Barddhaman, as it is also called, is one of the districts of West Bengaland is also a place of major tourist attraction. The historical monuments and some of the famous places in the area attract tourists throughout the year. Burdwan is regarded as one of the developed districts in Bengal due to its advancement in the fields of agriculture, health, industry, education, etc. It is also known for its oilseed and Rice milling and cutlery, hosiery and tool manufacturing industries.
During the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, Krishnaram Ray, of the merchant family hailing from Punjab, founded the zamindari of Burdwan on a farmland issued by Aurangzeb, Mughal Emperor. The Burdwan zamindars were famous patrons of arts and it is for this reason that they erected a number of temples in the region. Today, there are several temples, monuments, mosques, gardens, museums, parks and various other attractions in Burdwan.
At a distance of about twenty kilometers to the north of the district of Burdwan is Sri Chaitanya's birth place. Sri Chaitanya founded the movement which helped in reviving the Krishna cult. This town is very small and beautiful with a couple of old houses constructed by narrow red brick, which dates back to the British period. There is the Gouranga Temple which is the major attraction of this town. Kalna is located fifty kilometers from Burdwan and it possesses a number of temples which date back to the eighteenth century. The most prominent among the temples is the '108 Shiva temple', constructed by Rani Bisnukumari. Mata Sarbamangala temple is situated at D.N. Sarkar Road. The temple was constructed by Maharaja Kirtichand in 1702 A.D. Situated in close proximity to Nabadwip is Mayapur. Mayapur is renowned for the modern and large Chandrodaya temple constructed by ISKCON or International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Apart from these some of the other historical monuments in Burdwan include the Curzon Gate. Also known as the Vijay Toran, Curzon Gate was erected by the king of Burdwan Maharaja Bijoy Chand Mahatab in the year 1903, in order to honour Lord Curzon. The Royal palace is situated at a distance of one kilometer from this gate. Meghnad Saha Planetarium at Golapag is situated within the periphery of the University of Burdwan. The planetarium was constructed with assistance from the Japanese government and was opened for public in the year 1994. The Science Centre possessing a park and a museum is situated close to the planetarium. The Tomb of Sher Afghan is another major historical monument in Burdwan district. Sher Afghan was the last of the Afghan jagirdars in this district.
Apart from these some of the other historical monuments in this district include the Thara Palace. It is a fine edifice with extensive gardens and an excellent collection of pictures, including works by Chinnery, Tilly Kettle and the Daniells. Many of the rooms are furnished and treated in European style. At the entrance to the town is the Star of India Arch, built to mark Lord Curzon's visit in the early 1900s. The Dargah of Pir Bahrain is designed in typical regional style, with engaged octagonal corner turrets, a curved cornice and a single dome. The Jami Masjid has seven simple arches to the east facade, which is crowned by three central domes and two char-chala vaults at each end. Small arched doors on the west side of the verandah lead to an austere prayer chamber. The Tomb Complex of Khwaja Anwar-i-Shahid is highly picturesque. The tomb stands in a large compound entered through a gateway in the south wall. On either side it is flanked by rectangular wings, one a mosque and the other a madrasa, each with a steeply pitched do-chala roof. The faqade of the tomb is enriched with incised stucco patterns and cusped recessed niches.
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