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West Bengal - Sreerampur
About 28 kms from Kolkata, on the other side of Hoogly lies the charming hamlet of Sreerampur. Sreerampur has got many firsts to its credit. Dr. William Kerry Packer, still fondly remembered for his work, had made the first bengali press here. Infact, his press used to publish in 7 different Indian languages. First Bengali newspaper called Samachar Darpan, first Bengali book called Raja Pratapadity's Charitra had all happened here. Sreerampur was a Danish settlement from 1616 till 1838. Most of the buildings were built from 1793 onwards. The buildings still carry the charm of Danish engineering.
Places to visit: Take a stroll along the streets of the town, or hire a rickshaw. Visit the occasional ghats you come across. Check out the Roman Catholic churches, the houses you pass by, the Sreerampore college, college of textile technology, cemetery and SDO court, which used to be Governor's palace. You should also check out the museum where you will find a collection of ancient scriptures. Also check out the protestant St.Olab Church and the dozens of canons uses by the Danish.
About 3 kms away is Mahesher Rath, a rathyatra which has gained iconic status. The practice started from the beginning of the 15th century. Its a Yatra that is more than 600 years old. The massive Rath is about 45 ft. high with 4 distinct stories, weighs about 125 tons, It has 12 wheels, pulled by a pair of copper horses and a pair of Geese. Each story has a different theme, and Lord Jagannath occupies the highest story. It is second only to Puri's Rathyatra in importance.
You can also visit Sri Jiur Mandir, Rangakali mandir, Shiv mandir and Sitala mandir, all of which are quite old and have their special charm to offer.
Sreerampur can be reached by local train from Howrah and Sealdah and also by road from Kolkata.