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In search of a forgotten zamindari --- Parbatipur near Bolpur is a historical delight

16 June, 2020 13:54:47
Home / In search of a forgotten zamindari --- Parbatipur near Bolpur is a historical delight
In search of a forgotten zamindari --- Parbatipur near Bolpur is a historical delight

Sekempur bus stop on the Siuri-Bolpur Road in Birbhum district is a busy transit point and remains so, throughout the day. Just three kilometers from this bus stop lies the sleepy hamlet, Parbatipur – a small, non-descript village that is steeped in history. An abundance of verdant green has wrapped the rural settlement and is a relief for fatigued soul.

Parbatipur lies at the confluence of two rivers -- Bakreshwar and Chandrabhaga and historically, erstwhile Zamindar Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay ruled over his estate from his Kachhari Bari in Parbatipur. This zamindari was founded at the fag end of the 17th-century. It is often said by locals that Mukhopadhyay established his zamindari in lieu of two paise only. He was an able administrator who instead of increasing his zamindari concentrated on the welfare of his subjects.

 

At the entrance of the village, five large temples, all dedicated to Lord Shiva stand in a row. At a glance, the temples look like a single shrine with five separate domes. There are two cenotaphs in the extreme right and the one on the extreme left which were erected in the memory of Trailokyanath and his youngest sibling, Chandramohan Mukhopadhyay. Sandwiched between these two are three shrines built in the style of the three Shikharas (Spires) of the Puri Temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra and constructed in memory of Trailokyanath’s three children – two sons, Bishnu and Girish Mukhopadhyay and  his only daughter, Kalyaneshwari.

There are two ancient temples in the village, one dedicated to Goddess Kali and the other to Durga. The Durga temple is marked with the seal of a lion and the presiding deity of the sanctum sanctorum, Goddess Durga, is worshipped daily even now.  The temple is maintained by successors of Trailokyanath’s nephews’ family. The Gopal Mandir is the earliest temple built in Parbatipur but who initiated the construction of the shrine is not known. Senior villagers insist that Trailokyanath’s father Neelmadhab Rishi instituted an Ashtadhatu (an amalgamation of eight metals) idol of Lord Krishna that used to be worshipped here but it was stolen at some point of time. The sprawling palace built by Trailokyanath has been razed to the ground. However, remains of another palace built at the site by his predecessors can still be found in the village. The edifice of the grand structure is now encroached by wild trees and bushes. The Kachhari Bari (office premises) stands in one section of the village. Portions of the ancient building was repaired and given a facelift. 

Chandramohan Mukhopadhyay’s residence can also be seen. The structure has crumbled but a flight of narrow stairs leads to the terrace from where the rest of the village is visible. There is a narrow dungeon on the ground floor of the mansion but nobody knows what purpose it served in the past. The enigmatic cavern remains unexplored till date.

How to reach: 
You can take a car ride from Kolkata that will take not more than 3 hours to reach Parbatipur. Even regular buses heading to Bolpur run on this route. You can also take a train to Bolpur and take a day trip to Parbatipur.

What places to see around: 
Bakreshwar Hot Springs, Santiniketan, Bolpur, Siuri

Where to stay: 
Parbatipur can be visited as a day trip from Bolpur. In that case you can stay at the lovely Bolpur Tourist Lodge that has been revamped recently. 

Story Tag:
  • Tourism in West Bengal, Shantiniketan, Parbatipur

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