IFSC Code Details and Chandannagar Branch Information HDFC BANK LTD – CHANDANNAGAR is located at WEST BENGAL state, NADIA district, CHANDANNAGAR city and the bank branch’s address is [VIVEKANDANA SARANIPADRIPARA, G T ROAD,CHANDANNAGAR]. Contact phone number / numbers – SUJIT KURUP ANANT SHINDE…
When we think of French legacy in India, Pondicherry is the first place that comes to mind. But, Pondicherry is not at a stone’s throw distance from Kolkata. To get there, you need to plan a proper vacation. Whereas, there is a quaint little suburban town situated near Kolkata, where you can get a slice of French legacy. All you will have to do is take a day out from your busy schedule and drive down to Chandannagar. Yes, that same little town which is otherwise, synonymous with Jagadhatri Puja, jal bhara sandesh and the tuni bulb light works during Durga Puja.
THE BEGINNNING: As already stated, Chandannagar makes for an ideal day trip with your family and we are speaking from experience. As soon as Durga Puja was over, we set a Saturday date with Chandannagar. It is only 54 kilometres from the Vidyasagar Setu and we covered the distance in exactly an hour-and-thirty minutes. The moment we arrived at Chandannagar, the Liberty Gate welcomed us. Although the two pillars today wear a broken down look, the stamp carved on the pillar on the left said it all, really. It was like being part of history!
THE NAMING THEORY: If you ask the people here why the town is called Chandannagar, you will be treated to many stories and theories. During the early days, the town was known was Farasdanga. In Bengali, Farasi meant the French, danga land. But, it is usually believed that the name Chandannagar was conferred to it as it is the home to Goddess Chandi. Moreover, it was also referred as Chandernogor because of the shape of the bank of the river Ganga which bents like a half moon here. In Bengali, chand means moon, and nagar means the city. Another common theory is that since sandal wood- chandan was a flourishing trade here, the name was derived there. Yes, the theories are fascinating, you can just take your pick.
A LOOK AT THE HISTORY: Wouldn’t you want to know just how the French came to govern Chandannagar at a time when Bengal was being ruled by the British? We wanted to know too. So we set about to learn the town’s history. It all started in 1673 when the French got the green signal from Ibrahim Khan, the then Nawab of Bengal and went on to set up a trading post on the right bank of the river Hooghly. Thus, Chandanangar became a part of the French colony, but it was not until 1688 that it became a permanent French settlement. 1730 is yet another important date in the history of Chandannagar. Joseph FranÃ§ois Dupleix was appointed governor of this city and it is during this time that the trade (maritime) flourished and Chandannagar became a force to reckon with. Along with trade, the cultural heritage of the city too reached its peak. Many buildings bearing the beautiful French architectural stamp were constructed during this time.
But all good things come to an end. In 1756, France and Great Britain locked horns and Admiral Charles Watson of the British Navy captured Chandannagar in 1757. In 1763, the city was restored to the French, but the British once again took possession in 1794 during the Napoleonic Wars. Then again in 1816, Chandanangar was returned to France and it was governed as a part of French India until 1950. After India gained independence in 1947 from the British, the French Government held a plebiscite and discovered that the residents of Chadannagar wanted to become part of India. To cut a long history short, Chandannagar finally gained independence on November 26, 1952, and was attached as a part of the state of West Bengal on June 10, 1954.
EXPLORING THE TOWN: THE STRAND: Since, it was governed by the French for such a long time, Chandannagar till date personifies French refinement. The first stop that we made, once we entered the city, was the Strand. The moment you arrive, you get the feel that you have arrived in Pondicherry. It is obviously located along the banks of the river Ganga and you can sit here and spend hours just watching the river flow by. The Strand was and still is the cultural life force of Chandannagar. And while from the afternoon it becomes the hub for the students and young couples, once the sun sets down, the Strand welcomes the old timers who indulge in their own adda sessions. In fact, when we approached a group of elderly men, they shared with us some interesting anecdotes. They told us how people smuggled Japanese silk to Kolkata by tying them round their waists. And while you are here, do visit the Durga Charan Rakshit ghat. He was the courtier of the French Government and he owns the distinction of becoming the first Indian to be conferred with the Chevalier de Legion d’Honour.
THE SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL The sheer beauty of this church will leave you spellbound. It was built in 1875 and personifies the elegance of French architecture. The moment you enter this church, you can feel the peace that it exudes. Do take some time off and admire everything it has to offer.
THE PRABARTAK SANGHA ASHRAM Located at Barai Chandi Tala, this ashram is of historical importance. Aurobindo Ghosh stayed here when he was fighting for India’s independence. In fact, since Chandannagar was ruled by the French, many well-known revolutionaries from Calcutta sought asylum here. They stayed here and made plans. Inside the ashram, there is a library and a temple and outside there is a free medical centre. Moreover, Chandannagar is the home of many famous personalities and their residences exist till date. Leaders like Rash Behari Bose, Kanailal Datta, Upendra Nath Bandopadhyay founder of Dainik Basumati great social reformer Sri Harihar Sett belonged to this town.
Plan Map 17th Century
SOME MORE PLACES OF INTEREST The other must-see places include the sub-divisional court house which is once again a masterpiece. Rabindra Bhavan where Rabindranath Tagore stayed, the beautifully sculptured Nandadulal Temple and the Nritya Gopal Smriti Mandir, too is beautiful. Another place which you must take a look at is the Patal Bari or the Underground House. However, you can only see it from outside, but we were lucky enough to go inside. It is owned by Ashim Chandra Khan and it is 150 years old. We were mesmerised by the huge lawn which overlooks the Ganga and the river blesses this houses as it flows. The steps leading from the lawn always remain submerged. In 1934, Rabindranath Tagore stayed in this house. He has talked about Patal-Bari in his many novels. Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar too visited this house on various occasions.
And before you leave Chandannagar, do forget your diet chart for just one day. You just got to pop in a jal bhara sandesh or a rasogolla at Surya Modok (this is a legendary sweet shop here) and let your worries melt away. In fact, one of our teammates popped in 12 at one go!
So, when can our own little Pondicherry get ready to welcome you?
PLACES TO VISIT
The Liberty gate
The Durga Charan Rakshit Ghat
The Museum and the Institute
The Sacred Heart Cathedral
The Prabartak Sangha Ashram
The Sub-Divisional Court House
Patal Bari (you can see it from outside)
Nritya Gopal Smriti Mandir
FIVE PLACES WHERE YOU CAN SATISFY YOUR HUNGER PANGS