Baharampur City, Murshidabad, Bengal

Baharampur (also spelled Berhampore or Berhampur) is a city in the West Bengal state of India. In earlier days it was known as Brahmapur because many of the brahmin families settled there in earlier days were the cause from which the city got its name. Baharampur is the administrative headquarters of the Murshidabad district. It is located about 200 km (124 mi) from Kolkata (earlier known as Calcutta), the state capital.




Fort at Baharampur, c. 1850 Berhampore was fortified in 1757 by the East India Company, after the Battle of Plassey in June 1757, and it continued as a cantonment until 1870. But the foundation of the city of Berhampore remains questionable. As Karnasubarna which is very near from Berhampore has a history dated back to 600 AD. and also all of the major European colonial forces did come to Berhampore and early settlements of Dutch, Armenians, French, British could still be seen scattered in the city. Many architectures of late 1600 could still be seen. The cantonment was constituted as a municipality in 1876 and was the headquarters of Murshidabad district. The Berhampur College was founded in 1853 and in 1888 made over to a local committee, mainly supported by Rani Swarnamayi.


On 25 February 1857, the first major armed battle of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 took place in Baharampur [1], while Berhampur was ruled by Raja Krishnath and his ancestors. In 1901, Baharampur had a population of 24,397, and included the ancient town of Kasim Bazar[2].




Baharampur is located at 24°06′N 88°15′E / 24.1°N 88.25°E / 24.1; 88.25.[3] It has an average elevation of 18 metres (59 feet).


The city is located approximately 200km north of Kolkata at 24°4′N 88°9′E / 24.067°N 88.15°E / 24.067; 88.15 and is situated on the eastern side of the Hooghly River, a major distributary of the Ganga. The city's industries include silk weaving, ivory carving, rice and oil-seed milling and precious metal working. A famous type of metal used to make bells called "Khagrai Kansha" is made in the city. This is a type of brass that is used to make utensils like dishes & bowls.


Baharampur is also popular for a special type of fried sweets called "Chanabora". It is also a rail and road hub of the West Bengal state and is an important agricultural center.Recently a new bus terminus has been set up here, which is said to be one of a kind in the state.




As of 2001[update] India census,[4] Baharampur had a population of 160,168. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Baharampur has an average literacy rate of 79%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 53% of the males and 47% of females literate. 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.



Khagra, a neighbourhood in Bahrampur is renowned for its manufacture of bell-metal and brass utensils, as well as ivory and wood carving.[5][6]


Baharampur is famous for the sweet 'Chhana-bora', the savoury 'Khaja', sweet 'Manohara' and also very famous for Murshidabad Silk.



Berhampore J N Academy, Krishnath College School, Mary Immaculate School (ICSE and ISC), Gurudas Tarasundari Institution, Maharani Kaseswari Girls High School, Manindra Chandra Vidyapith, Shilpa Mandir, Iswar Chandra Institution, Prabha Rani Public School, Holy Garden Model School, Gitaram Academy, Berhampore Central School (CBSE), Lipika Memorial School, Mahakali Pathshala,Manindra School (Cossimbazar), Gurah-Pashla Sripati Konar Sikshaniketan, Amritakunda Krishna Kamini Vidyamandir are the most prominent schools.



Government College of Engineering & Textile Technology, Berhampore (old name: College of Textile Technology Behrampore, also known as GCETTB)

q       Krishnath College

q       Girls' College

q       Berhampore College

q       Murshidabad College of Engineering & Technology

q       B.T College

q       Murshidabad Institution Technology or MIT (Polytechnics College, Dipl



Rail - Berhampore court station, cossimbazar station and Murshidabad station stands on the Sealdah-Lalgola line of the eastern railway. Bhagirathi express, Lalgola passenger train and Hazarduari express are trains that takes the sealdah-lalgola route. Khagraghat is another station that is connected by Howrah. Intercity express and passenger trains, Jansatabdi express takes this route. If one wish to come to Berhampore from north of West Bengal it is best to take the Khagraghat station as destination.


Road - as Berhampore locates just in the center position of West Bengal. This city is well connected by national highway 34.there are bus services on regular basis from south Bengal to north Bengal and Vicecersa. Any buses that starts from Kolkata to north Bengal halts at Berhampore. Buses from New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Suri, Durgapur, Asansol, Dhubri, Bhutan, Malda for Berhampore is easily available.


Water - as Berhampore is city just beside the river Bhagirathi, one can also avail water transport. Launchboat from Kolkata to Murshidabad is available. Berhampore north to Berhampore south is connected via launchboats. Regular boat transport is also available from Berhampore to other towns of Murshidabad such as Azimganj and Jiaganj.

Tourist spots


Berhampore is a famous place for tourists in West Bengal. It gets tourists' flow from locals and as well as from foreigners, being the first Head Quarter of the East India Company and having a long history enriched by the Nawabs, Kings, zamindars and other European colonial forces such as Dutch, Armenians, English and French.
q       Hazarduari Palace - it was built in 1837 by General Duncan Mcleod.
q       Imambara - built in 1847 AD. by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jahat at a cost of more than 6 lacs. The Imambara, which is the largest in Bengal, is perhaps the largest in India.
q       Katra Masjid - built by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan in 1723-24 and it remains one of the most important tourist attractions. The gorgeous building with its huge domes and high minarets has a simple cemetery of the Nawab below the front staircase.
q       Moti Jhil - This beautiful horseshoe shaped lake was excavated by Nawazesh Mohammad, the husband of the famous Ghasseti Begum. In the palace adjoining it (now in ruins) Lord Clive celebrated the acquisition of the Dewani of Sube Bangla (Bengal, Bihar & Orissa) in 1765. Moti Jheel was the home of Warren Hastings when he became the Political President at the Durbar of the Nawab Nazim (1771 – 73 AD).
q       Barrack square - It was used for British army. The very first rumble of The Sepoy Mutiny actually started here.
q       Old British barracks - Built in late 1750s these barracks are on the north and south of Barrack Square.
Krishnath college - which is the exact replica of Oxford university, established in 1853, even earlier than the University of Kolkata (Calcuta), worth seeing for its European architectural style.

Armenian Church - Oldest Armenian Church of the Eastern India at Saidabad, built in 1757 AD.


British town hall - Earlier used for recreation purpose for the British.


Saidabad Palace - This Palace is right now on the verge of extinction.

Old Cossimbazar Palace - This Palace of Nandy dynasty is now on the verge of extinction.


New Cossimbazar Palace - This Palace of Chatterjee kings is well maintained.


Nasipur Palace - The Nasipur Palace was built by Kirti Chand, a descendent of Debi Singh. Debi Singh, who settled here from Punjab, was a tax collector in the early days of the East India Company

Home of Jagatseth


Jafarganj cemetery - The Cemetery contains the tombs of the Nawab's Nazim, from Mir Jafar to Humayun Jah.
Nimak Haram Deori - known as the Traiter's gate, Siraj ud Daulah was killed in this spot.
Khoshbagh - The grave of Nawab Alivardi Khan, Alivardi's Mother, Siraj-ud-Doula and his wife Lutfannesha and other members of the Nawab family lie here.
Pataleshwar temple of Cossimbazar - Residing in Kasimbazar is one of the most famous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the history of Pataleshwar Temple could be dated back to some thousand years.
Residency cemetery of Babulbona - Numerous graves with memorials and pillar epitaphs. This huge European cemetery is one of the historical relics of Berhampore.
Old English graveyard of Cossimbazar - The British Cemetery in Cossimbazar is where Mary, the first wife of Warren Hastings and their baby daughter Elizabeth lie here.
Char bangla temples of Queen of Natore - Built by the Queen Bhavani of Natore in 1755 AD.
Bhavaniswar temple - Built by Queen of Natore in 1750 AD, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Kingdom of Sasanka at Karnasubarna - Ancient remains of famous Rakta Mrittika vihara described by Hiuen Tsang. The remains could be dated back to 600 AD.
Kiriteshwari - which is also known as guptapith is one of the 51 Saktipiths of India.



Laldighi Park & Motijhil Park is a nice one, near the historical tourist and present day picnic spot called "Motijhil".



Bahrampur hosts a wide range of hotels from luxury ones to budget ones. Few of these are Berhampore Tourist Lodge (under WBTDC), Samrat Hotel, Berhampore Lodge, Bhaghirathi Hotel, Mayur Hotel and White House. These hotels are situated near the Berhampore Bus Stand and 'Berhampore Court' railway station.



Md. Sajjad Hossain[7] of this city has written "All my song is for my dear heart"[8], a dissertation on Nazrul in 20000 words refuting all the charges against the poet that he is simply a rebel poet proving him as one of the greatest love poets in the world. Had Nazrul, as has been researched by Mr. Hossain, had the opportunity of being read and assessed by Europeans in translation, he could have been easily judged as one of the greatest love poets in the world. Mr. Hossain has tried to fill up this vacuum by translating the poet into English language keeping his original flavour almost intact. He has translated 108 love poems of this poet into English language. The name of this book is "Heart Offerings" which is yet to be published.


He has again translated 40 short stories of Balaichand Mukhopadhaya (Banaphool) into English language.The name of the book is "Banaphool retold". He has also translated 50 Bengali poems into English language - the poets are: Shakti Chattopadhaya, Josimuddin, Kabirul Islam and the translator himself. The name of the book is "Four Poets". Both these books have been published from Pandulipi, 1A College Row, Kolkata - 700009.



The city of Berhampore also shares it's name with Berhampore at Wellington, New Zealand. The daughter of Major Paul married local land owner George Hunter. Major Paul was an Indian army officer. George Hunter to show respect to his father in law gave Berhampore the name of the suburb and many streets of this suburb were also given Indian names such as Khandallah village, Ganges road, Simla, Agra etc.
Eminent personalities of Berhampore


1) Biswanath Chakravarty (1643 – 1720), an inhabitant of Saidabad, was a great Vaishnava scholar of all–India fame. He was an eminent philosopher, a famous author of many Sanskrit books and a poet. His greatest achievement was his commentary of the Shrimadbhagabatam, entitled Sararthadarshini. His collection of Vaishnava Padabalis (devotional songs) entitled Kshanada-Gita–Chintamani was the first of its kind in Bengali literature.


2) Radhamohan Thakur (1696 – 1776) of Malihati in Bharatpur Police Station was a descendent of the illustrious Shrinivas Acharya. A renowned Sanskrit and Vaishnava scholar and poet, he defeated many great scholars of North India in a debate and established the superiority of Gouriya Vaishnavism. His greatest contribution of Bengali Literature was his collection of songs and poems by eminent Vaishnava poets called the Padamrita-samudra.


3) Kaviraj Gangadhar Sen Roy (1798 – 1885) came to Saidabad, Berhampore from kolkata in 1836 and settled there. He became a legend as a physician. He was a scholar in Sanskrit and in various scriptures. Besides a commentary on the Charaka – Samhita, he wrote many others books.


4) Shasahadhar Tarka Churamani (1851 – 1928) of Berhampore was a great Sanskrit Scholar of the nineteenth century Bengal. He was an exponent of Hindu revivalism. He was a regular contributor to many periodicals and the author of several books in Sanskrit.



1) Govindadas Kaviraj (1539 – 1613), an inhabitant of village Budhuri near Bhagwangola, was one of the greatest vaisanava poet of post Chaitanya – era. He was called Vidyapati-II, for his versatile talent and for his style being reminiscent of the great Maithili poet. Nearly 800 songs are known to have been composed by him. He was the author of several dramas, books on Vaishnava – philosophy and books of poem like Sangita-Madhava, Karnamrita, and Gitamrita.


2) Ghanashyam Das Kaviraj (early 17th century), a grand son of Govinda Das, was also Vaishnava poet. He wrote a book on Vaisanava Poetics in Sanskrit.


3) Jadunandan Das Thakur (1537 - ) of Malihati in Bharatpur P.S., was a Vaishnava lyricist and translator of note.Among his works are Karnananda(history), Govindalilamrita and Bidagdhamadhaba(verse translations).


4) Sayed Martuza (middle of the 16th century) of Balighata, Jangipur, a Muslim 'Fakir' who loved and revered all religions. He composed many fine Vaishnava lyrics.


5) Nirupama Devi (1833 – 1951), born at Gorabazar, Berhampore, was a novelist. She went to Bhagalpur with her father and came in contact with Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and his group of litterateurs, all of whom, became famous later on. Some of her famous books are Shyamali, Didi, and Annapurnar Mandir.


6) Saroj Kumar Roy Choudhury (1900 – 1972), a Kallol-era author of fame, was born at Malihati in Bharatpur. Some of his famous books are 'Kalo–Ghora', 'Griha–Kapoti, Hansa–Balaka, Akash-o-Mritika, Mayurakshi.


7) Rezaul Karim (1902 – 1993) was a freedom fighter, a scholar, a journalist, an exponent of communal harmony, an author of a several books and many essays, a philanthropist, a very able and popular professor and a highly respected politician.


8) Manish Ghatak (1902 - 1979) of Berhampore was a leading poet- litterateur of the Kallol era. He often wrote under the pen name Jubanashwa. Among his famous work are Pataldangar Panchali (a book of short stories), Kankhal (novel) and books of poems like Shilalipi, Sandhya.


9) Mahasweta Devi (1926), daughter of poet Manish Ghatak, writes short stories and novels. She writes mainly about the downtrodden and the tribal people of Bengal, Bihar and Orrisa. She won the coveted Jnanpith Award for her literary accomplishments and also the Magasassay Award for her social activities.


10) Sayed Mustafa Siraj (1930), a short story writer and a novelist, has risen to fame from a very humble beginning in his ancestral village of Khosbaspur in Kandi P.S. Before being established as a writer he spent his time in various fields of activities like politics and culture including folk culture. He played an important role in propagation of Alkap, a native song-dance-drama form of Murshidabad. Some of his famous books are Hijol-kanya, Maya-mridanga, and Trinabhoomi.


History, Science and Culture


1) Dr. Ramdas Sen (1845 – 1887), of Berhampore, was a scholar and a member of the great novelist Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay's circle an. He was an author with interest in archaeology, history and literature etc. He was the central figure of the cultural life of Berhampore of his time. His contribution to the spread of education in Berhampore is noteworthy. He was a member of many international and national institutions.


2) Ram Brahma Sanyal (1850 – 1908) of village Mahula, Murshidabad, was one of the Pioneers in India in the study of botany and zoology. He was connected with the Alipore Zoo from days of its formation; he was its first Indian Director. Among his books the Management of Wild Animals in Captivity in Lower Bengal and Hours With Nature are noteworthy.


3) Ramendra Sundar Trivedi (1864 – 1919), of Kandi, was one of those persons of Murshidabad whom the people of Bengal can be proud of. A great thinker, renowned writer, social worker and a professor of repute, he rose to great heights in many spheres of life. Though a Professor of chemistry, he also excelled in subjects like Philosophy and literature. He was one of the founders of the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad, the pioneer cultural institution of Bengal. Some of his famous books are Jijnasa, Bangalkshmir Bratakatha, Charita Katha and Bichitra Prasanga.


4) Nikhilnath Roy (1865 - 1932), born in 24 Parganas, came to Berhampore in his boyhood. He was a historian of repute and one of the pioneers in compilation of the history of Murshidabad and Bengal.


5. Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay was the famous discoverer of indus valley civilization5) Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay (1885 – 1930) of Berhampore was a famous historian, archaeologist, and epigraphist and also a novelist, writing mostly historical novels. His greatest achievement was the discovery of Indus Civilization site Mohenjo-daro. He also conducted excavation of Paharpur Monastery in North Bengal. Banglar Itihas, Origin of the Bengali Scripts, Eastern Indian School of Medieval Sculpture, Palas of Bengal, The Age of Imperial Guptas and historical novels in Bengali like Pashaner Katha, Sasanka and Dharmapala.


6) Radhakumud Mukhopadhyay (1885 – 1930), of Gorabazar, Berhampore, was a brilliant student who later became a noted historian. He had been a professor in Beneras, Lucknow and Mysore Universities. He took part in the freedom movement in the early 20th century. Some of his famous books are Akhanda Bharat, Hindu Civilisation, A History of Shipping and Local Government in Ancient India.


7) Radhakamal Mukhopadhyay (1890 – 1968, the brother of Radhakumud, was also a brilliant student who later became a noted economist and social scientist. He had been a professor of Berhampore College and the Calcutta University and then the Vice–Chancellor of Lucknow University. Some of his famous books are Taruner Bharat and Saswata bhikhari.



1) Baikuntha Nath Sen (1843 – 1922), born of an old and aristocratic family of Alampur village in Bardhaman district, came to Berhampore in his early years and settled there. He achieved great fame as a lawyer and orator. He was a great patron of education and was associated with various social and political organisations. He was the supreme leader of the National Congress in the district in his times. He became the first Indian chairman of Berhampore Municipality.


2) Braja Bhusan Gupta (1869 – 1934), born at Panchananpur village in Domkal P.S., was a Gandhiaite and one of the pioneers of National Freedom Movement in Murshidabad. He was a famous lawyer of his time, with a flair for Philosophy and English Literature. He was a noted leader not only of Murshidabad but also of the provincial Congress. Great leaders of that time such as Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sarojini Naidu and even Mahatama Gandhi visited his house at Berhampore. He was the first president of the district committee of the Indian National Congress.


3) Tridib Chowdhury (1911 – 1997), born in Dacca district, he came to Murshidabad with his father a police officer. He took part in revolutionary movements and was put into jail for a long time. He was one of the founders of Revolutionary Socialist Party of India. After Independence he took part in Goa Liberation Struggle, to free Goa from the Portuguese, was arrested and jailed by the Portuguese. He became a Member of Parliament in 1952 and continued as such till his death.


Music, Painting and Performing Arts


1) Ata Hussein Khan (1818 – 1909), one of the greatest exponents of Tabla (a percussion instrument), was the court musician of Feradun Jah, the Nawab–Nazim of Murshidabad. He won many awards in his country for his performance. In 1869 his performance was highly admired by the audience at a function in Queen Victoria's palace in England.


2) Ustad Kader Box (1877 – 1968), of Murshidabad town, was a great exponent of the Hindustani Classical Music. He collected a large number of compositions in different Ragas and he himself composed many. He was acknowledged as a great musician by the contemporary greats.


3) Girija Sankar Chakravorty (1885 – 1948) of Berhampore, perhaps the greatest musician of this district, was famous for his Thumri songs. He was also interested in painting and drama. But he was a genius as a vocalist and known throughout the country. He learned classical music from different schools (Gharana) of musicians all over India. He himself was an institution. Many famous musicians like A. T. Kanan were his students.


4) Kshitindra Nath Majumdar (1891 – 1975), born in village Jagtai near Nimtita in Jangipur sub-division was a painter of a very high calibre. He was a student of Abanindranath Tagore. His paintings were mainly based on the theme of Radha-Krishna, Shri Chaitnya and stories from the Puranas. His fame as an artist spread not only in India but also in other countries of the world.


5) Sheikh Gumani Dewan (1896 – 1976) of Jindihghi in Sagardighi P.S. was by far the greatest Kavial (instant composer and singer of a song-form in which a public debate is conducted by songs) of Murshidabad. His fame as a Kavial spread far and wide. He was widely respected for his talent as a musician as well as for his gentle behaviour, broadness of mind and respect for all religions.


6) Jhanksu alias Dhananjay Mondal (1898 - 1980), born at Dhanpatnagar near Jangipur Town, coming of a family of the Chai Community, was a great exponent of the Alkap and Pancharas (famous song-dance-drama forms of the area).


7) Indra Dugar (1918 - …….), born in a rich and influential zaminder-merchant family of Jiaganj, is an artist of international fame. His father was also an artist. His paintings are based on beauty of nature, people of Rajasthan and flowers.


Other fields


1) Lalababu alias Krishna Chandra Sinha (1776 – 14.5.1822) was born in the Kandi Raj family. He was famous for his charity. At a young age he left his properties and settled in Brindaban to spend the rest of life in seeking God.


2) Maharaja Manindra Chandra Nandi (1860 – 1929), the Maharaja of Cossimbazar, was known for his proverbial acts of charity for individuals as well as for noble causes. He donated enormous amounts of money to various Institutions, particularly in the field of education and culture. He was the founder of many educational institutions, was a patron of literature, music and other cultural activities. It was because of his initiatives that the first conference of Bengali literature outside Kolkata was held at Cossimbazar in 1907. In Mahatma Gandhi's words, no other individuals in the country were equal to him in charity.


3) Swami Akhandananda (1864 – 1937), a direct disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a close friend of Swami Vivekananda, was a wonderer monk who settled at Sargachhi village near Berhampore in 1895 to serve the famine-stricken villagers of Sargachhi and Mahula. The Ramakrishna Mission at Sargachhi founded by him has a school with a hostel and is now a big institution, catering service to the people.


4) Rao Jogendra Narayan Roy (1845/50 – 1946), born in Benaras and brought up in the rich and influential zaminder family of Lalgola, is remembered for his philanthropic work and charity.


5) Sarat Chandra Pandit (1880 – 1968,better known as 'Dada Thakur', had his ancestral house at Dafarpur in Jangipur Sub-division but resided permanently at Jangipur town. A man of simple and dutiful nature with a ready wit and an acerbic tongue, he was a fearless critic of all injustice and of all wrongdoing persons, irrespective of their position in the society. His newspapers, Jangipur – Sambad and Bidushak were among his weapons for this purpose. He could compose at will rhymes and songs full of puns and wit. He became an institution in his lifetime.


6) Karuna Sankar Bhattacharya (1909 – 1979) of Berhampore was by far the best football player of Murshidabad and one of the best in India. He played in the Aryans club first and then became a player of Mohan Bagan club. He represented India in matches in various countries of the world. He was the captain of India Football team to Australia in 1938.