Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

Curzon Gate

Bardhaman (Burdwan), West Bengal

Curzon Gate is the most prominent land mark of Bardhaman (Burdwan) Town and is located at the meeting point of Bijoy Chand Road (BC Road) and Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) (Google map location)

Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

The gigantic gate towering at the busy intersection marks the entry to the Bardhaman town from GT Road. The gate was constructed to celebrate the coronation of the king of Bardhaman Maharaja Bijay Chand Mahatab in 1902.

Upper part of Curzon Gate

Upper part of Curzon Gate

The construction started in January 1903 and completed in 1904. Lord Curzon (George Nathaniel Curzon), the then Viceroy of India was invited to inaugurate the ceremonial gateway on March 1904.

In honour of the viceroy the gate was named as Curzon Gate and was reffered as the Star of India.

Later after independence the gate was renamed as Bijoy Torn (বিজয় তোরন), literally meaning gate of victory, but the old name stuck. Today locals refer to it as Curzon Gate and prefer the Bengali pronunciation – Karjon Gate.

Female figurines atop Curzon Gate

Female figurines atop Curzon Gate

The gate consists of a giant central arch, which is flanked on either side by small arches. The central arch makes way for vehicular traffic while the minor arches on the side are used by pedestrians.

Stucco work at base of Curzon Gate

Stucco work at base of Curzon Gate

The side arches are topped with statues of lions while the central arch is flanked on both side with twin Corinthian columns.

Each of the eight pillars are topped with urns and just above the central arch are statues of three female figurines.

The figures with swords, boats, and sheaves of corn in their hands, on the arch signify progress in agriculture and commerce.

Just below the statues the words Bijoy Torn (বিজয় তোরন) are inscribed in Bengali, it replaced the old inscription of Star of India. The gate also has its share of stucco work. Each of the central pillars have beautiful stucco works on both sides.

Curzon Gate from back side

Curzon Gate from back side

A marble plaque on inside the arch claims that the gate was restored in 1974 by Public Works Minister of the Government of West Bengal and plaque also mentions a brief history of the Curzon Gate.

Today the Curzon Gate is heavily encroached upon, with buildings barely inches away. Goods from the nearby shops are piled up at the base making the beautiful stucco work almost invisible. A mesh of wires and traffic kiosk makes photography extremely difficult. The Curzon Gate is beautifully light up during evening providing creating a grand spectacle.

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