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THE VANISHING GLORY OF BHATPARA

BHATPARA , A SUBURB OF KOLKATA WAS ONCE ABODE OF SANAKRIT AND NAYAY SHASTRA LEARNING. NOW THE GLORY OF THIS PLACE WAS OVER DUE TO MODERN JOB-ORIENTED ENGLISH BASED EDUCATION SYSTEM.BUT ITS DESERTED TOALS, SANSKRIT COLLEGE AND DILAPIDATED TERRACOTTA TEMPLES BUILT BY PANDIT FAMILES STILL STAND IN THE SUN LIKE SOME ROTTING CORPSES.

BHATPARA DERIVES ITS NAME FROM BHATTACHARYA PARA. IT CAME INTO LIGHT IN THE WAKE OF NAWADWIP ( BIRTHPLACE OF SHRI CHAITANYA )WHEN IT LOST ITS GLORY AS PLACE OF SANSKRIT LEARNING.IN BHATPARA THE SANSKRIT PANDITS LIKE THE SARBABHOUMAS, NAYARATNAS, NAYATIRTHAS, TARKARATNAS ETC USED TO CARRY OUT EXPENDITURE OF THEIR OWN TOALS WHICH WERE RESIDENTIAL.BESIDES THERE WERE SYSTEMS OF TAKING EXAMS IN THE SUPERVISION OF EXTERNAL EXAMINERS. GRADATION SYSTEM WAS MAINTAINED WHEN IT CAME TO GIVING MARKS TO THE STUDENTS.THE PANDITS WERE VERY LIBERAL MINDED AND SUPPORTIVE TO WOMEN’S EDUCATION,WIDOW MARRIAGE AND WOMEN’S LIBERATION. IN A TIME WHEN NO ONE HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT A MAN NAMED GANDHIJI THE PANDITS TOOK A VOW NOT TO USE ANY FOREIGN GOODS.EVEN A PANDIT BY THE NAME PANCHANAN TARKARATNA WAS JAILED FOR HELPING ARMED REVOLUTIONARIES. SRI AUROVINDO WAS HIS CELL-MATE.

NOW THE MEMORIES OF THIS PANDIT SAMAJ ARE IN TOTAL JEOPARDY WITH ITS SANSKRIT COLLEGE STANDING LIKE A HAUNTED HOUSE IN WARD NO.4 OF PRESENT BHATPARA MUNICIPALITY. THE BIG, TERRACOTTA NAVARATNA TEMPLES OF THAKUR PARA WHICH ONCE HAVE EXQUISITE ORNAMENTAL CURVINGS ARE ON VERGE OF DESTRUCTION. SAME THING HAS HAPPENED TO A PAIR OF AATH-CHALAA WITHIN THE PREMISE OF LOCAL AMAR KRISHNA PATHSHALA, A SCHOOL. THESE TEMPLES ALSO HAVE SOME EXCELLENT SCULPTURES TOO (PIC2). REPEATED PLEA TO RENOVATE THESE HAS GONE UNHEARD. BESIDES MANY REQUESTS HAVE BEEN MADE FROM VARIOUS CORNER TO DO SOMETHING LIKE SETTING UP A MUSEUM SO THAT MEMORIES OF ANCIENT GLORY OF BHATAPARA CAN BE RETAINED. SO FAR NOTHING IS DONE, TOLD LIBRIAN OF LOCAL LIBRARY TO THIS WRITER.
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PICS BY Sankha Bhattacharya

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  • tubul( Abhisek nath)

    hi I’m from Bhatpara I was born here basically panchmandir thakur para its nice that you have brought some light about the place but one fact remains incorrect the name “bhatpara” got its name from a flower called bhat Ful which was found at abundant at some times back .