A VILLAGE OF ROYAL LIVING AND A VILAGE OF ROYAL DEFEAT
A VILLAGE OF ROYAL LIVING AND A VILLAGE OF ROYAL DEFEAT
Kolkata , The capital of West Bengal (INDIA) and its surroundings is dotted with many colonial buildings. Today, I will discuss about the village of castle and palaces named Dhanyakuria , which is just 35-40 km far away from Kolkata. It is a hidden gem situated beside barasat – taki road. This place gives a beautiful showcase of lavish mansions which belonged to zaminders and merchants. Dhanyakuria is a small town near basirhat. It consists of beautiful architechtures and a lot of unknown history which makes this place a treasure for a day trip. It is a beautiful , awesome and spell bounding place. You will definitely feel nostalgic while seeing the old historic buildings, beautiful gardens of king and ponds of their time.
HISTORY OF DHANYAKURIA:
Past before about 376 years ago, in 1742, this place was established. You can head here on the way from barasat to basirhat. There are so many palaces and castles belonged to Gayen, Sahoo , Ballav and Mondal and few others.
Main attraction of this place is a big entrance which is the main gate of that Gayen garden home. You can see a statue where the stone figured two European men fighting with a lion in the arch of entrance. This palace was constructed in totally European gothic style. Long before 300 years ago, late Mahendranath Gayen founded this palace which is now totally abandoned by the time. This European styled castle carried a long history for great period. If we peep inside the gate, suddenly it seems the castle of Cinderella of fairy tales. But now this beautiful structure is going to be abolished due to lack of proper supervision and awareness. That time Gayen had joint business of jute, jiggery and other essential things with Sahoos, Ballavs and Mondals.
Beside Gayen’s castle, you can enjoy some other beautiful places like Sahoo’s palace. It is an amazing place with Victorian style window; in this windows stacco style ornamentation can be observed. In this place, beside those palaces we can enjoy the watch tower or nazar minar; which can be found both in sahoo bari, Gayen bari and ballav bari (bari = house). From this watch tower we can understand that time zaminders and landowners were how much powerful . So that they had a continuous surveillance in the sorroundings. Apart from those mansions we can see some magnificent construction like ras-mancha which is in a good condition till the time. Another mansion can be seen in dhanyakuria boys school constructed in old European gothic style.
HOW TO REACH:
From airport one can head towards barasat= Basirhat road. It is only 7km far from crossing of barasat berachampa. This place located in left side of the road. In this place you can get around walking. Hope all of you will enjoy this village of castle and palaces a lot.
ECHAI GHOSH DEUL:
Bengal is a state of extremes , with versatile diversities in culture, religion and language together forming a to dazzling image to the countrymen. In its long rooted history, mostly unnoticed and lost as the generation move on. One such story is of Echai ghosh and his connection to Garh jangal and Shyamarupa temple. In this temple first durgapuja started. The tradition is still alive today. Come, lets tie this amazing piece of history.
According to the local, the place ia also known as gopibhumi. It was an independent state before merged with Pala empire. In 1038 AD during the reign of Naipal, son of Mahipal many administrators rules this place. One of these was Maha -mandalic Echai Ghosh, who announced himself as a sovereign king of that place. He came as an undisputed ruler defeating local king Karnasen by killing his six sons. Slowly he captured many areas of Burdwan and claimed himself as a ruler of Gopibhumi.
After few years, Lausen, son of Karnasen , who was the son of second wife of Karnasen was sent to defeat Echai Ghosh for revenge of his brother’s death.
STARTING OF BATTLE:
In the first battle Lau was defeated and decided to sacrifice his life in the bank of River. Suddenly he heard a message from the heaven (Akaashbani) that if he attempted to kill Echai Ghosh on the 7th day of fortnight in the lunar calendar (saptami), he would be victorious. Listening to the message from the above, Lau announced the second battle against Echai Ghosh on that saptami. Lau was succeed to defeat and kill Echai.
HOW WAS THE PERSON ECHAI GHOSH:
He was a very good art observer and believer. It was said that next generation of Gopi kingdom constructed Deul Towers as the memorial of Echai Ghosh. Raling back in history and giving more flavor to this place, there is a dense Sal forest around the oldest temple built by Echai Ghosh. This temple is also known as Shyamarupa temple of Garh Jungal.
REASON BEHIND SHYMARUPA NAMING:
There is no written history about the temple. According to the priest, this garh Jungal was the place of hiding of Lakshman Sen. He hid himself whan was attacked by Bakhtiyar Khilji. That time a Kapalik used to worship Durga ma and there was also human sacrifice (Narabali) to please the God. In the mean time poet of Geeta gobindam , Joydev came to meet king Lakshman Sen in the Garh jungal. Joydev was able to portray Lord Krishna on the deity of Durga ma to stop human sacrifice. Hence he convinced kapalik that God the blend of Krishna and durga ma. In this way the God idol was named as shyamarupa.
AFTER THE DEATH OF ECHAI GHOSH:
After this sad incident, Lausen threw the original idol of shyamarupa in the narby lake.. that idol was then replaced by stone idol. Foster daughter Echau Ghosh recovered the original idol. She took back the idol in her place but lost in near by lake in barakar. Later Goddess spoke to the daughter that SHE would remain in barakar and be worshipped.
She is known as ma Kalyaneshari in Barakar. The most astonishing fact is that shyamarrupa deity is worshipped from 6am. To 12 noon, whereas kalyaneswhari worshipping has been started from 12noon onwards.
CONSERVATION BY GOVERNMENT:
In 1958, Govt. of India declared the land as forest area. In 1992 Forest dept constructed roads toward the temple of Echai Ghosh.
HIDDEN STYLE OF TEMPLE:
According to the Bengal School of Temple Architecture, deul style has its own place. Each deul temple is veru unique in style. These are very few in Bengal. It is simple but majestic in presence. Echai ghosh deul is less known which carries its own importance and history In past year 900 years.
This temple is made up of red clay bricks which is also known as Terracota. This structure is now maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. It houses Lord Shiva idol. This structure stands alone at the bank of Ajay rever waiting for the history enthuasists. Recently shymarupa temple was robbed on 21/12/19 resulting loss of Rs.5 lakh gold ornament.
HOW TO REACH THERE:
(by train) nearer railway station is Panagarh. Echai ghosh deul is 24km far from station, so you can head there by taking auto or toto
(by car) With the help of google map you can reach there by following this route:
Panagarh-à kaksa -à moregram -à 11mile sation -à ayodhya /bonkati à Deul.