A Brief History Of The Chaudhuri’s Of Amadpur
The Village of Amadpur, Railway station Memari, District Burdwan, is really not very different from any other in rural Bengal. Ponds both large and small, palms – both coconut and date, mango groves ,paddy fields. Typical bucolic Bengal situated about 90 kms from Kolkata, it is now a convenient and smooth drive of about 1.30 to 1.45 hours from the metropolis, courtesy the Durgapur Expressway. There are off course local trains at regular and frequent intervals. One hops on at Howrah and hops off at Memari which is on the main line. Thereafter a 4 kms rickshaw or toto ride and into Amadpur.
The Amadpur High School ( School Bari as it is popularly known) which was founded & established by a well known scion of the Chaudhuri family, Shri Mohes Chandra Chaudhuri, dates back to the middle / late 19th century boasts of the distinction of having been inaugurated by scholar, social reformer, Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar who was a close friend of the founder.
From here the road passes the baton over to a kutcha country path before proceeding on its way to the Chaudhuri Bari and the rest of the Village. One passes clumps of waving bamboo and hoary terracotta temples dreaming of bygone days over the placid waters of the ponds. Then, bang ahead is the living temple of Radha Madhavji, the presiding and residing deity of the Village.
Turn right and you are in what is virtually the heritage zone of the village, Babu der Para, The abode of the Chaudhuri, Erstwhile Babus and Zamindars of Amadpur and the neighbouring few hundred villages, still immensely respected, loved and looked up to by the villagers – the abolishment of the Zamindary system over the last almost 60 decades not withstanding.
The Chaudhuris or Sen Sharmas originally belonged to Trihotto or Tehatta Village of Royal Bengal. Sections of the family migrated to the Kingdom of Gour.
The Phylogenetic can be traced as far back as Shri Sribatsa Sen Sharma ( Late 11th Century or early 12th century) grandfather of Shri Dhoyi or Duhi Sen Sharma (His father was PundarikSen), one of the court poets of Raja Laxman Sen of the Gour Dynasty. Dhoyi was born in the Shaktrigotra Sen Vaidya-Brahmin clan. His colleague and court poet was Kavi Jaidev Misra of ‘GeetGovinda Fame’. DhoyiSen himself was famous for his poem “PawanDoota” or wind Messenger for which composition he was honoured with the Title ”Kavikshmapati” ,”Chakravarti” and “PanditRatna” by the Raja Dohi Sen Sharma had three sons, Kashi, Kushali and Ugro Sen Sharma.
From this it can be assumed that the village was already in existence then and it is therefore as venerable in its antiquity – if not more than Kolkata itself. Since Shri Krishna Ram Sen Sharma was a highly respected courtier of the Nawab of Murshidabad, Amadpur, probably basked in the reflected glory of one of its most eminent sons. Another son in all possibility Durga Ram Sen Sharma moved towards Bahaspur in Burdwan and he carried with him the family deity and also enshrined a second Shaligram Shila of Laxmi Janardan which is today present and worshipped at the temple of Radha MadhavJi. Durga Ram Sen Sharmas son Shri Krishna Ram Sen Sharma was held in very high esteem by the Mughal Governor or the Nawab of Murshidabad for his abilities and many sterling qualities. He was granted several Zamindaries in Burdwan and Murshidabad districts. His two sons were given ‘khetabs’ of Chaudhuri and Majumdar respectively.
About the host
Namaste / Nomoshkar I’m Shiladitya Chaudhuri,
I was born and brought up in Calcutta, India. I currently live in Calcutta in a joint family which includes my mother, wife, two daughters and a son; Uncles , Aunts, and Cousins.
I am a small-time businessman.
Apart from being a wonderful home-maker and mother, my wife is a Hindustani classical vocalist, hence I have developed an interest in Hindustani and other forms of Indian classical music over time.
We have an ancestral home that is about 400 years old, almost a stones throw away from Kolkata, West Bengal(approximately 90 kilometres). The reason why I am hosting you all is because I want people to experience the rich heritage, culture and unique cuisine of Bengal of a bygone era. I felt that the best experience for this would be to stay in a house that is historical and is centuries old.
The restoration of my ancestral property for this purpose has purely been a labour of love and a matter of utmost passion. My ancestral home as you will find it now, is full of beautiful imperfections with its due share of natural wear and tear over the years which has deliberately been kept as it is. One of the main purposes for opening the doors of my ancestral dwelling house for guests and visitors was solely to create a source of employment for the present generation of our family retainers who have faithfully served our ancestors and taken care of all of us since childhood for the past 6-7 generations if not more.
I can assure you that my people there will never make you feel as merely a visiting guest but will make you feel as if you are visiting your own country home with their sheer warmth and hospitality. I am certain that you will have a very wonderful, pleasant and memorable stay at my ancestral home and will take back memories of happiness and delight. That’s why I play the devils advocate by insisting that Amadpur is not about luxury and artificial ambience but is a sheer ‘experience of a lifetime’.
Places of Interest & Things to do in and around Amadpur
- ♦ RadhaMadhavJi Temple – Exquisite terracotta work.
- ♦ Anandamoyee Kali Mata Temple.
- ♦ Shiv Mandirs – Terracotta Work.
- ♦ Dighi – Fishing & swimming(at own risk).
- ♦ Rath
- ♦ Durga Bari – The Main Puja Bari of the Chaudhuris hosting a plethora of Festivals round the year like Durga Puja,KaliPuja, Raas Yatra,Saraswati Puja, Kartik puja, Dolyata, Ratha Yatra etc since centuries.
- ♦ Heritage Walk through the Village.
- ♦ “Bag Bari” or Mukherjee Bari – exquisite mansion house (crumbling but worth a visit).
- ♦ Sadhu Bari Ashram – has a ethearal beauty and has a 1000 yr old banyan tree.
- ♦ Boro Kali, Mejo Kali, Khyapa Kali Temples- exotic & eerie.
- ♦ Bonogram Ashram – An amazing A school and orphanage in the and In the middle of nowhere.
- ♦ Santhal Villages.
- ♦ Tribal Dance.
- ♦ Archery by tribals.
- ♦ Variety of Mango trees in numerous orchards – Unique opportunity to pluck and eat as many as you can.
- ♦ Delicious Bengali Sweets.
- ♦ Delightful cuisine at the Homestay.
- ♦ Bonfires and story telling (sessions in Winters).
- ♦ Period Furnitures and Beds in an almost 400 yrs old House with the same old ambience.
- ♦ And many more