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West Bengal : Katwa
Katwa, the old and small town of Burdwan still has its charm and natural beauty. The earliest name of Katwa was Katadiya or Kantakdwip (Dwip means island) because the town almost looks like an island as Ajay, Bhagirathi and Sibai rivers confluence here.
Gourangabari, the famous place of Katwa, can be reached by a narrow lane crossing the station road and Mahaprabhu para. This was the place where Sri Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu got sannyasa from his instructor the Kesava Bharati. Since then, this small township has been a sacred place for the Vaishnavites, one of the Hindu communities of Bengal. Gourangabari, the Baishnab Temple has mausoleum of Kesava Bharati, Parshad Das Gadadhar and Madhu Paramanic along with a sacred place to get sanyasa at the right hand side of the entry gate. You can also visit Bara Masjid in Baganiya Para, Katwa, which was built by Sayed Shah Alam who came here all the way from Delhi.
It is believed that Jagai and Madhai, the two disciples of Sree Chaitanya Dev had visited Madhaitala Ashrama, situated at a distance of 2 km towards the south-eastern side of the Katwa railway station. The home of the Jagai and Madhai is also located at the premises of Madhaitala Ashrama. Gour Nitai, Radha Gabinda, Gopinath temples are situated in Srimandir, at the back side of the Madhaitala Ashrama. You can also have a look at the pictures of the Mahaprabhu (Sri Chaitanya Dev) on the walls of Natmandir, situated at Gurukunja, a near by place of Srimandir.
Enthusiasts can also travel towards the western side of Katwa for one hour to see the historical place, Mangalkot. Mangalkot is famous for its ancient sculptures of Mourya, Sunga, Kushan empires. Apart from the ancient sculptures, mosque built by the king Hussain Shah and 12 Muslim mausoleums are the visiting places of Mangalkot.
Kogram, known for the famous writer Kumud Ranjan Mallick, is also the birth place of baishnab worshipper Lochan Das. The experience of seeing the River Kunui meeting Ajay in Kogram is an enticing one. You can reach Natun Hath by bus from Katwa and walk down to Kogram.
It is said that the dozen markets and thirteen river banks increase the attractiveness of the twin city, Katwa and Daihat. Daihat, a 7 km away destination from Katwa, previously named as Indrani Nagar, was a business hub of Burdwan district. The Durgabari built by Bhaskar pandit, the Samajbari built by the king of Burdwan and various Shiva temples are the prime attractions of Daihat which can be reached either by bus or by train from Katwa.
How to reach: Katwa, situated at a distance of 150 km from kolkata, is well connected by railways from Sealdah and Howrah railway stations. Local trains from howrah railway station to Katwa are there in every one hour but the trains are very limited if you want to board from Sealdah railway station. If you decide to use road transport, you can get frequent bus services from Esplanade, Kolkata or you can also take a car for the trip to Katwa.
Where to stay: You can stay in Municipal R H-Shraboni situated in Mandalpara, on the way to Gourangabari. Hotels like H Nirala, H Satyam etc are also available in reasonable rates in the area of bus stand and railway station. Advaita lodge, dream lodge and santiniketan lodge cottage are very good hotels situated on the way to Santinektan from Bolpur station. If you are a nature lover, you can also stay in gurudwara, Daihat.