Early Life of Gobindram Mitter
Gobindram Mitter was born in Chanak village near Barrackpur, now in North 24 Parganas district. When the English bought the three villages of Kalikata, Sutanuti and Gobindapur from the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family in 1698 and established their zemindary (estate) or presidency in Kolkata, they appointed an Indian deputy collector to assist the English collector in the collection of rent. The first Indian deputy collector was Nandaram Sen. After his discharge, the second Indian to step into that position was Gobindram Mitter. He earned fabulous amounts of money. He was so powerful that his Governor Holwell could not remove him.
Contribution of Gobindram Mitter
Gobindram Mitter is credited by some as being the first Bengali to drive a coach. His celebration of the Hindu festivals was marked with lavishness and extravagance. The entire image of Durga was wrapped in gold and silver leaf. Thirty to fifty maunds (one maund is about 37 kg) of rice was offered to the deity, a thousand Brahmins were fed and given gifts. It was he who fired the urge for conspicuous consumption in the society of his time. Mitter had a sprawling house at Kumortuli spread on 50 bighas (around 16 acres) of land. He also had a famous villa, Nandan Bagan, in rural Bengal.
Temple of Gobindram Mitter
Gobindram Mitter built a nine-turreted or nabaratna temple of goddess Kali on the banks of the Ganges at Kumortuli in 1725. This temple has 165-feet spire was a navigational aid for sailors. They called it the pagoda. The ruins of the temple can be seen near the Siddheswari Kalimandir in Bagbazar.
Personal Life of Gobindram Mitter
The son of Gobindram Mitter, Roghu Mitter had a Ganges bathing ghat named after him. It later became popular as Baghbazar ghat. Roghoo Mitters grandson Abhay Charan Mitter was the dewan of the collector of North and South 24 Parganas District and is reputed to have given a lakh of rupees to his guru or spiritual preceptor. A street in Kumartuli is named after him. Jorabagan, a Kolkata neighbourhood was so named because the road through it led to the garden houses of Gobindram Mitter and Umichand.
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