Origin of name
The name Barrackpore may have originated from the English word Barracks, as it was the site of the first cantonment of the British East India Company. Alternatively, the Ain-i-Akbari suggests that the name comes from "Barbakpur".
The city is situated on the eastern bank of the Ganges River. Barrackpore is located at 22.76°N 88.37°E, in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta region in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal state. It has an average elevation of 15 metres. The city is about 23 kilometres from Kolkata (previously Calcutta), and 115 kms from the Bangladesh border.
The earliest references to the Barrackpore region are found in the writings of the Greek navigators, geographers, chronicles and historians of the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD. These authors generally referred to the country of a people variously called the Gangaridae, Gangaridai, Gandaritai etc.
According to Ptolemy's Treatise on geography, written in the 2nd Century A.D., the ancient land of Gangaridi was stretched between the rivers Bhagirathi-Hoogly (lower Ganges) and Padma-Meghna. The modern-day 24 Parganas was the southern and the south-eastern territory of that legendary kingdom.
Archaeological excavation at Berachampa village in Deganga PS proves that though the area was not directly attached to the rule of the Guptas, yet it could not shun their cultural influence. Xuanzang (c. 629-685) visited 30 Buddhist Biharas and 100 Hindu Temples in India and some of these were in the Greater 24 Parganas region.
The district was not a part of Shashanka's unified Bengali empire known as Gauda, but it is assumed that the district which was the south-west frontier territory of ancient Bengal, was comprised in under the rule of Dharmapala (estimated c. 770-810). The Pala Dynasty rule was not quite strong in this part, as no excavation uncovered any of Buddhist Pala antiquities but many Hindu Sena sculptures.
Under the Mughal Empire, Bengal was divided into Circars, or administrative subunits, each of which was ruled over by a Mahal. The name "Barbuckpur", another name for Barrackpore, is associated with a Mahal in the Ain-e-Akbari. From the 17th century, the area was ruled over by a line of Zamindars from the Nona Chandanpukur, Barrackpore.
Barrackpore Subdivision consists of sixteen municipalities (Kanchrapara, Halisahar, Naihati, Bhatpara, Garulia, Barrackpore, North Barrackpur, New Barrackpur, Titagarh, Khardaha, Panihati, Kamarhati, Baranagar, Dum Dum, North Dumdum and South Dumdum) and two community development blocks: Barrackpore–I and Barrackpore–II.
- De, Barun. W.B. District Gazetteer, 24 Parganas ed. 1994.
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