Historic Sites of Bardhaman Town

Historic Sites of Bardhaman Town

A compilation of historic sites of Bardhaman town

From colossal colonial styled gateways to magnificent Mughal styled mausoleum and from elaborate temple complex to the resting place of the first husband of the Mughal empress Noor Jahan

Clockwise from top left: Curzon Gate, Christ Church, Mazar of Pir Baharam, 108 Shiva Temples, Sarbangla Temple and Nawab Bari

Clockwise from top left: Curzon Gate, Christ Church, Mazar of Pir Baharam, 108 Shiva Temples, Sarbangla Temple and Nawab Bari

Located about 100 km from Kolkata, the town of Bardhaman predates Kolkata by at least a couple of centuries. It can serve as a interesting day or a weekend trip from Kolkata covering an wide range of historic sites.

Curzon Gate

Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

The Curzon Gate most iconic landmark of the historic town of Bradhaman, it welcomes visitors entering the town from the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) (Google map location).

The gate was constructed to celebrate the coronation of the king of Bardhaman Maharaja Bijay Chand Mahatab in 1902.

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 refereed 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.

The gate consists of a giant archway topped with colonial styled statues. The main arch is flanked on either sides by minor arches topped with lion statues.

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Christ Church

The red brick church was built in 1816, by the Church Missionary Society (CMS, London) who bought the land from a local king. Capt. Charles Stuart (popularly known as Hindu Stuart) of the East India Company, supervised the construction of the church.

Christ Church, Bardhaman

Christ Church, Bardhaman

The church is located just north of the Curzon Gate and on the same side of the GT Road (Google map location). It is an active church. The church official stays within the complex with his residence adjacent to the porch, thus encroaching th front approach of the church.

Mazar of Pir Baharam and Tombs of Sher Afghan & Qutubuddin Koka

Everone has heard of Nur Jahan, the wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, but unknown to many this was her second marriage. Her first husband was Sher Afghan, Jagirdar of Bardhaman. He was killed by Qutubuddin Khan Koka, the the subedar (Governor) of Bengal on instructions of Jahangir. But Qutubuddin Khan Koka also died in the deadly ambush.

Tomb of Sher Afghan and Qutubuddin Khan Koka at Mazar of Pir Baharam, Brdhaman

Tomb of Sher Afghan and Qutubuddin Khan Koka at Mazar of Pir Baharam, Brdhaman

Today both the men, who died fighting each other, lies in eternal rest next to each other in a busy congested neighborhood of Bardhaman (Google map location). They were both buried in the complex housing the Mazar of Pir Baharam, which was constructed almost half a century earlier.

Tomb of Pir Baharam, Brdhaman

Tomb of Pir Baharam, Brdhaman

Pir Baharam was a Sufi saint of Turkish origin. He served water to thirsty traveller and came to be known as saka, Persian for water distributor. Later he decided to move to Lanka (now Sri Lanka) and died on the way at Bardhaman

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Nawab Bari (Mausoleum of Khwaja Anwar)

Mausoleum of Khwaja Anwar (Nawab Bari)

Mausoleum of Khwaja Anwar (Nawab Bari)

The most spectacular of the heritage sites of Bardhaman. Sadly it also happens to be the least known, least visited and most neglected.

It houses the Mausoleum of Khwaja Anwar, who was the Amir of the Governor of Bengal Azim-us-Shan, the grand son of the last great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

He was killed in an ambush in 1698. Later in 1718 the then Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar built a magnificent tomb in his honour.

The huge magnificent tomb lies on the southern end of the complex on the west is a mosque, which is still active. A huge paved pond occupies the centre of the complex, with a pavilion at it’s middle. The pavilion is approached by a causeway from the western side. Sadly everything is in ruins and overgrown with vegetation (Google map location). Also it is a private property and there is restriction in entry and photography.

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Sarbangala Mandir

Located at the heart of Bardhaman town (Google map location) the Sarbangala Temple houses the family deity of the Bardhaman royal family. The deity is a eight handed Durga in mahisasuramardini posture. The temple dates back to 1702 and was built by Maharaja Kirtichand.

Sarbangala Mandir, Brdhaman

Sarbangala Mandir, Brdhaman

The Sarbangala Temple follows the naba-ratna (nine pinnacled) style of architecture and the complex houses five shiva temples along with several other structures, including couple of gateways. Sadly the temples and the other structures have been restored in an unscientific way and in the process loosing its elegance and grace. Today only traces of terrcotta ornamentation can be seen only on the Shiva temples of the complex.

Bardhaman 108 Shiva Temples

108 Siva Temple Complex of Nababhat, Bardhaman

108 Siva Temples, Bardhaman

West Bengal houses two 108 Shiva Temple complex and one of them is an Nababhat, in the outskirts of Bardhaman town (Google map location). The other one is in Ambika Kalna (Also see: Temple town of Ambika Kalna)

Unlike Ambika Kalna, where the temples are arranged in two concentric circle, here the temples are arranged in a rectangular format.

The temples follow the traditional aat chala (eight sloped roof) style of architecture,with the exception of the four corner temples, which are octagonal in shape.

It is an active temple complex visited by a large number of devotees each day. Sadly the complex has been badly restored and lost most of its past glory.

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Bardhamaneswar Temple

Bardhamaneswar Temple, Bardhaman

Bardhamaneswar Temple, Bardhaman

Bardahameswar Temple is from where Bardham town, as well as the undivided district gets its name. Sadly it is nothing grand.

It is located in the southern part of Bardhaman town (Google map location) and is an located in a industrial area and surrounded by rice and oil mills.

Sadly the temple is nothing great in fact it is only a shed of corrugated iron. The giant Shiva linga is situated at the far southern end of the shed.

It is an active temple and attracts devotees from far and wide. Nothing much is known about the history of the temple but according to legend the temple was established by Chand Sadagar of Manasamangal fame.

Note:

  • This is a compilation post
  • It is not exhaustive and will be updated from time to time
  1. December 9, 2021 at 2:10 AM

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    Anita

  2. December 24, 2021 at 3:52 PM

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