History of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar
The ancient history of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar is unknown even today and is probably known to date back earlier than 1750. It is heard that Indranaryan Chowdhury introduced the Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar in the manners similar to Raja Krishnachandra of Krishnanagore. Jagadhatri Puja was performed in the residence of Indranarayan Choudhury, which was based in Chandannanagar during the period when Krishnachandra had borrowed money from the former. It is believed that Raja Krishnachandra was impressed by this Puja during that point of time. The Goddess Jagadhatri has been mentioned in 'Tantrasaar' by Krishnachandra.
This Puja is generally practised on the ninth day in the Bengali month of 'Kartika' and finds a mention in Srnath Acharyachuramoni's 'Krityatattarnab' during the 16th century. Seated on a lion with an elephantnear its feet, Goddess Jagadhatri has 4 hands and holds a bow, discus, shaft and conch in each of her hands. A snake is used to symbolise a sacred thread of the Goddess. The festivities bring people together and bridges the past and the present. One of the main attractions of the Jagaddhatri idol of Chandannagar is the ornamental decoration of the Goddess with shola and the beautiful canvas of mats with paintings at the back of the image. It is said that the procession here is the second longest in the world, after Rio de Janeiros.
The quantity of community pujas exceed 190 and are existent mainly in the areas of Bhadreswar, Champdani Municipal areas and Chandannagar. There are about 132 Puja Committees in Chandannagar as well as Bhadreswar and they are affiliated to Chandannagar Central Jagadhatri Puja Committee. The regional inhabitants of this area enjoy the festive fervour during the days of celebration of Jagadhatri Puja and even during the immersion procession of this Puja. A vast number of tourists and devotees crowd Chandannagar to catch sight of the elaborate, tall and decorated idols of Goddess Jagadhatri, loaded on the trucks.