Location

Being to the north of Kolkata, Chandannagar is just a small town. It stands on the banks of the River Hooghly. The town is only 30 kilometers from Kolkata. The place is well connected to Kolkata.

History

France reigned over Chandannagar, which was in contrast with the rest of India that was ruled by the British. The French stepped on the soil of Chandannagar back in 1673. In the same year, the French Commander, Duplessis settled down at Northern Chandannagar's Taldanga. Deslandes in 1687, started business in Bandel and after receiving the permission, he performed duty free business at Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in exchange for a payment of Rupees 40000 to the Moghul Government.

Gradually in the field of commerce, Chandannagar became the superior among all the foreign settlements at Bengal. At that point of time, Chandannagar was a bigger name in trade and commerce than Calcutta (now Kolkata). 

Louis Bonnaud, was the first European to cultivate the indigo plant at Chandannagar and he was an inhabitant of the place. Batakrishna Ghosh also lived here and his claim to fame was being the founder of a cloth mill among the Bengalis. Even Indrakumar Chattopadhyay, the original publisher of the wall map that contained the Bengal locations lived at this place. Another inhabitant of Chandannagar was Dinanath Chandra, the name behind Indian Drugs and Bengal Chemical. Indranarayan Chowdhury was among the lucky local businessmen who received a gold medal from the then King of France, Louis XV - the temple of Sri Nandadulal was constructed by him. 

In 1757, the British managed to conquer Chandannagar, but the French got it back via a treaty signed with the British. In 1794, the British gained back control over Chandannagar, but it was the French who ruled Chandannagar from 1816 to 1950.

The Ecole De Saint Mare is now Kanailal Vidyamandir, which is among the best educational institutions of the town. Alfred Curjon established a convent for improving the education system of women in 1867. 

During World War I, 20 people fought for the French from Chandannagar. Mahatma Gandhi – the “father of the nation” for the Indians visited Pravartak in the town for inspiring the people there in the freedom struggle once in 1925 and again in December, 1927.

Attraction

The remains of French buildings at Chandannagar make for a good sight. Other tourist attractions include the Strand, Church, Museum, Rabindra Bhavan and Temples. The long forgotten French colonial aura can still be witnessed in the nook and corners of Chandannagar.

The Strand: A popular tourist site by the banks of the River Hooghly. The decorated path of the strand is lit with lights at night and makes for a great place to hang out.

The Church: The Church is a good example of the French architecture from the colonial era.

The Museum and Institute: This is the oldest as well as one of the best museums of its time in the eastern region. The fabulous collection of French memorabilia is a treat to the eyes. French language is taught at the Institute.

Patal Bari: This underground house erected at the colonial period flaunts a unique feature – the lowest floor of the house is submerged in the river. The first Asian Nobel Laureate in Literature, Rabindranath Tagore and the great social reformer, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar are known to have spent some time at this house.

Temples: You can get to see many 16th century temples in Chandannagar.

Being at Chandanagar, do not forget to grab a bite of the famous 'Jalbhara Sandesh' here. The sweet made from sugar and “Chana” holds rose water at its core and makes many mouths water.

Special Events

The Jagadhatri Puja is a major socio-cultural event that takes place at Chandannagar. The Puja was introduced by Indranarayan Chowdhury in Chandannagar following the footsteps of the then King Krishnachandra of Krishnanagore. The Puja dates back to around 1750. 

The four-handed goddess symbolizing power and triumph of good over evil stands on the lion with the elephant at the lion's feet. The ornamental decoration of the goddess dazzles every eye. The Puja mainly takes place around November.

 

 

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