Midnapore

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Medinipur paschimi district map
Location of Midnapur in West Bengal

Midnapore (Medinipur, Modinipur) is the district headquarters of Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal.

Location

It is situated on the banks of the Kangsabati River (variously known as Kaushya, Kasai and Cossye).

Etymology

There are conflicting accounts of how the name Medinipur came to be. One account claims that Medinipur was named after a local deity "Medinimata" (literally "mother of the world", a Shakti incarnation).

History

In ancient times the region seems to be highly influenced by Jainism and Buddhism. Coins issued by Samudragupta have been found in the near vicinity of the town. The kingdom of Shashanka and Harshavardhana also included part of undivided Midnapore in their kingdom. However, the most significant archaeological site in the region is the bustling port of Tamralipta near present-day Tamluk, a site noted in the travelogues of Faxian and Xuanzang.

Later Chaitanya passed through the area on his way from Puri to Varanasi as documented in the Chaitanya Charitamrita.

After the fall of last independent Hindu dynasty of Kalinga-Utkala, Gajapati Mukunda Deva in the 16th century, this region came under one of the five Sarkars of Mughalbandi Odisha i.e. Jaleswar Sarkar which was ruled by the Subehdar of Odisha. The north boundary of Jalshwar was Tamluk and south was Soro and Dhalbhumgarh in the west to the Bay of Bengal in the east. Bahadur Khan was the ruler of Jaleshwar Sarkar or Hijli (including Midnapore) during the time of Shah Jehan. He was defeated by Shah Shuja, the second son of Shah Jehan, then the subshdar of Bengal.

This area had taken a pioneering role in India's freedom struggle. A large number of freedom fighters who had bravely faced the gallows are the sons of the soil of Midnapore. To free their motherland from the yokes of bondage, they had willingly sacrificed themselves in the freedom pyre.


Places of Historical importance

References

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