 'Atchala' temples of 19th century present in the village. An old'Dol Mancha' can be seen for the interest in archaeology

Hangseswari Tample : This is one of the very important temple amoung all the temples in Hooghly District & & seven in West Bengal. The structure of the temples is the representation of 'Tantrik Satchakrabhed'. This 5 storied 'thirteen ratna' temple is situated near the Bansberia and Tribeni railway station both of which is on the Howrah-Katwal main line. Near to this temple there are also two other important temple named Ananta Basudeba Temple, which is decorated with very rich teracotta pointed plates and Swanbhaba Kali Temple built by Nrisinhadeb in 1788.

Temples in Balagarh The Brindavan Jew temple in Guptipara is actually a cluster of 4. 17th century terracotta temples. Local legend has it that Clive visited this temple before the Battle of Plassey and presented one of his swords to the mahanta. Guptipara is also the site of a well-known Ratha Yatra. There is another cluster of three temples – Anandamoyee, Horosundari and Nistarini – at Somraa. The temple at Dakshineswar is said to be modeled on these. The Rass Mancha at Sripur Bazaar, a product of Vaishnava culture, has unique wood carvings

Nritya Gopal Smriti Mandir Built on the Grand Trunk Road in 1860 by the zamindar Harihar Seth, this building is an example of the confluence of native and colonial styles of architecture. It now houses a public library. Harihar Seth’s own house in Palpara was built at the same time, with similar Tuscan columns and facades.

Antpur Math : In Jangipara, Swami Vivekananda along with 8 other disciples of Ramkrishna Paramahansa took his oath of asceticism here. Maintained by the Ramkrishna Mission.

OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST : It is situated at the middle place of Chinsurah town. The four faces of which indicate the directions. In 1914 'British' emperor the Edward established this steel made hollow clock tower resembling a tomb. On the top of the tomb there is aflag hoisting point. In the four sides of which there are four beautiful lamp sheds. The clock is situated in the middle portion of the tomb

Suakhal & Moyur Mahal : There are two picnic spots at the side of Delhi Road nearest to the Bandel station. In both the places people can enter by giving a nominal entry fee. In addition to other facilities boating also can be enjoyed in both places. At Suakhal there is an interesting science exhibition like talking robot, danger cave etc. This place is maintained by Hooghly Zilla Parishad

Jafarganj Cemetery : About half a mile from the Hazarduari Palace is Jafarganj the ruined palace of Mir Jafar. The Cemetery contains the tombs of the Nawab's Nazim, from Mir Jafar to Humayun Jah. Mir Jafar's father Syud Ahmed Nazafi, Alivardi Khan's sister, Shahkhanum, Mir Jafar's widows, Munni Begam and Babbu Begam, Mohamed Ali Khan, the brother and Ismail Ali Khan and Asraf Ali Khan, the sons-in-law of Mir Jafar, lie buried here. This cemetery was built by Mir Jafar, over an area of 3.51 acres.