Bardhaman History, Religion and Mythology

Right from the Stone Age, Bardhaman has witnessed a rich history through time. There are various relics from Stone Age that are found in the district. Archeological excavations has provided evidence that this area forms a foremost part of Radh Bangal that could be traced back to 4000-2000 BCE. The place has derived its name from the the 24th Jain Tirthankar Vardhamana Mahavira in the 6th Century BCE. Epigraphic references in the form of copper-plate has been found in Mallasarul near Galsi. It is believed that Mahavira, during the course of his sermons and speeches had visited Bardhaman. It is said in Jain scriptures that he spent some time in Astikagram. After he leaved the place, in his honor the name was changed to Vardhaman, which in time changed to Bardhaman. Parasnath hill in Dhanbad district of Jharkhand, close to the borders of Bardhaman was an important and holy centre for the Jains. A large number of stone images of different Tirthankars have been discovered in Bardhaman district.

Bardhaman played an important role during the age of Guptas and Sena kings. During the Sultanate and Mughal period Bardhaman was an impotant administrative headquarter. Nurjahan the famous queen of the Mughal Harem of Jahangir was the wife of the then Jagirdar of Bardhaman, Sher Afgan before she was taken to the Mughal Harem. It was Bardhaman that gave sanctum to Pir Baharam when he had to leave Delhi due to the machinations of Abul Fazal and Faizi in Akbar's time. Even today Hindus and Muslims of Bardhaman recall Pir Baharam with great regard. Bardhaman has also witnessed the handover treaty of the three villages of Sutanati, Gobindapur and Kolikata between the Mughals and the East India Company as it was signed at Bardhaman. Later these three villages grew up to be known as Kolkata or Calcutta today.

According to Indian mythology there is also reference that the Naval of goddess Sati fell here and the Sarbamangala Temple was built in that point in order to make it a major worship place among the Hindus. Khirogram is also a place where a similar kind of mythological history can be found. Sri Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the founder of the Baishnav cult got sanyasa from Keshava Bharathi in Katwa and this made Katwa a very sacred place for the Baishnavites. Ramakrishna Paramhansa has made the Ishaneshwar Temple in Bardhaman famous due to his visit.