Contd... 11

The small village of Rajbalhat in the district of Hooghly was apparently once a very prosperous village and tradition has it that this was the capital of the Bhursut kingdom. It is said that a fisherman and the last fisherman king Sanibhangar was defeated by one Chaturanand Naigai originally carved Bhursut kingdom out. Krishna Roy, the son of a daughter of Chaturanand became the first Bhursut Raja of Bhursut. This event took place near about 1583-84 A.D *@The family of Krishna Roy belonged to Phulia village. His great grandson Pratap Narayan was a very charitable ruler and he was at the gadi from 1652 A.D. to 1684 A.D. He was given the tile of Raja and was known as such in the court of Emperor Shahjahan and Aurangzeb. His son was Shiv Narayan who was succeeded by his only son Naranarayan. Either during the lifetime of Naranarayan or immediately after his death Kirti Chandra, the king of Burdwan forcibly occupied Bhursut pargana near about 1119 A.D. The various Brahmottars that had been created by the original Bhursut Raj were, however, continued. There were three garhs or forts and at each of them were a number of temples. Most of them have disappeared and only one of them at village Rajbalhat will be noticed.

Rajbalhat village is now within the district of Hooghly. The garh of Bhursut Raj at Rajbalhat covers about seen bighas of land and 500 bighas of land had been made a Debottar property for the maintenance of the temple of Rajballavi Thakurani at Rajbalhat. There are no signs of the king's garb or palace now. There are various legends about Rajballavi Devi. One of the common stories is that Rajballavi Devi in the garb of a poor Brahmin girl used to work as a maidservant in a particular family. A merchant was passing by the river with seven boats laden with merchandise. The merchant was attracted by the beauty of the young Brahmin girl and sent word to her to come to his boat which was kept seventh from the bank. The Brahmini girl proceeded towards the boat of the merchant and one by one the boats started sinking with the merchandise as soon as she touched it with her feet. In this way after the sinking of the sixth boat the merchant came to understand that she was a deity and fell at her feet and sought pardon. After this the merchant built the temple of Rajballavi Devi at Rajbalhat.

Rajballavi Devi is taken to be another form of Chandi. In the book 'Pitha Nirnai' Rajabalhat has been described as a Saktapith, a place for the worship of Sakti and has mentioned the deity there as Chandi. Even today the legend mentioned about Rajballavi Devi persists. Seven small boats are made and just before the Astami puja six of them are sunk in the tank adjoining the temple and then only the Astami puja worship commences.

Apart from the temple of Rajballavi Devi there are a number of other temples at this village. The temple of Radha Kanta Jiu was built in 1744. It is a typical fine specimen of a Bangla Mandir. The temple has unfortunately lost much of its original artistic wall by thoughtless whitewashes. There are also other temples of Sridhar and Damodar at the village built near about the same time.

~ District Census Handbook, Hooghly, 1952, page 18.

! * Bengal District Gazetteers, Hooghly, by L.S.S. O'Malley, Calcutta, 1912, pp. 253-254.

@ Bengal District Gazetteers, Hooghly, by L.S.S. O'Malley, Calcutta, 1912, pp. 313-138.

# Calcutta Review, vol. IV, pp. 492-4.

$ Bengal District Gazetteers, Hooghly, by L.S.S. O'Malley, Calcutta, 1912, pp. 261-263.

% Satyanarayaner Katha, Shaitya-Parishad Patrika, vol. VIII, p.63; Chandrakanta, Do.vol.X, p.130.

^* Calcutta Review, vol. IV, p.415.

* Bengali Temples, M.M. Chakravarti, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1909, pp. 141-146, and figs., 3 and 9.

+ Bengal District Gazetteers, Hooghly, by L.S.S. O'Malley.

| * Bengal District Gazetteers, Hooghly, by L.S.S. O'Malley.

*~ The Indian Buddhist Iconography by Dr. Benoytosh Bhattacharya, p. 122.

*@ Paschim Banger Sanskrit by Binoy Ghosh, p. 578.

For more information

Home| 1| 2| 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |                                                Previous