(Last Updated on : 27-08-2013)
Chandrakona is one of the small towns with a municipality in the Ghatal subdivision of Paschim Medinipur district
in the state of West Bengal
, India. Chandrakona is a miniscule town located between Ghatal and Garhbeta. The town owes its etymological origin to the king - Chandraketu who was the founder of the kingdom of Chandrakona. And In the Ain-E-Akbari it was mentioned as 'Mana'.
Economy of Chandrakona
The economy of Chandrakona is but an agrarian one dependent on agriculture although a major sector of economy depends on the sector of tourism, since it is a historical place. Tourism earns a lot of revenue for the state. Certain agricultural products that are important and massively grown are rice
, potato and jute. Only the large scale industries here are formed by about 20 cold storages of potato. A few of the percentage of the people are government employees, School Teachers and employed in other small private sectors. The financial prominence and eminence of most of the people is in middle class and lower middle class category.
History of Chandrakona
The history of Chandrakona and its adjoining areas lies in every nook and corner of the state that begins to emerge about 690 A.D approximately when the Malla Dynasty was founded at Bishnupur
. Once prosperity had been the watch word for this town but not much else is certain. Historically terror and turbulence had dawned upon the anarchical period typed in history as Matsyanyaya of Bengal. However tucked into the less-populated, forest covered fringes of the Chotonagpur plateau
; the kingdom of Bishnupur is lived by its own set standards. And moreover, the excellent supply-system of agriculturally rich areas irrigated by river Shilaboti and its canals, Chandrakona grew in eminence, though gradually. Its proximity to the Puri
route helped greatly, since it remained a part of Utkal
for a substantial period commencing early 13th century. The Jagannath temple
had been completed only half a century ago.
17th century scholar Jagamohan Pandit, in his Sanskrit
geography-text Deshavali Vivriti, described Chandrakona as an important place in Bhan Desh - a land lying between the rivers Kangsabati
and Shilaboti; a land rich in alluvium where fertility of the soil led to the cultivation of jute that sustained a renowned jute-textile industry. Cotton
growing in profusion paved the way for emergence of cotton-textile industry that was almost equally famous. Its rivers and water bodies yielded abundant fish and sustained a large population of fishermen. One must keep it in mind that this prosperity was gained even as the Mughals
and the Pathans
clashed over the terrain for dominance till the former emerged victorious.
Raghunathgarh Rekha Deul of Chandrakona
The political stability required for this prosperity came Chandrakona's way as the chief of a Rajput contingent, Indraketu, established almost independent rule here in the early 15th century. At about the same time another Rajput
, Gajapati Singh, assumed the rule of Bagri, lying west of Chandrakona. These two tiny kingdoms fought each other several times during the next centuries, so that their family trees and fate became inextricably entangled.
Chandrakona thrived during the century-long rule of the Ketu kings. The town probably got its name from the third of them - Chandraketu. Jogesh Chandra Basu, a scholar on the history of Medinipur
, says that Chandrakona was previously known as Mana. Chandraketu ruled during the early decades of the fifteenth century. The Gurudwara of Chandrakona dates from this time. Guru Nanakji and Mardanaji came to Chandrakona in 1510 on their way to Puri and set up a manji here which has now evolved into a gurudwara revered and visited by Sikhs from different parts of the state.
During Mughal rule Chandrakona retained its status of a semi-independent kingdom. By the middle of the 16th century Birbhan Singh, a Chauhan, began a new line of rulers. They efficiently ruled over the town for about 150 years, till in the early eighteenth century Maharaj Kirtichandra of Burdwan overthrew Raghunath Singh, the last of them. However, most of what constitutes the glory of Chandrakona, its temple complexes and its large tanks, tell the tourists of the interest the Bhan rulers took in public works as well as of their patronage of religion and art. The legendary prosperity of Chandrakona, a town with fifty-two market places and a network of fifty-three inter-linked roads, owed itself to the efficient administration of the Bhan rulers.
Chandrakona came under the British East India Company
in 1760. The textile industry was most hardly hit as a consequence. The famous weavers of Chandrakona had either to re-locate or to take up farming as profession. However, the town held its own as an important centre of trade and commerce. In the nineteenth century Chandrakona was known for producing quality brass utensils. It got its municipal administration in 1869 and Beverley's Census Report of Bengal, 1872, records that the town had a population of 21,311; that is to say, almost equal to its present population. Once a part of Hooghly district
, the town was incorporated into the Ghatal subdivision of Medinipur district in 1872. Over the next six decades the population of the town depleted alarmingly. In 1931, it was reported to have a population of a little over 6000.
Temple of Malleswar of Chandrakona
Chandrakona like her foster sister Bishnupur may also be termed a temple town as it is surrounded by an array of temples. The temples display the amalgamation of several architectural styles - the Odissi
Rekha-Deul, the Charchala and Atchala styles of Bengal, and so on. Some of them, like the one at Mitrasenpur, are tinted with excellent terracotta plates depicting events from the Mahabharata
and the Avatars of Vishnu. The Pancharatna temple of Malleswar is also a grand structure. But most of these temples have become dilapidated, and hardly any effort is being made to preserve these heritage structures. In addition to the temples, there are three Asthals of the Ramopasak community. Rama, and his cohorts Laxman and Sita
, are venerated by the Ramopasaks.
Navaratna Temple of Mitrasenpur of Chandrakona
The eminence of the Dharmathakur cult in Chandrakona points to the co-existence for centuries of Brahminical and non-Brahminical religions. Several Dharmathakur images are found at Gobindapur, Narahipur and Jayantipur localities of Chandrakona. The Shivagajan festival at the end of the Bengali year, one of the major religious festivals in Chandrakona, is also reminiscent of pre-Aryan rituals.
Transportation of Chandrakona
Chandrakona has a remarkable communication point that is well connected by roads/highways to other imperative towns of South Bengal including Medinipur (42 km South West), Burdwan, and Bankura. State Highway 4 connects the town to National Highway 6 (Kolkata
) at Mechogram (60 km South East).The nearest railway station is Chandrakona Road, 20 km west. The Locals either use bicycles and motorbikes for any kind of transportation within the town. Rickshaws and cabs are also available.
Education of Chandrakona
There are schools and colleges in Chandrakona Town. Institute of Science & Technology is a technology oriented private college established here in 2005. This institute is affiliated to WBUT. It is an emerging engineering & management college in West Medinipur district as well as in West Bengal
. There is also another college named Chandrakona Vidyasagar Mahavidyalaya which is under Vidyasagar University
. The schools of Chandrakona Town are- Chandrakona Jirat High School, Kalyanshri J D Girls School, Malleswarpur Sarada Vidyapith High School and Atasi Smriti High School. There is also a non- governmental educational organization to help the poor meritorious students named Rakshabandhan