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About Durgapur






Metropolitan City/Urban Agglomeration
Nickname(s): Ruhr & Educational Hub Of Eastern India
Durgapur is located in West Bengal







Jawaharlal Nehru with school children at Durgapur

The name Durgapur has come from the name of Sri Durgamohan Chattopadhyay, the Zamindar of Gopinathpur area of Durgapur and the erstwhile scion of the family of Chatterjees of Sagarbhanga area.Much of modern Durgapur is situated on the lands formerly owned by Zamindars like the Chatterjees of Sagarbhanga, Sri Radhanath Chattopadhyay of Gopalpur and the Zamindars of Bhiringi(presently a part of the area known as Benachity).

Archeological excavations at Birbhanpur, on the bank of the Damodar, have revealed a number of stone implements. These are dated to be around 5000 BC. Many of these are hunting implements used by pre-historic hunters. Earlier, some of the excavations at Pandu Rajar Dhibi, on the banks of the Ajay, just beyond Durgapur but in Bardhaman district, revealed traces of a civilization possibly linked with the Indus Valley Civilisation. These are important historical finds and are yet to be fully explored.

Mighty emperors reigned in this region over the centuries, but it is difficult to pinpoint who held sway over the area at different times. Historians talk of this region being a part of the Maurya and Gupta empires, the empire of Harsha Vardhan and the Mughals. Being a border region, it could have been on either side of the unmarked and flexible borders of the mighty empires. Moreover, the infertile soil with deep impenetrable forests and wild animals was probably not a very inviting proposal for any emperor on the look out for wealth and treasures. Even when coal mining made forays into the adjoining Asansol-Ranigunj area from the late eighteenth century, and factory chimneys reared their heads somewhat later, Durgapur remained an impenetrable jungle that few dared totrespass into.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the railway traversed the Durgapur area; even fairly recent pre-independence travelers describe Durgapur as a small station, with dim kerosene lanterns burning at night, where only a few passenger trains stopped. Local chieftains such as Bhabani Pathak and Ichhai Ghosh were the heroes of the jungle-territory and probably held many a great emperor at bay. Many of them must have passed through looking for wealth in the famed granaries of Bengal further east but probably never found the place attractive enough to show their prowess.

It is unlikely that Bhabani Pathak of Durgapur was the same person linked with Devi Choudhurani, made famous by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Their area of activity was around Rangpur, now in Bangladesh. Although barges used to carry coaldown the Damodar in those days and the river was more navigable than now, the area was never a watery haven as some areas of east or north Bengal were. However, legends have more impact on people than the hard realities of history.

The area was part of the Bardhaman Raj, who ruled on the basis of a firman from the Mughal emperor. Mir Kassem, then Nawab of Sube Bangala, ceded Bardhaman along with Medinipur and Chittagong to the East India Company in 1760 (three years after the Battle of Plassey), and the Bardhaman Raj continued to function under British tutelage.






Places of interest

  • Bhabani Pathak’s Tilla(Durgapur Science and Energy Park) – It is located near the City Centre of Durgapur. Earlier there was a tunnel system from here to the Damodar River, but now that is closed from public view. Now, people can visit only the Tilla and the Science park. The park which was built by the WEBREDA is now closed.
  • Ichhai Ghosh's Deul - Remains of an age old fort, now mostly in ruins. The brick built temple of Ichhai Ghosh is more than 500 years old, still stands erect against the backdrop of Garh jungle. Located on the bank of river Ajay, adjacent to it is the Shyamarupa temple.
  • Rahreswar Shib Mandir – Located 3 km from the NH-2 Muchipara crossing on the Muchipara-Shibpur Road in the Arrah village opposite the NSHM Knowledge Campus, this 11th century Shiva temple is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. It is located in the Gopalpur Gram Panchayet of Kanksa block. Thousands of people rush to this temple at the Maha Shivaratri.
  • Santiniketan – location of Visva Bharati, established by Rabindranath Tagore. It is about 60 km away from Durgapur.
  • Bishnupur – the famous terracotta temple town and home to major art and crafts. It is about 70 km away from Durgapur. The Bankura horse, symbol of Indian handicrafts is produced at Panchmura, near Bishnupur. It is also the home of the Baluchari sari, originally woven with motifs based on stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, but now modernized.
  • Jaydev Kenduli – temple and birthplace of Sanskrit poet Joydeb, on the banks of the Ajay River. This place is about 30 km away from Durgapur. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti (Winter Solstice), a fair is organized here. Bauls, religious singers with a detached philosophy and spontaneity of their own, participates in this fair, which is held in mid January every year.
  • Bakreshwar – a hot spring and temple, lying about 60 km away from Durgapur.
  • Churulia - birthplace of the famous Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. He is considered the national poet of Bangladesh. The village is about 60 km from Durgapur, and contains a museum with his works and a memorial for him.
  • Durgapur Barrage – A dam and a tourist spot on river Damodar.
  • Randiha – The Anderson Weir (named after John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, who inaugurated it), a diversion constructed in 1932, 19 km downstream of Durgapur Barrage on river Damodar is a wonderful serene tourist spot located in the Chaktentul Gram Panchayet in Galsi I block. Across the river lies Sonamukhi. A tourist to Randiha must visit the Ancient Mound at Bharatpur on the Silampur-Randiha Road, a monument of National Importance, has been excavated jointly by the Archaeological Survey of India and the University of Burdwan has yielded evidence of habitational sequence from the Chalcolithic times to the 12th century. Randiha is about 10 km from Panagarh railway station.
  • Nehru Park, Burnpur – Originally named (& popular as Lahmeyer Park, after F.W.A.Lahmeyer, a General Manager ofIISCO who had inaugurated it) Riverside Park, it has been renamed after Jawaharlal Nehru in 1989 on his birth centenary. Undulating terrain, meandering brook and a musical fountain are added attractions to the park. Located on the banks of the Damodar river in Burnpur. It is located 14  km south-west of the Asansol railway station with minibuses aplenty.
  • Dreamplex- It's the first shopping mall in Durgapur. It contains the Big Bazaar, 89 cinemas (which is recently closed) and other shopping and entertainment spots.
  • Benachity Bazar- This is the largest shopping market place in Durgapur. Thousands of people flock the streets of this widely popular market area especially during the Puja season marketing.
  • Reliance Trends -This is a shopping mall which is recently opened and located in Benachity. It contains Fortune Plaza and a multiplex, named Arti Cinema. This multiplex have 3D screen facility.
  • Suhatta is another shopping complex which has famous brands & designer retail outlets.
Suhatta Mall
  • City Centre This is the only central business hub of the city, and is the costliest area of the city. The famous movie theatre Duragapur Cinema - popularly known as DC is located here.
  • Junction Mall is the biggest shopping complex (excluding Kolkata)in Eastern India. It had been developed by the Shrachi group and has Pantaloons, Shopper's Stop, Crossword, Fabindia, Reebok, Adidas, Woodland, Café Coffee Day, United Colors Of Benneton, VIP, The Mobile Store, Bioscope(3 Screen 3D Multiplex), KFC and many other popular brands and is spread over an area of 4 hundred thousand sq. ft.
  • Mohan Kumaramangalam Park - Named after Mohan Kumaramangalam, the park located in the DSP Township is one of the favourite destinations for couples and for picnic, which has now been renovated with exciting rides and food stalls. The water bodies in the park is the abode to some of the most venomous water snakes in the town including keel backs.

Other than these there are several beautiful villages surrounding the Industrial town, which come alive, especially during the festive seasons. The traditional Durga and Kali pujas in Kuldiha, Gopalpur and some other villages are worth being given a watch.












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