Nandita Pal

Classics Others

2  

Nandita Pal

Classics Others

jalpaiguri

jalpaiguri

3 mins
121


Once upon a time in larger Kamrup areas in east of India, a king Vishya Singha who united and strengthen ‘Koch’ (local residents of later Coochbehar). Coochbehar which is a district in West Bengal, and it was only princely state of Bengal during British era. Visya Singha is the first king of Narayan Dynasty of Coochbehar, from early 1500. This Narayan dynasty ruled Coochbehar more than 400 years, a huge long story of the land of Cochbehar where glorious kings and queens era ends after India’s Independence.


Dr Buchanon, who also used to be referred as Buchanon Hamilton, who is a famous geographer, also spoke about Visya Singha who united ‘Koch’ and ‘mecch’ people and established a big kingdom. King made new capital named Hingalabas (I m yet to find out exactly where this place is in current map). Visya Singha’s brother was Sishya Singha. This brother held royal umbrella on top of elder brother’s (King Visya Singha), head as part of ritual in coronation of king. Hence Sishya Singha was termed as ‘chief of the fort’ or ‘Raikat’, also he became main minister in elder brother’s kingdom. Later Sishya singha and his family lived in Baikunthapur, later this place has been named as Jalpaiguri. And Vishya singha amd family continued his kingdom in Kamrup.


How this ‘Jalpaiguri’ name came? my grandma said lots of olive trees (jalpai) used to be there in this place. Also expert says Bhutanese language similar word of jalpaiguri means ‘where warm clothes are traded’. It may be either of the meaning is true, Jalpaiguri is a treasure for my childhood memory. Jalpaiguri, a district in North Bengal is very close to Darjeeling and Himalays range and holds a fertile flat terrain with lush green. Famous Teesta river flows through this Tarai land. I have loving memory with river Karala, as I studied few months in Center Girls School which used to be called as Karala Girls as well. Later I was thrilled to know this river is also called as ‘Thames of Jalpaiguri’!


This Raikat brotherhood used to pay tribute to Coochbehar kings and helped each other for some years. While Bhutan attacked Coochbehar, Raikat helped them but there were instances when this relationship had broken. Annual tribute to Coochbehar kings had stopped.

During British time Raikat family continued as zamindars in Baikunthapur, Jalpaiguri district was formed way back in 1869. Its map, taluka had changed along with Radicliffe’s line of control during partition, but this city is very rich with its history and culture.


I fondly remember my primary school ‘Bidyaniketan’ and my friends. It was a very ordinary school in a neighborhood but the ambience and loving teachers made me remember this as my ‘Shantiniketan’. I used to wait so eagerly to visit a book library weekly once because that was good distance from my home. Memories of childhood friends are attached with these words, Kadamtala Girls School, mother’s office (post office), natun para, kalibari, my first dance teacher who inspired me to this art so passionately. And lovely picnics I went with parents, always near river and hills and both sides of the river is thick forest, and so much fun when food used to be prepared by picnic team only.


Now when North Bengal is a heavenly spot for tourists, New Jalpaiguri which is around 15-16 km from Jalpaiguri, is a famous station. Much later in 1960, this station was established and became a key railway junction as this connects key locations as Darjeeling, Sikim, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal.


Few years ago, I spent sometime in my cousin elder brother’s house. While I roamed around Jalpaiguri, went to all my places and saw Jalpaiguri Rajbari, a big pond and natural beauty of this place. its natural to see many developments and changes, But my mind was still searching and remembering childhood people and their stories.


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