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West Bengal - Chandannagar
Chandan Nagar lies at a distance of 37 Kms from Kolkata and 13 Kms from Sreerampur. It is one of the best Hamlets in and around Kolkata. ChandanNagar was actually free only on 1958, on a public vote and became part of West Bengal. Prior to that, it was a colony of the French.
The French purchased Chandannagar from Aurangzeb in 1688, and established their presence on the banks of river Hoogly. They also built the Alia fort. It was destroyed by the British in 1765 when they conquered it. It was returned to the French in 1816, but the French never really recovered from the blow. In olden times, it was a well known port, owing to the navigability of river Hoogly at that time.
It’s a heaven from weekend travelers. just a stroll along the bank of river Hoogly is sure to refresh you up. There are think carpet like grass near the strand built by the Queen of Bhu Kailash, and sitting there idyllically is the best activity one can have at that place.
People also visit the Patal house built by one Moram Saheb, which had been frequented by Rabindranath Tagore and Vidyasagar. Opposite to the place is St. Joseph Convent. Beside lies the Institute De Chandannagar Museum built by the French. Other attractions include the library, the Sacred heart roman catholic church, convent and the cemetery. What used to be the French hotel 'The Paris' is now the civil court. The police station and jail are neighbors to the Rabindra Bhavan.
There are also some old religious places. Temples of NandaDulal, Bishalakhi and Bhubaneshwari were built in 1740.
But what Chandannagar is known for its celebration of Jagadhattri Puja, a version of Sherawali Matadi, for four consecutive days. The whole city lights up to the occasion, and its artwork with animated lights is world famous. People throng to the streets in these four days. In the last two days of the festival, no cars are allowed in the streets and one has to do the hopping on foot. Over a hundred pandals come up for worshipping the deity.
The latest attraction of Chandannagar is the amusement park built by KMDA covering about 33 acres of land. It is about a km and a half from the station. The park has been christened 'wonderland park'. There are other amusement parks too, for short getways in and around Chandannagar namely chuti, new digha and pallavi. All of them promised you a quite weekend.
The sweetmeat of Chandannagar is quite famous too, and you can give your taste buds a party with the collection available here. They have very little sugar content in them.