Kharagpur

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Kharagpur in Medinipur paschimi district map

Kharagpur (Hindi:खड़गपुर, Bengali: খড়্গপুর) is an industrial city in Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal. It is site of IIT Kharagpur.

Origin

Kharagpur received its name from the twelfth king of Mallabhum, Kharga Malla, when he conquered it.[1][2]

Location

It is located at coordinates 22.330239°N 87.323653°E. It has an average elevation of 29 metres. NH-6(Bombay-Kolkata Road) passes through this city.

History

Kharagpur received its name from the twelfth king of Mallabhum, Kharga Malla, when he conquered it.[3][4]

Rajatarangini[5] mentions that Kharga was a minister of King of Kashmir Baladitya (561-598AD). After a reign of thirty-seven years and four months Valaditya died, and with him the Gonanda dynasty became extinct. And while the chief ministers neglected the affairs of the kingdom, the grateful Kharga duly crowned the late king's son-in-law, Durlabhavardhana, of the Ashvngharoā Kayastha caste, bathing him with, the waters collected from holy places and poured from a golden vessel; and the kingdom thus passed from the Gonanda dynasty to that of Karkota Naga as passed the Ganges from heaven to the head of Shiva.

Kharagpur was a part of the Hijli Kingdom and ruled by Hindu Oriya rulers as a feudatory under Gajapati Kings of Orissa. Historians claim that in the 16th century, Kharagpur was still a small village surrounded by dense forests. The village was on high rocky barren land. The only inhabited settlement near Kharagpur was Hijli. Hijli was a small island village on the banks of the Rasulpur River, in the delta of Bay of Bengal. It developed into a port town in 1687. Hijli was also a province and it existed until 1886. It covered parts of Bengal and Orissa.

It had important towns like Tamluk, Panskura, and Debra, along with the Kelghai and Haldi rivers on the north, south, and east sides bounded by Bay of Bengal and Kharagpur, Keshiary, Dantan, and Jaleswar on the west.

Hijli was ruled by Taj Khan who was the disciple of Guru Peer Mackdram Sha Chisti. It was also ruled by the Kushan, Gupta, and Pal dynasties, and by the Mughals. It is said that Hijli had excellent business and trade centers with judiciary, prison, and administrative offices during the reign of Hindu Kings and during the Mughal Raj. The capital of Hijli was in Bahiri up to 1628 and was shifted to Hijli afterwards. Hijli Province was at its peak in 1754 and was highly prosperous during this period.

Captain Nicolson was the first English colonialist to invade Hijli and captured the port. In 1687 Job Charnock with soldiers and warships captured Hijli, defeating Hindu and Mughal defenders. After the war with the Mughals, a treaty was signed between Job Charnock and the Mughal Emperor. The loss suffered by Job Charnock forced him to leave Hijli and to proceed towards Uluberia, while the Mughal Emperor continued to rule the province. From there, they finally settled at Sutanuti in Kolkata to establish their business in Eastern India. This was the start of the East India Company in India. Hijli as we know it today is only a small part of the Hijli Province, and was created for establishing administrative offices by the British in the 19th century. It is curious that almost the entire Kharagpur division of today has boundaries identical to Hijli Province.

In the 18th century Khejuri, another port town was set up on the banks of the Koukhali River in the delta region . It was established by the British primarily for carrying out trade with European countries. Khejuri was also an island . In the devastating cyclone of 1864, both ports were destroyed. The islands have since merged with the mainland.

Geography

This sub-division town is formed with Dalma Pahar and alluvial tract of Midnapore. It is intersected by numerous waterways, the important Rivers being Subarnarekha, Keleghai and Kangsabati.

References

  1. Dasgupta, Gautam Kumar; Biswas, Samira,; Mallik, Rabiranjan, (2009), Heritage Tourism: An Anthropological Journey to Bishnupur, New Delhi: Mittal, p. 32, ISBN 8183242944
  2. Mallik, Abhaya Pada (1921). History of Bishnupur-Raj: An Ancient Kingdom of West Bengal (the University of Michigan ed.). Calcutta. p. 14
  3. Dasgupta, Gautam Kumar; Biswas, Samira,; Mallik, Rabiranjan, (2009), Heritage Tourism: An Anthropological Journey to Bishnupur, New Delhi: Mittal, p. 32, ISBN 8183242944
  4. Mallik, Abhaya Pada (1921). History of Bishnupur-Raj: An Ancient Kingdom of West Bengal (the University of Michigan ed.). Calcutta. p. 14
  5. Book III (p.58-60)

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