Baruipur Municipality : South 24 Parganas : West Bengal  


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Sri Shakti Roy Chowdhury



Rabindra Bhaban

     
Baruipur is a sub-divisional town of the district of South 24-Parganas situated on the banks of Tolly’s canal at the crossing of Diamond Harbour and Lakshmikantapur between Kolkata and Sunderbans. According to common belief, the name was derived from the word ‘Barui’ which means betel planter. Its geographical location is 20° 30′ latitude North and 88° 25′ longitude East. Baruipur became a sub-division in 1858. Earlier, it was part of a sub-division, which was basically a sub-division created during the British regime for collection of taxes under a collector. The land is bounded on the north by Sonarpur, south by Jainagar, east by Canning and west by Bishnupur. During those days it was well known for its indigo plantation. Baruipur municipality covers an area of 9.07 Sq.Km. only.
Baruipur Municipality is located at the extreme southern side of Kolkata Metropolitan Area. Railway line has connected this municipality with Kolkata and southern part of South 24 Pgs. Garia – Baruipur Road or Kulpi Road is one of the major roads, which has connected the area with Kolkata and North 24 Pgs through E.M Bye Pass. Other major roads like Madarat Road, Dhabdhabi Road, Canning Road connected the area with eastern part and Amtala Road has linked it with the adjacent western part.
Baruipur has a history of human civilization. Each historic antiquities of the site found from archeological excavation in the outskirts of Baruipur reveals that there was a major early historic human settlement dated back to the 1st century A.D. The fact has been further re-instated by some renowned scholars in their statement published in South Asian Studies-10, 1994, which is reproduced below. 
                                                              
‘Atghara’ in northeast of Baruipur- the early historic antiquity of the site in the outskirts of Baruipur was reported in IAR- 1956, P.P.-29-30, where there was reference to early historic terracotta’s, grey pottery, rouletted pottery, cast copper coins etc. from the site. The terracotta’s, rouletted ware and an inscribed seal from Atghara were also mentioned in IAR-1957-58, P-70. The terracotta’s from Moury-sung period onwards are indeed locally well known features of the site. One still notices a structural mound at Atghara and there is perceptible spread of occupation of deposit, which according to a local estimate is spread over13 to 14acres of land. In 1989, the Directorate of Archeology of West Bengal Govt. excavated the visible structural mound. The report is unpublished but there is a reference to its results in a handout issued on the occasion on South 24-Parganas history conference at Baruipur on December 1, 1991. The sequence of the site goes back to Mauryan period and continues upto 10-12 centuries A.D. A terracotta image of Jain Tirthankara was obtained from the latter context. In the earlier context one notes the presence of NBPN Sanghkushan red ware earthen vessels bearing faces of women terracotta Yakshini images etc. It has been pointed out that the areas of Gazir Danga, SitaKundu and Phasir Danga in the neighbourhood yield comparable antiquities whenever tanks, wells, foundations for houses are dug. There is little doubt that there was a major historic settlement at Atghara.    
    
Places of interest: Baruipur has a number of remarkable places of interest scattered throughout. One can visit the ruins of the temple of “Kalyan Mahadeb”, a Vishnu temple at Kalyanpur. There is one huge temple of the popular God “Dakshin Ray” at the village of Dhabdhabi. Baruipur museum is another noteworthy place worth visiting for its collection of many antiquities belonging to the historic Gangaridees and many other historic articles dating back to different periods of Sen, Pal, Gupta and Kushan dynasty. There is one temple of Lord Chaitanya near Puratan Bazar. On the south of this bazaar lies Dolmancha. Temple of Goddess Mahalakhsmi is located near Kachari Bazar. There is a double storied building at Mashidtala. One can visit the twin villages of Sitakundu and Atghara where different archeological excavations have unearthed a number of antique objects dating from different early historic periods of Sen, Pal, Gupta and Kushan dynasties. A terracotta image of ascetic Lord Buddha has been unearthed from one such excavation at Atghara village. Kalidas dutta memorial museum at Ramnagar and Sunderban regional museum at Baruipur are two areas worth visiting for their collections of early historic periods bearing testimonies of ancient civilization of this region. Many other ruins of Vishnu temples can be seen at different locations at Baruipur.
 
Festivals: The following festivals are observed in different months of the year e.g. Rash Mela is observed in October- November, Charak Mela in March-April, Rath Mela in July. Barumi Mela and a public gathering to sing the praise of Maha Prabhu are held in Dolmanch in some specific period each year. Dolmanch is around 200 years old. Bishalakshmi Mandir and Jagaddhatri Mandir are also too quite old structures.
 
Traditional arts/crafts: Terracotta works is one of the bet examples of local handicrafts. Amongst small scale and cottage industries surgical instrument making is a noptable example. Another cottage industry is the manufacturing of incensed stick where a large section of women folk are involved.
 
Memoirs of the town: A remarkable Hindu mela was observed in 1869 by the people under the presidentship of Sri Ragendra Kumar Raychoudhuri. Freedom movement to discard foreign goods was organized under the leadership of Sri Surendranath Bandapadhya. Sri Bankim Chandra Chatterjee created the wonderful novel “Durgeshnandini” between 1864-69 while he was the Deputy Magistrate of Baruipur. Baruipur has the unique distinction to be amongst the first for being linked by the railway transport system as early as on 10th July. 1882.  
Administrative set up: Baruipur Municipality, one of the oldest local self-government in the district of South 24-Parganas in West Bengal, was founded in 1869. It is 144 years old now. Despite being so old the municipality still falls under Category-D of local self-government. In 1970, the municipality was brought under the control of K.M.D.A. for all developmental work. Since then the municipal service started accelerating.

The Baruipur municipality is a constituent of Baruipur police station that includes 69 villages, 19 village Panchayats and Panchayats Samity’s etc. The municipality is divided into 17 wards. The councillors share the responsibility as members of the council.

 Some Historic Images

Some Historic Images