a homestay so near, yet so far from the daily chores
…right in the middle of nature, in a heritage property taking you back on timeline, when stress was an unknown word and relaxation was life.
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) of ‘Shaktrigotro’, 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.
References to the Chaudhuri family can be found in the gazeteer ‘KulChandrika” of the year 1299 and also in “Prajapati” another Magazine in the 1329.The ancestors of the Chaudhuri clan were settled in Malda / Murshidabad district of Bengal from where Shri Krishna Ram Sen Sharma, who was conferred the title of “Chaudhuri” came to Amadpur after getting the Zamindari of Amadpur along with areas in Burdwan and other areas of Hooghly dist from the Mughal Emperor vide his governor of the Bengal Subah.The period corresponds to the English calendar of the middle of the 1600’s.
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.
This Zamindari was recognised by the later British Raj under the permanent settlement Act of 1793. This Zamindari was further consolidated and expanded by Shri Chandra Sekhar Chaudhuri nick named Knuro Ram Chaudhuri to such an extent that it expanded and extended to as far as Srirampur in Hooghly Dist(A reference may be made to Khuro Ram ChaudhurirDighi in Srirampur even today).
Another Illustrious son of the Chaudhuris was Shri Mohes Chunder Chaudhuri, scholar, philanthropist, social worker and legal luminary whom even the British through bitter experience on more than one occasion, were wary of crossing swords.
Changing times and changing circumstances had by this time necessitated a move to Kolkata for both the branches – The Chaudhuris and Majumdars. The links with their ancestral roots however remain as strong as ever.