Nandita Pal

Romance Classics Inspirational

2  

Nandita Pal

Romance Classics Inspirational

Danish Bengal

Danish Bengal

5 mins
124


Part 1- Reaching Denmark 

It was a Saturday flight from Kolkata to Doha, then connecting flight to Copenhagen. With all good surprise met many known faces from Office who all were traveling to different countries. Though I was traveling alone by that time have a couple of friends. The flight got delayed. After boarding, most of the passengers who have connecting started enquiring if the Airline can help. As we are approaching Doha, by that time passengers were also tensed if they would be able to get the connecting or not. Many passengers by that time started walking on the aisle, standing and discussing the same topic. With all good gestures, Air staffs came and spoke to us that there would be Airline help for destinations like Newark, Hithro, Paris and so on. Where many passengers are lined up these destinations. Passengers towards the same destinations probably felt somewhat relaxed and they tried to mark who is to which destination by raising hands and so on. A young lady, traveling to London suddenly noticed me and asked, ‘you did not raise your hands in any destiny, where are you up to?’ I said, ‘I am going to Copenhagen. And probably I am alone in this flight, hence no staff would be there to help’. I still remember her face with such glow hearing destination name as Copenhagen, she said ‘it must be a beautiful place you are traveling’. I was a little nervous and in anxiety about managing at Doha.

I remember running to Doha for connecting flight but when I was near the staircase, was madly attracted to the Big and cute yellow and black color lamp Bear. I rushed to the bear for a moment and took a selfie. A lot of lovely memories of when I saw it with my kids. It's more than 20 ft in height, around 20-ton weight, a lovely bronze Teddy bear sculpture made by a swiss Artist and it’s now symbolic to Hamad International Airport. It seems it was displayed initially in Newyork, which was auctioned later on. While lakhs of passengers are traveling through this wonderful airport, this Teddy bear is a presentation of childhood memories and the feeling of home. This time I could not manage to see ‘statue of small lie’, another so cute one which makes you think of child within you. When I reached my aircraft lobby I was the last passenger to board for Copenhagen. Once boarded I was thrilled that within the next 7-8 hrs I would be reaching the beautiful Danish land, Denmark.


In search of Denmark in Bengal

Down the line within a year, it was our anniversary and for a change this time I planned for a trip to explore Denmark of India. It was cold in mid-January morning, after early breakfast, I and my husband started for Sreerampur( in Hooghly), an erstwhile Danish named Frederiksnagore! Though we visited Sreerampur a couple of times earlier as well, this time I was a little thrilled to explore Danish memories.

Earlier from Howrah station, we went by train which is very fast and convenient. But that day we traveled by our own car, through Delhi road. It's around 47 km from my house and googles time forecasted to reach by 2 hours. I made a plan where to go, what to see, and most importantly what to eat in a day’s plan.

From 1600 onwards while European countries came to India in search of spices, textiles, and so on, Danish (that time Danish and Noway together, I would refer Danish henceforth) were one of those early traders. It was an interesting story, King Christian IV Denmark, who was famous for his popularity and ambition, who took a lot of proactive initiatives for his country, also he was longest (58 years) serving the king in that time frame. In 1612 King issued a charter Danish east India company for trading from Asia for 12 years. Admiral Ove Gjedde, who was first led the ship and reached India in 1620, and by the time he reached such a long distance, most of his team died. When they reached a place Tanjore, Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu which was under the rule of then, king Raghunatha Nayak. He was most famous in the Thanjavur Nayak dynasty. kings as most cultural and scholar. King Raghunatha Nayak made a treaty with Danish, and the Danish colony started in Tamilnadu. before we move on, let me talk for two minutes on Thanjavur, at the bank of the Kaveri river which is a very fertile place and called the India Rice bowl. And this place has a lot of rich heritage of art and culture and a special mention of Danish heritage which I would come later.


From 1640 to almost 1670, the Danish East India trade company goes through a severe financial crisis, bankruptcy, fighting with the Portuguese, and so on. King Christian IV dies in 1648 and next Fredrick III becomes king in Denmark. In Denmark, kings are Christian or Friedrick series barring exceptions of two queen Margetha during the history. During king Fredrick III slowly Danish East India company again survived and around 1754 Danish reached Nicobber Island and declared it Frederick's islands. They started produce sugarcane and spices but the people who came there probably became sick with Malaria and Danish left Nicobber island to the British by 1760. Most importantly across the coast Dansih were exploring India for trade, and in 1756 they came to Sreerampur (then its local name was Sripur), this place on the river Ganges, was about 25 Km from Kolkata. This place was famous for cotton, silk fabrics. Danish made a deal with then Nawab of Bengal Alibordi khan for getting access to trading from Sreerampur by paying Rs fifty thousand and many other gifts. Danish got hold of some lands in the place and officially declared this place name as Frederiksnagore as per king Freidrick III., and started trading activities. Colonel Ole Bie was the first Danish Regent in Frederiksnagore. As Danish had the first establishment in Tanjore, their headquarter has been from that place. But slowly Frederiksnagore became a successful trading post. 1772-1807 period, basically after the Battle of Plassey in 1757, Danish traders fortunes became successful from India.

While we were discussing the timeline and Danish coming to India, we realized the driver has taken the wrong lane! We had to spend almost 30-40 mins extra drive and returned to the right path. Now we could see the right indication and understood in another few minutes, we would reach sreerampur.


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